Pantry Essentials
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  1. #1
    Registered User SAHMWannaBe's Avatar
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    Default Pantry Essentials

    I've only been married about a year now and am still struggling with what essentials I should keep in my kitchen. It seems everytime I want to try (try being key word) and cook something one of us has to run to the store. Any suggestions?
    Also, I'm trying to make more stuff from scratch instead of insta-meals as my husband calls them. He grew up on a farm and used to down-home cooking.

    Thank you.
    Mel

  2. #2
    Registered User FrugalMomof3's Avatar
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    Well for us we eat spaghetti so I keep a stock of diced tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, garlic, pesto sauce and of course various spaghettis...

    ~Tracy~

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    Registered User joyofsix's Avatar
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    Well, all the basics I assume are covered (flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and soda, yeast and butter or oil). I keep all sorts of pastas and sauces, all the common spices (the cheap $.50 kind) canned fruit and veg, beans, all the things you can make an emergency meal out of. I try to plan what to have each 2 weeks so I can put everything on my shopping list. If I'm minus something we make the recipe without or make something else. I won't run to the store for a special ingredient. I'm not sure if that is what you meant but I hope it helps.
    Mom to Emma, Spencer, Connor, Lily,Fletcher, Amelia and Adeline.

    Mortgage $0
    EF 3 mo income barring
    anymore emergencies

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    Registered User FrugalMomof3's Avatar
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    I agree about the basic necessities, if your family eats most of something let's say hamburger helper, then stock your pantry with that and make sure you have all the ingredients.

    I used to make things and forget that I needed this one thing so I have to run to the store for it... now I make sure I am stocked with tons of canned veggies, pasta sauces, tomato paste, etc... so just in case my receipe calls for something I have it in my pantry plus extras.

    ~Tracy~

  5. #5
    Registered User SAHMWannaBe's Avatar
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    Yes, this is what I'm a looking for. Living on my own I pretty much just ate ramen noodles , so cooking for a family is new to me.
    For example, what is a good emergency meal? What would I need on hand for that? How much flour should I keep? One open and one extra? How much milk will I need (family of 3) for two weeks. We're moving into the country and I won't be able to just run out to the store anymore.

    Mel

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    Registered User KimSecret's Avatar
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    As far as milk, it depends on how much your family drinks and how much you use for cooking. I would keep 2 gallons in the fridge and 1 or 2 gallons in the freezer.
    I make sure to have at least 8-10 can of cream soups on hand for lots of casseroles. I also keep well stocked on Rotel, canned tomatoes (diced and stewed) mushrooms, pasta sauce, pizza sauce, lots of pasta (kept in freezer)
    I keep 1 5lb bag of flour and a thing of cornstarch. Plenty of sugar is a good idea also. Vanilla extract for baking, baking soda & baking powder. Canned & frozen veggies. I buy lots of cheese (shredded,blocked & sliced.) I keep some in fridge and the rest in my freezer.
    I purchase large boxes of white & brown instant rice. Also, Bisquick, pancake batter, a large tub of butter and tons of chicken & beef stock.
    HTH a little.

  7. #7
    Registered User Nichole's Avatar
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    Do you have a Save-A-Lot near you? I have found that I can get excellent prices on pantry items there. They have so many "basic" types of food and the prices are awesome. Some of my pantry items besides those listed by previous posters include:

    Canned tuna
    Tomatoe soup
    Ground beef (in freezer)
    Ground turkey (in freezer - Save-A-Lot has 1# chubs for $0.79 and I substitute it for or combine it with beef often)
    Chicken breast, chicken quarters
    pasta noodles
    Slow cook rice (tastes so much better than instant!)
    Bread (usually have 2-4 loaves in the freezer, $0.79/loaf at SAL)
    Oatmeal
    Mac n Cheese
    Frozen veggies (SAL prices ~$0.79/1# bag)
    10# bag of potatoes
    Butter
    Cheese

  8. #8
    Registered User SAHMWannaBe's Avatar
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    that's exactly what I'm looking for. Thanx!

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    Registered User santoria's Avatar
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    I buy the big 10 kg bags of flour, sugar, rice, oatmeal and store in big jars (the restaurant pickle jars).
    -always have four or five cans of soups (tomato, veg, chicken, mushroom)
    -tuna
    -tomatoes
    -tomato sauce (found that some are actually cheaper than the tomatoes)
    -pastas (spagetti, macaroni, and other types) store in containers
    -macaroni and cheese boxes (buy them by the case)
    -ramen noodles (by the case as well) - my kids love them
    -a few packets of each onion, and chicken noodle dried soup mix
    -canned veggies, and fruit
    -saran wrap, tin foil - you run out at the most inopportune times
    -lots of jello and puddings
    -raisins (for baking and snackin)
    -PEANUT BUTTER!!!
    -jams and jelly
    -big jug of maple syrup (keep the little one in the kitchen and fill when I need)
    - vinegar (I buy the big 10L jug and have a small for the kitchen)
    -oil (big one in pantry small in kitchen)
    -cereals

    I can toss together a good meal with anything out of the pantry

    meat we buy in bulk and portion to meal sizes (ground beef, chicken)
    we buy roasts and slice into steaks

    margarine I can get a big box with the 1pound blocks - leave one in fridge and freeze the rest

    bulk spices

    oh and no name is a lot cheaper usually and doesn't taste any different than the name brand

  10. #10
    Registered User SAHMWannaBe's Avatar
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    Wow, that's great! I'm gathering my list together for next weekend already.

    Mel

  11. #11
    KimBob
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    Here's a similar thread with good info - http://frugalvillage.com/forums/show...ight=olive+oil

  12. #12
    Registered User SAHMWannaBe's Avatar
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    You guys are great! It's awsome the way you jump in there and help. Thanx for all the advice!
    Mel

  13. #13
    Margery Bob canadian gardener's Avatar
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    Mel something to think about doing is to write out your basic tried and true recipes on index cards.

    3x5 cards are cheap, and so are dividers, and a plastic file box to hold them.

    When you are writing out say 12 to 14 of your usual recipes for dinners(even if you remember them only in your head, even if all they are is 3 ingredients)

    write down all the ingredients on a sheet of paper that you have at your elbow.

    Have a column for the pantry, one for the fridge and another for the freezer.

    Now write out your sandwich recipes, lunch, snack and breakfast recipes (ok they aren't really "recipes" but just meal ideas)

    and look at the fixings you need to make THOSE.

    That is what you need for your basic fridge list, your basic pantry list and what you'll need for the freezer.

    If you follow my pantry, or another woman's, it may not help you do YOUR recipes or your little lunch fixings.

    The idea of a pantry is to have the fixings on hand, whether they are in the pantry on a shelf, or in the freezer or in the crisper in the fridge, they are there so when you are cooking you don't have to run to the store every day.

    But each persons list is different.

    HTH

  14. #14
    Registered User SAHMWannaBe's Avatar
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    That is a fabulous idea. Thank you!

    mel

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    Registered User schellie69's Avatar
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    I plan a menu for a week so When I am going to try a new recipe I write down all the ingredinets into a shopping list then cross off what I have on hand then I put the rest on my regular shopping list and if the menu was well liked I try to keep the ingredinets on hand for my familys faviorite meals and some really easy ones so that way I don't have to make a special run to the store. I also keep dry milk on hand for those times when i get low on milk, I just mixs up a quart and add it to the milk I have left. I make sure to keep at least 2 to 3 bags of sugar, and one open bag of flout and one back up. I try to keep one thing of back up that I use alot rest I make sure to add to my grocery list when I get about 1/2 way though it. I also stock up on meat when it is on sale, and try to have a least one full week of meals on hand at all times. I am trying to go for 2 weeks but I am working on that a little at a time so as not to over do my food budget to much. I spend about 5 to 10 dollars a week on building up my stock pile. good luck on your cooking and stock pile.

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