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Stock Your Pantry to Save Money

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There’s a persistent myth that healthy eating is too expensive or time consuming. Many assume a quick stop at the drive-thru for selections from the “dollar menu” is an easy way to save money on food. It is not. Preparing your own food at home is always going to be less expensive and a much healthier habit.

Whether you are an experienced home cook or just starting to pan and prepare meals at home, a well-stocked pantry will make meal planning much easier and help you stick to your food budget. Start with this list of pantry staples and modify it to match your family’s tastes and dietary needs.

Dry Goods:

  • Brown or white rice, quinoa or couscous
  • Dry pasta
  • Cereal
  • Crackers
  • Popcorn
  • Nuts and seeds (don’t overbuy, high oil content can cause them to turn quickly)
  • Dried beans

Canned and Jarred Goods

  • Pasta sauce
  • Canned tuna, salmon or chicken
  • Peanut, almond or other nut butter
  • Tomatoes (keep paste, sauce and diced on hand for different uses)
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned beans
  • Canned soup (for quick meals)
  • Chicken or vegetable broth
  • Canned fruit
  • James and fruit preserves
  • Pickles

Baking Needs

  • All-purpose flour or whole wheat flour
  • Sugar/Brown Sugar/Powdered Sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Cornstarch
  • Old-fashioned oats
  • Chocolate chips
  • Raisins, dried cranberries or other dried fruit
  • Pure vanilla extra
  • Honey, maple syrup or agave nectar
  • Yeast

Condiments and Spices

  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Mayonnaise
  • Soy sauce
  • Oils
  • Barbeque sauce
  • Vinegars
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Cumin
  • Chili Powder
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Parsley

 

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