One way to efficient savings at the grocery store is to have a well stocked pantry. Why is this important? I will tell you why. Having the pantry stocked with everyday items that are needed for recipes will enable you to be a smarter shopper. How? Because you are not making instant decisions on dinner. If you make out a weekly meal plan and figure out what staple items will be needed in your pantry, that is the first step to eliminating instant decision making.
You know when you go to the grocery store and they put all of the junk food at eye level at the checkout? You end up buying some because that store has done research and found people make spontaneous decisions at checkout. If you knew what was in your pantry, then created a menu plan this would elminate those spontaneous decisions.
It is the same way with dinner. If you don’t have a plan in place you will make irrational dinner decisions. Eating out is expensive. Trying to avoid that to save money is why menu planning and a stocked pantry or food cupboards is important.
Starting with stocking the pantry means what do you use most? We use ALOT of sugar. It is used for cookies, kool-aid, coffee, and lemonade. Sugar is one of our staples. Flour is used alot because I make our own baking mix. Another one of my staples is peanut butter and beans. I have always put these two items on my staple list. They are my go to plan if something doesn’t defrost on time.
Now, I did not say that my cupboards ( we don’t have a pantry) is organized, but it is stocked!
This is where I start my meal planning.
A birdseye view of my grab and go organization. In my defense I am only 4’11” so I have to use a stepstool to reach the cabinets. At age 41 I am too old to be jumping on the counter. At some point I may take the time to organize them better, but how I look at it is what looks unorganized to some is organized to others. Everything really does have a place!
Another one of my staples is seasonings. Particularly Garlic Powder, Cinnamon, and Onion Powder. That way if I am out of something, I use one of those as a substitute. Sometimes you just have to be a little creative!
Some of my favorite frugal staples are: spaghetti, ramen noodles, and sauce. If you have those three items you can at least throw those together to make something!
I bought my noodles at a grocery store mystery shop so they were free after my reimbursement. My pasta and noodles were bought at Kroger’s 10 for $10 sale. Those noodle boxes lasted at least 6 months on a menu rotation. .
This excerpt is from www.thissillygirlslife.com:
So, you’ve finally found the space of your dreams! Congratulations! Now comes the hard part, packing, moving, UN-packing, blah blah blah, just typing about it gives me anxiety! Now all you want to have is a nice and comforting homemade meal but you don’t have the essentials of a well-stocked pantry! Never fear, you have come to the right place! I will tell you all the “ingredients” you need for the perfect pantry. Not only will this help you new home buyers out there but this is a great first stop read for newly weds, college students or just living on your own for the first time. We’ve all been there and didn’t know where to start, but stocking up on these staples will have you cooking in no time!
I think what she said sums up the reason for a well stocked pantry! A list is always a great place to start. This is an idea for those starting out on their own, or those who are just ready to save money and prepare for meal planning.
Here are a few other resources:
www.redbookmag.com this is a list of what to start with stocking your pantry. Go to the website to see the entire list.
- Rice: white and brown
- Ready-cooked rice
- Couscous: plain and flavored
- Cornmeal and instant polenta
- Short shape: orecchiette, orzo, and penne
- Long shape: spaghetti, linguine, and fettuccine
- No-boil lasagna noodles
One more great reference is at www.organize365.com. She has a great post on how to organize your pantry. I definitely need to sit down and write down the steps for this post. My pantry looks crazy, but it works for me!
If you like this post please comment on Facebook or Twitter and let me know how you stock your pantry.