stock your kitchen: the frugal pantry.
I’m about to get personal. Up until now I’ve shared how I cook family-friendly, (generally) nutritious, made-from-scratch items on a shoestring. But it occurred to me: I’ve never actually invited you into the inner most parts of my kitchen that are the basis for how I do what I do. You know, the often cluttered, sometimes straight-up dirty drawers and shelves that make up my pantry and refrigerator/freezer. But I’ve had enough of you ask if there really is food on my shelves and is my poor family always hungry? …so I thought I would share how I build a frugal pantry and fridge/freezer to help motivate you to get started.
Now that you’ve seen the inside of my pantry I feel like we’re really close friends…
Here are the items that are my go-to essentials for a number of the dishes I cook and bake. I try to have these on hand at all times, and then add additional ingredients as needed as I go.
The Frugal Foodie Family Pantry Essentials:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I prefer olive oil to butter or other oils, and use it over and over for cooking, drizzling, sauteing, salad dressings, etc.
Balsamic Vinegar. A staple for salad dressings and marinades.
Diced Tomatoes. From sauces to soups, pizza to hearty braised meat recipes, this is a diverse go-to canned essential.
Stock. I generally use chicken or veggie, but you could pick up beef too! Extra credit if you make your own.
Beans. Canned or dried (extra credit if you cook them from dried!), keep beans such as pinto, black, and northern on hand for soups, salads, hummus, and side dishes.
Rice. I prefer brown to white for stir frys and soups, and use arborio rice for risotto. Also great for gluten-free recipes.
Oats. Another diverse ingredient you’ll often use for granola, cookies, bars, oatmeal, crisps and breads.
Garlic. I like garlic in pretty much anything. Except maybe ice cream. I’m not into that.
Onions. Another staple that seems to be the basis for just about any main dish.
Sea Salt and Fresh Pepper.
Dried Spices. I keep lots of spices on hand, and especially use cumin, curry, cinnamon, chile powder, italian seasonings, oregano, cayenne, and paprika.
Baking Essentials: White and Whole Wheat Flours, White, Brown and Powdered Sugars, Baking Soda and Baking Powder, Homemade Vanilla and Cocoa.
Did I miss anything?!!
Stay tuned! Stock Your Kitchen: The Frugal Fridge/Freezer is coming up this week!