I prefer to cook our meals from scratch for many reasons:
1. I am a stay at home mom, meaning I am here, and have time to plan and prep meals for my family.
2. We live off a single income, and have a tight budget, and cooking from scratch is cheaper.
3. I would much rather make rice and pasta dish from scratch, than buying the packaged ones that are full of junk.
4. I LOVE to cook. I love trying new recipes and using new gadgets and seeing the smiles on people’s faces when they enjoy what I made.
Yes each week I try new recipes, and post my meal plans, but those plans don’t show what I am buying, and what I have on hand. If I had to buy every single ingredient for each recipe I was making that week, we wouldn’t be able to live on such a tight budget. There are lots of ingredients that I always have in stock, usually purchased on sale or in bulk. And there are sauces and spices that we use all the time too.
Here is a list of staples that we always have on hand, and what I use them for.
- all-purpose flour
- whole wheat flour
- white sugar
- brown sugar
- icing sugar
- baking powder
- baking soda
- vanilla extract
With these always on hand, I feel like my baking is free! I can whip up cookies or brownies, and it doesn’t feel like it costs anything because all I am using are ingredients that are always in the cupboard.
Spices (just a few favourites):
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- chili powder
- Italian spice blend
It would take too long to list each spice we have in the cupboard. Pretty much any spice you can think of, we have. I love using new ones, and adding to our little collection.
- plum sauce
- soya sauce
- various hot sauces
- various bbq sauces
Other general cooking essentials:
Dried pasta – in various shapes
Minute rice – used in casseroles
Long grain rice – usually make this when we are eating the rice plain
Cream of Mushroom soup – used in cream sauces and casseroles
Canned beans – red kidney beans and black beans: can whip up a quick chili
Canned tomatoes – used in lots of pasta dishes and chili
Canned and frozen veggies – for weeks when there just aren’t any good deals on fresh veggies
Onions & garlic – I always have these in the draw, and they get added to pretty much every dish I make.
Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers – I buy these every week regardless of the menu plan. This way I can always throw together a simple salad for lunch or to have with dinner.
With these always on hand, I know that there will always be something to make for dinner. What staples do you keep in your pantry?
This Tip Tuesday post was inspired by Good Cheap Eats “Build a frugal pantry” Stop by and check out her post, and all her sites for that matter, they are all such great resources!