Michelle Jones, Frugal Mom of 4 and Founder of BetterBudgeting
Michelle Jones, Founder
of BetterBudgeting.com

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Living a Better Life
(featured column... from the editor's desk)

Saving Money in the Kitchen: Pantry List

by Michelle Jones

 

Keeping a well stocked pantry will save you time and money throughout the year, and enable you to throw a quick dinner together on a moment's notice.  But it also takes time and money to stock up.  Whether you're just starting out with your own kitchen or starting over with a new one, my advice is to take things slowly and don't be in a rush to stock up too quickly--or you'll end up spending more money than you should!  

 

Take the time to purchase items on sale and use coupons if they're available, shop the discount stores, dollar stores and warehouse clubs (split large items with a friend or neighbor) and within 6-12 months you'll have a fully stocked kitchen that would make any cook proud. 

 

Everyone's kitchen may contain different items, because we all have different tastes (and family sizes), but here's my basic pantry list to get you started.  Once you have everything you need you can keep your kitchen well stocked by replacing items as they run out.    

 

Click here for our printer-friendly page!

 

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Basic Pantry List

Dry Goods:

Coffee
Cornmeal
Cornstarch
Cream of Wheat
Dry Beans (black, pinto, navy, etc...)
Dry Cereals
Dry Milk Powder (will save you many trips to the store when you are running low on fresh milk)
Flour (all-purpose, and bread or wheat)
Granulated Sugar (and
Grits (if you're fortunate enough to live in the south, otherwise they can be difficult to find)
Jelly (grape, raspberry, strawberry preserves, etc...)
Long-grain White Rice and Brown Rice
Oatmeal (quick cooking and regular)
Pasta (spaghetti, fettuccini, elbows, penne, rigatoni, shells, twists, lasagna, wide egg noodles, etc...)
Peanut Butter (natural is best, stir and store in fridge)
Popcorn
Ramen Noodles
Tea

Extras... 

Biscuit Mix
Buttermilk Powder
Cake Mix
Coffee Creamer
Gravy Mix (warehouse clubs sell this by the pound!)
Pancake Mix
Peanuts, Other Nuts & Seeds (almonds, pecans, walnuts, soy nuts, sunflower seeds, etc... store in fridge)
Pudding and Jello Mixes 

Additional Baking Supplies:

Baking Powder
Baking Soda
Chocolate Chips

Condensed Milk
Confectioners' Sugar

Dark Brown Sugar
Evaporated Milk
Light Brown Sugar
Light Corn Syrup

Vanilla Extract (not flavoring)
Yeast Packets (store in fridge)

Extras... 

Almond Bark (melting chocolate)
Almond Extract
Brownie, Cake and Muffin Mixes (when on sale!)
Decorative Sugar and Sprinkles
Food Coloring 
Hershey's Cocoa Powder
Honey
Molasses
Raisins
Shredded Coconut (store in fridge)
Unsweetened Baking Chocolate 

Spices:

Basil
Bay Leaves
Bouillon Cubes (chicken and beef)
Chili Powder
Cinnamon
Garlic
Ginger
Nutmeg
Onion Powder
Oregano
Paprika
Parsley
Pepper (coarse ground)
Rosemary
Sage
Salt (low-sodium, Morton iodized and sea salt)

Extras... 

Celery Seeds
Chives
Cloves
Cumin
Curry Powder
Dry Mustard
Poppy Seeds
Sesame Seeds
Thyme

Canned Goods:

Chicken Broth (or store your own in the freezer whenever you boil a chicken)
Fruit (sliced peaches, pears, pineapple, fruit cocktail - packed in their own juice!)
Soups (chicken noodle, tomato, cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, etc...)
Tomatoes (diced, crushed) 
Tomato Paste
Tomato Sauce
Tuna (white albacore), or Chicken
Vegetables (baked beans, green beans, corn, peas, sliced mushrooms, etc...)

Extras...

Crab Meat
Hot Dog Chili 
Pie Fillings
Pumpkin
Salmon
Salsa
Spaghetti Sauce

Condiments & Misc.:

Applesauce
Barbecue Sauce
Canola Oil
Cooking Spray
Ketchup
Mayonnaise
Mustard
Olive Oil
Pancake Syrup
Salad Dressing
Soy Sauce
Vegetable Shortening
Vinegar
Worcestershire Sauce

Extras...

Apple Butter
Apple-Cider Vinegar
Bottled Water (for emergencies)
Mini-marshmallows
Olives (black or green)
Pickle Hamburger Chips 
Pickle Relish
Teriyaki Sauce

Bread: (as needed)

Bagels
English Muffins
Hotdog or Hamburger Buns
Graham Crackers
Multi-Grain Bread
Pretzels
Ritz-like Crackers
Tortillas (low carb if available)

Perishable Items: (as needed)

Dairy (milk, eggs, real butter, margarine, cheese, sour cream, Cool Whip, ice cream, yogurt, etc...)
Fresh Fruit in Season or on Sale (apples, bananas, berries, oranges, grapes, melons, etc...)
Fresh Vegetables in Season or on Sale (asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, celery, corn on the cob, green peppers, mushrooms, etc...) 
Garlic
Meat, Fish & Poultry - whatever you like, as long as it's on sale!
Onions (yellow, sweet or red-which are actually purple)
Potatoes (white, small red, yellow/gold or sweet)
Salad (lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, etc...)

 

*  *  *

 

Copyright 2005 by Michelle Jones, author of Frugal Family Recipes. All rights reserved.

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Save Money with Frugal Recipes at BetterBudgeting.com

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