I like to grocery shop on a budget, and that can be tricky when recipes call for certain staples that can bump the price of your bill up. To counter this, I tend to stock up on pantry staples that I use regularly. This is great to do on the weeks you come in under budget, and that way, you won’t use up a chunk of your budget on the weeks you really need it elsewhere.
What are my staples and why?
Stock cubes: I make a LOT of stews, casseroles, and slow cooker meals. One thing I use in all such meals is stock cubes. I like to buy these when they’re on offer, so I keep my eyes peeled.
Mixed herbs: I have built up quite a large collection of herbs and spices, but one thing I always have on hand is a bottle of mixed herbs. You can’t go wrong with mixed herbs. It is handy to have in case you are missing a certain herb for a meal. They are versatile for many meals that need a bit of oomph.
Onion powder: Onion powder is a must have in my house as my eldest child is not an onion fan and can find the smallest amount in any meal. Onion powder allows us to keep the flavour, but to ensure she’ll eat it. It is also great for those times you may forget to buy an onion.
Pasta: I always always always have pasta to hand. The reason for this is to be able to throw together a quick meal if I’m in a rush. I would say my kids favourite food is pasta, and it is so simple to add some cream cheese or pasta sauce to cooked pasta for a filling, quick meal.
Tinned chopped tomatoes: The reason for always having a couple of tins of chopped tomatoes in my pantry is the same as for the stock cubes. A lot of the types of meals I cook, especially slow cooker chilli and bolognese etc call for chopped tomatoes. Once again, i can buy these when I see a good bulk buy offer.
Olive oil: Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an oil snob. I do tend to buy the cheapest olive oil, but I do like to have it on hand. There are some recipes that call for it, and some things I make, such as herby potato slices, that just don’t taste the same with vegetable oil.
Eggs: I always have eggs on hand as they are so versatile and great value. I buy them in bulk and always check for the long dates. I use eggs in baking, sandwiches, salads, and they are a great addition to quick meals such as beans on toast, especially if you want to turn it into a substantial evening meal.
Baked beans: As a mum, baked beans are an important staple in my house. My children enjoy beans of toast for lunch, but we also add as a side to many meals. I buy a 4 pack for just £1, so they are great value, healthy, and can bulk out nay meal.
Frozen vegetables: I always have to have frozen vegetables on hand. Buying when they’re on offer and storing in the freezer until I need them is a must for those weeks when the budget is really tight. I love being able to just buy the meat for a roast and knowing I have vegetables ready to go in the freezer. Sometimes, I have shop bought packs, sometimes, it is leftover veg that I have blanched and frozen. Either way, I rest easy knowing I have some ready to go.
Gravy: We are huge fans of Bisto chicken gravy. Yes, we have that gravy with any meat. I like to have gravy on hand to add to slow cooker recipes such as savoury mince, and for some meals that include vegetables. As the Bisto gravy is a little dearer, we only buy it when it is half price and stock up.
Do you have any pantry staples that you like to keep stocked up? Do you bulk buy on sale items to add to your food store?
Content belongs to Sensibly Frugal Living