Learning how to keep my own pantry essentials was a lot like doing a 300 piece jigsaw puzzle. I’m on a tight budget and could never figure out what products I was always using, never using, and what I went through fastest. Thankfully, when I started meal planning, pantry essentials starting becoming easier and easier to keep stocked! I also learned spices aren’t cheap. Growing up, my parents’ kitchens always had all the spices I could think of and becoming an adult was a real treat when I wanted to make something and needed 3 or 4 different spices. Listed below are my personal pantry essentials & Spices! Keep reading to download your free pantry essential checklist along with tips & tricks!
Adrienne’s Pantry Essentials
Canned & Dry Goods
- Low Sodium black beans (4 or 5 on hand at all times)
- 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
- 2 cans of cream of chicken soup
- 4 cans of corn
- 4 cans diced tomatoes
- 4 Cans of Progressive soups (different varieties for rainy days)
- 2 cans Red enchilada sauce
- Beef Broth (either bouillon or stock)
- Chicken Broth (low sodium stock or bouillon cubes)
- Brown Rice
- Whole Wheat noodles
- Old Fashioned Oats
- Chia Seeds
- 1 jar of spaghetti sauce
- 1 package mac & cheese
- Coconut milk
- All Spice
- Garlic Powder
- Garlic Salt
- Taco Seasoning
- Ranch seasoning
- Onion powder
- Chili Powder
- Italian Seasoning
- Ground Ginger
- Snack popcorn bags
Organization & Storage
My favorite way to store spices and other dry pantry essentials are with antique mason jars! There’s nothing better than going antiquing and finding some awesome blue & purple ones to hold rice, quinoa, and oats! But, not everyone is down to spend a lot of money on storage for noodles, here are some other options to make your pantry look organized & top-notch!
Something like this (shown below) could be a cheaper storage option that would still make any pantry look organized!
These labels (Shown below) are super cute and majorly on sale! You an also reuse them and are safe to be put on all sorts of containers!
Tips & Tricks
- Sit down and look through your recipe books, past meal plans, etc and see what types of food you are constantly having to grab from the store. Utilizing stores like Winco or Costco can be a great way to bulk up on certain canned goods without breaking the bank! (Black beans, diced tomatoes, and corn are three things I constantly use when i meal prep. Costco is a great resource for buying canned goods in bulk).
- Keep a few easy to make things in your pantry like mac & cheese, popcorn, spaghetti sauce, top ramen, progressive soups & so on for nights when you haven’t meal planned or life is hectic. This way you’ll already have at least three choices without having to run to the store or spend more money. (also great for days when you’re craving something unhealthy or too sick to get out of bed).
- HOLY MOLY SPICES ARE EXPENSIVE. Utilize the dollar store for common spices. Super cheap!
- Meal plan based on the spices you have available and slowly save or budget to get more spices the next month!
- Utilize rebate & cash back apps on your phone to save money! (Here’s my post about some awesome programs that have continued to save me money!)
- OR, click here and buy a 16 piece spice set (with free refills) for under $30 bucks! (Thanks Amazon, you da best)
- Don’t have a bulk food store? Check grocery store ads for sales on EVERYTHING. Canned goods, meats, even spices.
- Depending on your pay schedule and the number of times you go grocery shopping a week/month/etc., you could see a certain trip to the grocery store become more expensive. Don’t be alarmed, look for those trends and adjust your budget accordingly.
- In the end, after your one expensive trip, the next two, three, or even four, will most likely come in under your budget! By keeping the necessities stocked, watching sales, and planning your meals, you can control the products your eating and when you wish to buy more.
Want your free pantry essentials worksheet? Head over to the printables page here!
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