Pantry Staples

As you may have seen, I concoct a weekly meal plan for everyday dinners. As you also may have noticed, I only do this about one a month. Not really a weekly meal plan obviously, but it did start out that way. Once we moved into our own house and Mike pushed me to start stocking up the pantry, we were able to stretch out grocery shopping to about once every three weeks.

Our little walk in pantry consists of three shelves. The top shelf consists of baking supplies, including baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch, whole wheat flour, unbleached white flour, sugar, brown sugar, honey, agave and any bread mixes. The bottom shelf includes pasta, potatoes, bulk brown rice, quinoa, and potatoes. The middle shelf includes all of these staple items that allow me come up with meals on the fly after we've gone through our "weekly" meal plan.


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Now I know that not everyone likes beans, but if you do, it's great to stock up on them to use for all sorts of recipes from chili to enchiladas to brownies. Our pantry currently consists of black beans, red kidney beans, pinto beans, refried beans, cannelini beans, and garbanzo beans (chickpeas)


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Breadcrumbs come in handy whenever you're in the food for a little buttery crunch and can be used to top baked mac and cheese or used to make homemade chicken fingers or fish sticks.

Canned Tuna

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Again, not everyone like tuna, or even fish for that matter. But tuna is an easy source of protein and makes for a hearty Tuna Casserole or Tuna Salad

Canned Tomatoes

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Canned tomatoes are cheap and and can be used in a variety of ways. Some frozen white fish, onions and a few other pantry items you could have this easy meal, or it can be used a base for chili, and homemade spaghetti sauce.

Olive Oil

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This guy is such a staple that he sits next to the stove in a pretty bottle and is used for almost every meal. Anything that is sauteed in a pan starts with an olive oil base. It's used to coat almost anything in the oven before adding a bit of seasoning and it's also used to make salad dressing and marinades.


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Ahh, pasta. We stock up on as many varieties of whole wheat pasta as we can. Trader Joe's has cheap organic pasta on their shelves on a regular basis, and Costco carries bulk varieties. On almost every meal plan we come up with there is at least one pasta dish. It is used with a variety of sauces, baked into a casserole, even thrown into a fritatta. Often times, however, I just make a cup and eat it with a pat of butter and some chunks of fresh parmesan.

Now I know everyone has different tastes. Not everyone has or even wants these things in their pantries but I just thought I'd share how I stock up and stretch my groceries and my budget on a monthly basis. Also, the food that we makes tends to err on the Italian side since I learned how to cook watching Everyday Italian and the famous Giada DiLaurentiis. Go forth and stock your pantries!

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What pantry items are a staple in your house, leave a comment below and let me know!

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