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How to Stock a Pantry on a Budget

These smart tips will show you how to purchase pantry staples on a budget!

By: Kim Ritter for RecipeLion.com
How to Stock a Pantry on a Budget

If you've been thinking about keeping a larger supply of groceries at home, here is how to stock a pantry to save time and money for your family.

In these uncertain times, it is more prudent to be prepared than ever before. Whether you are trying to stretch your grocery budget, are stocking up for an emergency, or merely trying to make less trips to the store, stocking your pantry can help you save time and money.

Here are some tips on how to stock a pantry in your home.

What Should You Stock in Your Pantry?

You may see some advice elsewhere to stock up on items like dried beans, rice and other similar products. The truth is, when it comes to how to stock your pantry, you will want to stock products that your family will eat. When making your pantry supply list, think of practical items you can keep on hand that will make affordable recipes that your family enjoys. Here are some basics to stock in your pantry.

Easy meals. Whether you're single, in a relationship or have a family, we all have days that are busy without much time to cook. Stocking ingredients for easy to make meals such as pastas, casseroles and stir fry can be a time saver and help you avoid the temptation to eat out.

A pantry stocked with dried pasta and pasta sauce

Side Dishes. Preparing a main entree such as meat can often be the easiest part of a meal, but do you have something on hand to go with it? Keeping side dish supplies such as noodles or potatoes to accompany your main dish can be a lifesaver and help add variety to your menu. Other great pantry essentials include rice, quinoa, and couscous, if your family enjoys those items.

Fruits and veggies. While fresh product is always best, canned or frozen fruits and vegetables are the next best thing and can be an affordable and healthy addition to any meal or menu.

Baking supplies. Many of us enjoy pre-made baked goods, but these can often be an expensive addition to your budget. Keeping baking supplies on hand such as flour, sugar and yeast can help you make your own baked goods for a fraction of the cost. As an added bonus, you can control the ingredients and customize the recipe as you see fit.

Baking essentials to stock in a pantry including baking soda, sugar, and chocolate chips

How to Make Meal Planning Easier

Having a well stocked pantry can make meal planning much easier and affordable. By keeping supplies on hand, you can plan easy meals and avoid last minute trips to the store for missing ingredients for your family's favorites.

Are There Advantages to Having a Well Stocked Pantry?

Absolutely! Stocking staples your family enjoys regularly can allow you to wait for the best price, avoid the temptation of eating out and allow you to avoid unnecessary shopping trips for missing items. You'll be able to get your grocery bill under control and have a wider variety of meal options to enjoy at home.

Canisters containing flour and sugar

How to Save to Save Money When Stocking Your Pantry

Saving money on non-perishable grocery items for your family is easier than you think! Whether you use coupons, shop sales, take advantage of money saving apps or all of the above, stocking pantry items with long expiration dates is an easy way to save. Here are some tips for buying pantry staples on a budget.

Know your prices on staples.  By knowing the average price for the items you regularly purchase, you can easily spot sales and know the right time to stock up.

Consider switching brands. Did you know that the main difference between many brands are just the labels? Manufacturers often make several different brands of the same product and they are identical except for the packaging. Generic or store brands can offer great savings on the same or similar products.

Pantry staples such as dried soup, dried pasta, and cheese sauce

Stack the savings. Have you spotted a great sale price and also have a coupon? This is a great way to stretch your budget and get the best price on pantry basics.

Stock up during sales. Stocking up when you spot a great price on pantry staples can be an excellent way to save money. Just make sure to keep an eye on your expiration dates and to rotate your supply to avoid having food go to waste.

Keeping a stockpile, or small supply at home can allow you to wait until the product is at the best possible price, and also allow your family to save money.

Thanks to Kim Ritter for writing this guest post for us! Be sure to check out more great ideas at her blog, Two Kids and a Coupon.

What are your tips on how to stock a pantry?

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