I am so excited to have Lindsey from And The Kitchen Sink on our blog today! She is a frugal lifestyle blogger and a fellow North Carolina native. She is so sweet and I am so excited to share her frugal insight with you all!
In my apartment, we don’t have a pantry. We have one small cabinet with three shelves to store our food. I have been known to keep grocery bags of dry goods in my dining room so I can create my stockpile. Currently, there are 9 bags of chips in case you were curious. While I may not have very much space to store food, you can bet I’ll cram every nook available. There are a few things I will always have on hand no matter how little space I have, here are some things that are always in my “pantry”.
Kraft macaroni and cheese
This past month, I bought 10 boxes of macaroni and cheese (yes we got the shapes). Occasionally, Harris Teeter will do a 10 for $10 sale for Kraft macaroni and cheese, and I will stock up. Mind you, we are a two person household so it takes us awhile to go through that much macaroni and cheese. This makes a quick and easy lunch on busy weekends or satisfies my craving for pasta.
I keep a decent stock of different kinds of pasta in my pantry. I wait till they go on sale for 30-50 cents and I buy A LOT. We are still eating off of the pasta I bought almost 4 months ago. Pasta is an easy go-to meal that requires little effort, and lasts a long time if it’s kept dry. Since I don’t eat meat, this becomes a staple in many of our dishes.
I always have at least one bag of tortillas in my pantry at all times. These can be used to make wraps and quesadillas, which are made frequently for lunches around here. Since tortillas don’t last forever, I only by them as needed rather than stockpiling.
Chips and salsa
There is never a shortage of tortilla chips, Doritos, or some other chip in this house. We use tortilla chips as a side to Mexican dishes, or as a snack. Most recently I bought four bags of Tortilla chips during a really great sale and four cans of salsa. We use Doritos and other chips in lunches and for snacks as well.
I buy taco seasoning probably once every 6 months. There is a reason for this. First, I buy around 4-5 packs at a time. We don’t use an entire pack for every meal, so they last me a while. Second, I make a lot of Mexican dishes and I can buy the seasoning packs for $1 or less. Most recently I bought 5 packs of taco seasoning for $4.
LOTS of cheese
I know this one isn’t a “pantry” item but it’s worth noting because of the sheer amount that we stock. Right now in my cheese drawer I have around 6 packages of shredded cheese. We are a cheese loving household and with each dish, I could end up using half a pack or more at a time. We always keep a variety of them stocked. Usually there is mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan, and some type of four or six cheese blend.
I always have some type of bread around the house. Whether it is a pack of take-and-bake loaves or sliced bread, there is always bread in the house. You can freeze the take-and-bake loaves, making them last an additional 2-4 weeks. I use the sliced bread for our lunches or toast for breakfast, and we use the take-and-bake loaves to go with pasta or other Italian style dishes. We have made a take-and-bake with tacos before, so I guess anything is on the table as far as take-and-bakes go.
Granola bars or some other breakfast item
I cannot function without breakfast in the morning. If I am up before 11am, I need nourishment to start my day. We usually don’t sleep past 9:30-10am on the weekends, and we’re up much earlier during the week. I usually keep granola bars, pop-tarts, or other breakfast food that is easy to take with me to work. Occasionally, we’ll get English muffins if they’re on sale that week.
Organic milk or almond milk
When you open our fridge you’ll see our Brita pitcher, a jug of organic milk, and sometimes almond milk. I used to throw out more milk than I could use in a given week, which I HATED. I tried organic milk for the first time back in January and since then I only buy organic milk. Organic milk lasts longer than regular milk, and it tastes almost exactly the same.
Complete pancake mix
The complete part is the most important part of this. I don’t always have eggs or other things needed for regular pancake mix on hand. Pancakes make an inexpensive breakfast or dinner, and if we want we’ll add scrambled eggs and bacon.
These are just 10 things you can always find in my kitchen on any given day, and now that I’m stockpiling more, this list will grow significantly. Once you get the hang of things you regularly use in your recipes, you’ll be able to start your own stockpile as well.
What things are always found in your pantry?
About the Author
Lindsey is a frugal living lifestyle blogger from North Carolina who enjoys posting about her frugal lifestyle, household tips and tricks, budget friendly recipes, and traveling on a budget.
You can find her lovely blog at www.andthekitchensink.net