Learning how to stock a frugal pantry can take a little research. There are so many tips and tricks out there. Sometimes they apply sometimes they don’t.
Some people’s tips won’t and can’t help you.
Things like growing your own garden and learning how to preserve your harvest. This won’t work for you if you live in an apartment with little lighting. It won’t work for you if you live in a wooded lot or if you’re a single mom who works 2 jobs to make ends meet.
However, let’s say you just don’t have the space or lighting for a good garden (which is me) then my suggestion is to find a local community garden, or place that has plots for you to grow. Because growing your own food is of course the #1 way to save the most money on your food budget!
My #2 tip when researching and figuring out how to apply it to your unique situation, is to get the most drastic tips and tricks from people on YouTube for instance like “The Cheap Life” or “The Fundamental Home” then dial it back to what suits you. In other words, do your research but tailor it to meet your needs. For example; I don’t buy food from the dollar store.
Here is a list of frugal pantry items that you should have on hand or in bulk to guarantee frugal meals and less temptation to go out to eat (another great way to save money):
- Variety of beans (canned or dried). Beans are a huge source of protein and can help cut back on the price of meats. By adding beans to your meal, you get more fiber helping you feel fuller longer and helping you to get, keep and maintain better gut health.
- Bouillon cubes to season soups, rice’s and stir-fry’s
- Bread (keep in the freezer when stale) Stale bread makes for great stuffing’s, bread crumbs, and French toast.
- Canned tuna, chicken, sardines
- Peanut Butter and Jellies.
- Lentils which you don’t have to soak and only take 15 minutes to cook. Lentils are a great source of cheap protein, and without the added step of soaking they make for a quick filler to any meal.
- Oil (coconut, and olive)
- Vinegar like apple cider and red or white wine for salad dressings
- Dry Spices especially the ones you use the most in bulk
- Tortillas (tortillas are great for leftover night). By dumbing leftovers into a tortilla, you come up with a whole new meal! Also, just adding tomatoes and onions to a can of beans and putting them in a tortilla can make a great tasty bean burrito (you might prefer some seasoning).
- Potatoes Onions, Garlic, and Ginger (these last forever when stored properly)
This tip is one that no one ever talks about.
- Buying your meat straight from the farmer.
Okay I know what you’re thinking…….”I live nowhere near a farm”. “Or I don’t know any farmers.” However true this maybe you live close enough and you can make friends!
Hear me out. Growing up we lived in a beautiful suburb. There were no farms for miles. However, my dad purchased beef from family 2 ½ hours from our house. We didn’t go there to take care of the cattle, we went there to pick up the meat once year. It was an adventure!!
Recently my dad again raised a beef at a friend’s farm. At the time grass-fed beef was running a good $3.50+ per pound. My friends……he paid $1.50 a pound! Across the board for the entire steer. We are talking roasts, steaks, prime rib not your typical $1.50 for who knows what hamburger.
This is an incredible savings. And having that much meat in the freezer gives you the added benefits of making the meals stretch from a roast, to a stroganoff, to a soup, to left over roast beef sandwiches all from one meal!
I hope these tips are some that you can apply to your life right away!
Feel free to let us know what you do differently to help you save a couple extra dollars in your food budget!