It is difficult for some individuals to strike out on their own for the first time. One of the biggest concerns is the finances they will be responsible for. A crucial area of finance and saving money is in the food department. Groceries are, of course, a necessity; however, if it is important not to spend the entire weekly budget on two days’ worth of food. This is why a staple list for the pantry is essential. Stocking up on staple foods ensures that there is enough food to last through the week, perhaps even longer. There are several items individuals should keep on hand, although the list may vary depending upon different tastes.
- Flour is required for baking purposes, but it is useful for many other elements of cooking. It may be used to thicken stews and gravies. Flour also makes a great coating for most all types of meat, especially when various spices are added prior to dredging the meat. Both types of four have useful functions. Self-rising flour eliminates the need for baking powder when creating items like muffins. Plain flour is useful for baking, if there is baking powder present. Either type of flour may be used as a coating for meat or to thicken sauces.
- Oil may be used to fry food; coat pans; add to baked items; or make salad dressing.
- Sugar is necessary when baking cakes, muffins, and cookies. Many homemade pancake recipes call for sugar as well. It may also be used to make tea and lemonade.
- There are numerous prepackaged baking mixes which are inexpensive and simple to make. Some of these include biscuit; cake; muffin; cookie; and corn bread mixes. There are also prepackaged pizza crust mixes to consider.
- Rice and pastas are great for any number of recipes whether baking a meal or preparing it on the stove top. Various types of both may also be included in crock pot dishes to extend the number of servings, if company is coming or the budget is tight.
- Bread crumbs are good to create casseroles, coat meat before frying, or to make stuffing.
- Canned goods are an important and versatile staple to keep in the pantry. Meats; soups and stews; vegetables; and fruits all fall into the canned food category. A can of fruit may be added to a cake mix to omit the frosting and create a healthier dessert. A can of chicken and a can of mixed veggies can be added to a little rice to make a wonderful, simple, and inexpensive dinner.
Other Staple Considerations
- One additional item to consider is peanut butter. Peanut butter is inexpensive and extremely healthy. It may be spread on toast for breakfast, bread for lunch, or added to a cake mix for dessert. Many individuals believe it is very tasty when added to instant oat meal which is another staple item to think about.
- Seasonings are something that should be kept on hand. If nothing else, salt and pepper add a little excitement to meals. Dollar type department store often have a number of spices available. A few to think about are cinnamon for desserts, garlic and onion powder for main dishes, and premixed seasoning combos. This includes season salt, poultry seasoning, and Italian seasoning.
There are all sorts of possibilities for meals when individuals use a little imagination and keep the pantry well stocked with staples. It is a good idea to create a list of preferred foods and then use that to design a shopping list prior to making the trip to the store.