Monday, February 27, 2012

5 things every frugal kitchen needs

My tiny kitchen.My mother was a daughter of the depression but she never went hungry.  She said they always  seemed to have food on the table even when times were tough? And yet, it seems that we can blow hundreds of dollars every week at the grocery store. Wouldn't you like to know their secret to create frugal meals? Well it's not really a secret; it was just good planning that allowed their dollar to stretch further. 

It's what ingredients you have in your pantry that determines how far your food supplies will go. Stocking your pantry with few kitchen staples will make the difference between heading to the grocery store every few days instead of every week. Stocking these key items will allow you to create simple low cost  meals.

Rice –

You can buy rice in bulk for a little money and with some creative cooking, really make it do some heavy duty work in the kitchen. First off, think beyond the side dish. Add in frozen vegetables for a substantial dinner accompaniment. Add in some sliced meat, vegetables and fry it up in a large pan and you have homemade fried rice. Mix up rice with spices or a can of soup and some meat and use it in one dish casserole that can even be frozen.  Frozen veggies can often be purchased atless than fresh and they are just as healthy. 

Flour -

Flour is a starter for many frugal cooking recipes. It helps make gravy, biscuits, rolls and bread. And you don't need a bread maker to make bread.  Flour is a must for any baking recipes like cake or cookies. Making your own desserts is a low cost  baking  tip. Stop buying cookies in a package or brownies prepared from a box.

Spices - 

Have a selection of spices on hand is a great frugal meals tip. Spices will literally "spice" up a boring meal, or help you re-use leftovers and turn them into a new meal. When stocking your spice cabinet, look beyond salt and pepper and experiment with the spices of different cuisines like Italian, Chinese and Indian.


-Dried pasta can be used in many different meals. A big bowl of pasta is very filling and is easy to make. Add a great sauce or throw in vegetables and some meat and the pasta is the basis for a substantial dish. Stuffed pasta also makes a great meal and you can make a large tray of it and have leftovers for several days.

Beans -

 Beans are a great kitchen staple, since they are inexpensive and an excellent source of protein and other nutrients.  Instead of having meat, you can substitute beans.  And for some great frugal meals, think beyond chili and baked beans. Add beans as salad toppers, make a black bean dip or soup, our add to rice, another staple and you have a complete dish.


Kristin said...

I think a willingness to try new things on that list. It's so disappointing when you try to help a friend with a grocery budget and they refuse to learn the basics. This is a great list for the willing!

Admin said...

if I have those things in my pantry I can avoid going to the grocery store. I always try to stock up if I can.

Bama Girl said...

I think these five things are great to have on hand! I'm focusing more on how to use rice in my upcoming menus. Blessings from Bama!

Admin said...

Rice is so easy to use-we are trying to use brown rice alot more in our diets than processed rice. However we do sometime have the flavored rice around and alot of time if mexican or spanish rice. throw a pound of ground beef, pepper & onions and the rice in skillet pan. Easy dinner.

CrazyNutsMom said...

Good tips!I like having sugar on hand too! This is can be modified for sure for anyones tastes!


Becca said...

Great tips! In the bean category, I love lentils because they cook pretty quickly, unlike other dry beans which take hours. Here are two of our favorite lentil recipes:
For green lentils, Honey Baked Lentils.
For red lentils, Masoor Dal.

Admin said...

Becca the honey baked lentils sound absolutely great! I may try that for my meal planning next week

The Old-Fashioned Housewife said...

Hi there! Found you through frugal friday and I do love this post. Yes, we need to get back to those pantry basics, right? Beans especially- my goodness do they save so much money! Even pre-canned beans can save a lot of money compared to meat, but if you make them from scratch, you can have a meal for pennies.

thanks for sharing!

Barb @ A Life in Balance said...

We're not a beans family though I'm getting more creative with the beans. I have a black bean brownie recipe that the kids love. I've also added pureed beans to meatloaf. I just keep working on it because beans are so frugal and nutritious.

Admin said...

Barb-I make black bean brownies for a mid afternoon treat for me especially during the winter months.

I will have to try the beans to meatloaf-I can only get away with so many beans lol