These cheap and easy pantry recipes are perfect for using up what you already have stocked in the pantry.
When stocking your pantry of essentials, focus on healthy and nutritious foods for the family. From grains to proteins, it’s a good idea to stock up and keep them on hand in case of emergencies or last-minute meal ideas.
Cheap and Easy Pantry Recipes
Stocking the pantry is fairly easy when you break it down into the basic food groups. Here’s a quick list of pantry staples to stock up on.
Beans are packed with protein and there’s a wide variety to choose from. They’re great for a wide variety of dishes such as chili, soups, and even bean salads.
Canned fish is another great protein to stock in the pantry. Canned fish can easily be turned into quick lunch recipes or snack using bread and crackers.
Nuts make great snacks and they have a fairly long shelf life. They’re quick and easy to pick up and snack on and they’re great to add textures to salads.
When stocking the refrigerator, cheeses, eggs, and milk are high in protein and have a large range of uses for meals, snacks, and desserts. Proper storage of these items will maximize their shelf life so make sure to wrap them tightly and place them in the cooler area of the refrigerator.
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Fruits and Vegetables
Canned fruits and vegetables are great as a cheap pantry addition and there is a wide variety to choose from. Canned fruits can easily be turned into a fruit salad and applesauce is a great substitute for eggs in a pinch. Keeping these staples on hand gives you a variety of options when it comes to meal planning.
Canned vegetables are great added to soups, they make great sides, and they have a long shelf life. Check the salt content on these items before adding them into your meals, and rinse them if necessary.
Long-lasting fruits such as oranges, mandarins, and clementines last weeks in the refrigerator. Choosing unripe bananas at the grocery store will last quite a while on the counter and apples last a long time if stored properly.
Keep the freezer stocked with frozen fruit and vegetables to use when the fresh variety isn’t available. The frozen variety is perfect for use during emergencies or in between pantry stocking. Purchasing bags of chopped onions, peppers, and veggie blends to keep on hand ensure you won’t run out of these essentials. You can also chop your own veggies and store them in the freezer for future use.
Frozen fruit such as strawberries, peaches, and blueberries are perfect for smoothies or added to yogurt.
Grains are an important part of any pantry. They’re great to use to make a meal or to make side dishes.
Pasta stores well and there are versions available from gluten-free, high-fiber, or vegetable-based. Pasta is also fairly cheap and has a long shelf-life.
Crackers is a great staple and perfect for tuna, or other salads. They also can be crumbled for soups and chilis. For a snack, crackers pair well with deli meats and cheeses.
Snacking is important especially when you have children in the house. Popcorn is a great cheap and light snack and perfect for movie or game nights. Popcorn is a great snack to add mix-ins into such as nuts, dried fruit, and even candies.
Stocking the pantry with a variety of cereal will ensure you have quick and easy choices for breakfast time.
Rice, whether it be brown rice, wild, or long-grain white, can be made into a complete meal with just a few other ingredients or be treated as a filling side. Also, quinoa is a great substitute for rice in many dishes.
Oats are also great for breakfast and taste great in baked goods.
When storing bread, it’s important to know that it doesn’t last long sitting on the counter. It’s best to keep this frozen and wrapped well if looking for long-term storage.
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There a couple of ways to store meat, purchasing already packaged and cooked meats or buying in bulk then dividing and freezing them into portions.
Buying in bulk is a great option and it’s the best bang for your buck. Then again, purchasing meats that already have seasonings cuts down on prep time and work great for last-minute meals without lacking flavor.
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Below is a list of cheap and easy pantry recipes that will feed the family, keep you healthy, and give you variety. Whether between pay-day or in an emergency, these staples recipes from the pantry will give you a filling meal.