Friday, April 29, 2011

Tip 8: Stocking the "Pantry"

There are certain things that I always try to keep on hand so that if (when) plans change I can easily make dinner on the fly. This helps to keep me from spending more money than I need to later on. Here are some things that I will stock up on for "EDM" (emergency dinner management). I will continue to add to this list as I have time but wanted to get it up right away while I was thinking about it. An "*" means that I have added something to the post from comments others have made. :o)

Dry Goods
  • pasta - this is such a great "base" item to keep on hand. There are almost limitless possibilities for it. Plus, you can stock up when the price is low or free after coupons, and it doesn't really go bad.
  • rice (regular, brown, and Minute)
  • baking items: bisquick, corn meal, flour, sugar, yeast, baking soda, baking powder, etc.
  • instant potatoes - plain, flavored, or specialty
  • cereal* - this can make for a nice snack
    Canned Goods 
    • soups: cream of ___ or tomato soups can provide you with basic sauces, and main-dish type soups (Progresso, Chunky, etc.) can be purchased inexpensively with coupons and kept on hand for a really quick fix.
    • jarred sauces (marinara, alfredo, etc.) 
    • diced tomatoes - in a pinch you can use this to create your own pasta sauce, pizza sauce, etc.
    • mushrooms
    • black olives
    • broth, stock, or bouillon
    • pasta sauce
    • canned tuna or chicken*
      Frozen/Refrigerator Goods
      • dinner rolls, bread dough, biscuit dough, etc. - I usually try to keep one of these bread options on hand as an emergency filler.
      • veggies - I much prefer fresh veggies if I can get them for a good price, but I always like to keep a few staple frozen veggies on hand, such as corn, peas, mixed veggies, etc. Throw some mixed veggies in with some pasta, meat, and a quick sauce. VOILA! You have dinner.
      • meat - I like to buy a lot of meat when it's on sale for cheap, then I freeze it to save for dinners down the road.
        • ground beef, turkey, pork, etc.
        • roasts
        • chicken (wings, thighs, breast, whole chickens, and roasters)
        • stew meat
      • cheese (Yes, this is a staple in our house.)
      • sour cream or plain yogurt
      • smoked sausage
      • breakfast sausage (links or patties)
      • frozen potatoes (hashbrowns, fries, or o'brien style)
      Your Turn: What are some items that you like to keep on hand for dinner emergencies?

      1 comment:

      1. hmmmm....Dominos! :) Just Kidding! This is a staple in every couponers house, but having breakfast cereals on hand makes for a nice snack sometimes. I also like to keep several cans of tuna or chicken breast in my pantry as those can make for quick dinners too.