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Pantry cooking can save you time and money but what can you really make with dry goods? Check out these 23 quick and easy pantry meals. You can never have too many easy dinner ideas!
It took me years to learn how to cook without having to run to the store for every recipe. I save a ton of time and money using my daycare menu, planning out meals for the fam, and only shopping once a month for staple items. Here are 23 quick and easy pantry meals you can make with a well-stocked pantry to save you tons of money and time.
I shop at the farmer’s market once a month for my beef, chicken and pork plus fresh veggies.
We go to a local fruit company to buy produce in between my monthly shopping trip. I can get in and out of the small store with some local products and it doesn’t take me as long as going into a big supermarket. We also, during the gardening season, eat from what we grow, so I don’t usually go to the fruit store during summer.
Also, I shop for dairy products at Braum’s every week. I use Braum’s because there are no hormones in their milk. I get milk, cottage cheese, and butter there. We can pick up bananas if I don’t need anything else from the fruit store to save a trip.
When planning our monthly shopping trip, I make a detailed list of what I would buy from the store we shop at. If I send my husband to the store, we save money because he only gets what is on the list and doesn’t do a lot of impulse buying like I do. He’s willing to go, so that’s a good way for us to save money.
I have a shopping list that corresponds to my daycare menu, and I go through that and write down on our shopping list what we need. A great way to save money would be to use the grocery store ads to plan your family’s meals for the month. Use whatever is on the front page of the ads that is actually healthy, whole, real food, to plan them out.
For tools that will help you plan out dinner and get your shopping organized, check out these dinner planning sheets on etsy.
Another great way to save time and money is by buying in bulk. I love to order bulk grains online and have them delivered in 25 or 50-pound bags so I don’t have to buy that for months and I don’t have a ton of tiny packages that get wasted in the landfill or have to be recycled.
I get as much of my food in bulk as possible. Also, if you have 25 pounds of several products, if something happened to interrupt your food supply, you are prepared. I like knowing I have something to feed everyone no matter what. I can come up with tons of easy pantry meals.
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I order these items in bulk:
- Brown Rice
- Wheat Berries
- Raw Sugar
- Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
- Wheat berries to grind whole wheat flour (Soft and hard wheat)
- Organic, unbleached white flour
- Raw sugar
- Baking Soda and Powder
- Chocolate chips
- Cocoa powder
- Cream of Tartar
- A couple of kinds of cereal
- A couple of kinds of crackers
- Tortilla chips
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Bulk assorted meats frozen
- A few bags of frozen vegetables or multiple packages of veggies frozen from the garden
- Sour cream
- Cream cheese
- Cheeses (I always have cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan, but like lots of kinds of cheeses.)
- Cottage cheese
- Rice milk for those of us who cannot tolerate cow’s milk
- Sunflower Seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Dried herbs
- Fresh fruits and veggies including lemons and limes plus whatever is in season
- Tomato products (usually frozen from garden produce, but some canned for when we run out)
- Jars of pickles
- Raisins (sometimes homemade)
- White vinegar for cleaning and cooking
- Balsamic vinegar
- Apple cider vinegar
Cheap pantry meals
I can pretty much make anything I want to make with these items. I rarely have to go out and buy something to cook with and I cook an average of 4 meals a day including a snack for the kids.
If we want any sweet treats, I make those here, they are much healthier than store-bought. They taste better too.
It’s so much easier to come up with a plan for dinner when you have food on hand and don’t have to run to the store every day to come up with a meal. I love knowing if we got snowed in or anything like that, we could still find something to make to eat.
If you buy your food in bulk to cut down on packaging and well as wasting gas and time running to the store every night.
I have everything I need for tons of different easy pantry meals made from scratch. I cook inexpensively using lots of oats, rice, pasta, and beans for our meals. These items are nutritious and very inexpensive.
Here are 23 easy pantry meals I could make from what I have. If they are highlighted in blue, you can click for the recipes or techniques:
- Granola or granola bars
- Taco soup
- Vegetable soup
- Broccoli cheddar soup
- Scrambled eggs, bacon and toast
- Broccoli rice casserole
- Cucumber salad
- Roast with potatoes and carrots
- Grilled cheese sandwiches
- Sausage Biscuits or Biscuits and gravy
- Chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, and veggies
- Pasta salad
- Meatballs or meatloaf
- Pulled pork sandwiches
Obviously, there are hundreds more, these are just a few ideas. I hope you take these ideas and make a plan of your own to save time and money. There are so many benefits to easy pantry cooking.
For ideas in changing your family to healthy eating, check this out.