basic pantry staples
I am sure you are all aware of the holiday season is creeping upon us. For those of us who are trying to save money, it is important to know what ingredients you will need to make things like this awesome new Day Of The Dead Cocoa Bomb. Knowing your basic pantry staples, you can have a little more flexibility with your budget for the holidays.
How to Fill A Pantry on A Budget
It can be tough to stock up on groceries. Learning a few things about the store and the tips & tricks for getting it all done in one trip is a great way to live healthily and on a budget. Knowing what your basic recipe ingredients are will help.
Now History has taught us how important it is to have food on hand for tough times. Think about this past pandemic 2019. Knowing that we live in a fragile and interconnected world we should always be prepared. This includes stocking up on healthy and non-perishable foods and other necessary supplies, just in case! So, we need basic pantry ingredients regardless of the time of year.
I’m not telling you to be paranoid, but it’s always better to be ready. Having a full pantry is one of the best ways you can help not only your financial situation but also your food security. After all, if you can save money in one area of your life, you can use it to pay off another area, whether it be clearing debt or investing in your future.
First things first: Know your likes and dislikes
I wouldn’t buy a bunch of beans if I wasn’t going to use them. What’s the point in buying a bunch of cans of chili if you hate beans? It might be good to know what your favorite soups and meals are going to be ahead of time so you have prepared ingredients. This is why you need to know your upcoming Holiday recipes.
You want to make sure you have the required ingredients for the next holiday recipe so it’s important to be brutally honest with yourself about what you really like and don’t.
To make it easier for yourself, make a list (if you need to). Those things will be the ones you work on getting more of. Even if the list is very short, it’ll still mean more supplies than you had before.
Work your store selling cycle
You probably never noticed, but there’s a high and low price for every product at your grocery store. This means that if you wait to buy your favorite products when they’re on sale, it’ll save you bundles in the long run. Plus if you use coupons too, it will give you even more of a deal.
It can be hard to figure out what your store cycle is. Saving weekly sales ads from about six weeks, then figuring out any patterns from them could help a lot.
Some staples like pasta and cereal go on sale every six to eight weeks. If you watch for the lowest prices before you add those products to your list, you will be rocking the deals. Keep a record of these low prices so that when it’s time to restock, you know what the cheapest price has been and how long it’s been since they first went on sale.
Picking up ten boxes of pasta for a dollar each saves you almost 10 dollars if you eat it once a week, and the usual price is two dollars per box.
Think about how much other groceries you can buy. For example, canned vegetables or macaroni and cheese. You can see that working just the store’s cycle pays off in a big way for your budget!
This should be your go-to trick for pasta, grains, ready-to-eat cereal, crackers, and cookies. Stocking your pantry appropriately could save a lot of money toward your Holiday food bill.
Check the clearance aisle
Scratch ‘n Dent isn’t the same as it used to be. You can often find items that were pulled off the shelves for a fairly trivial reason like the company changed their packaging. Maybe they did a store reset and have chosen to discontinue this item.
For example, dried goods like beans and rice can last a long time even if they’re close to expiration. If you’ve got any pasta or rice in your pantry, you might be able to enjoy it years after it’s made if you store them properly.
The flavors of certain foods like rice, sugar, salt, and honey can last indefinitely (and still taste great) if stored properly.
I love the site Still Tasty – for a good guideline of how safe something is if it is past its date.
Coupon Clipping is not the same as it was five years ago, everything’s gone digital. The first step is getting a store loyalty card. Some advertised specials are only for store-card holders.
Check their website to see if they have coupons and discounts that are available with your store card. It’s really easy and saves you time. You can even get cool stuff without feeling like you need scissors to use them!
It’s hard to believe this, but there are still paper coupons around. Some are printed in your store’s ad circular and others are in free weekly deals from your local paper + you chuck those out as soon as you get ’em
If you have a printable coupon and a digital coupon, be sure to stack them for extra savings!
Buy in bulk
The price of pre-portioned convenience really adds up when you look at the cost per ounce on an item. Let’s pick Doritos. You can buy a full bag, on sale for $2.50, or buy three to four bags at $0.75 apiece when you get the single-serving packs. If you take that large bag and break it down into smaller bags, you will easily have six to eight bags of snacks instead of just three to four.
I am not saying you have to get the jumbo cans of baked beans, but all of those pudding cups, fruit cups, and 4 count cookie packs really charge you for that work of breaking them down.
All of these ideas can help you get basic pantry staples for the entire Holiday season and all of the awesome Holiday recipes! Do you have any ideas for me?
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