Well here we are in part 2...the pantry or cupboards if you don't have one.
I always try to keep a fully stocked pantry. Not just because I live in the middle of nowhere but it makes mealtime easier. Sometimes I just pick a couple things from my pantry, throw them together and there is dinner. I have come up with some interesting things let me tell you. It is nice to find a new recipe I want to try out and know I already have everything I need for it. No extra shopping trips needed!
Here are the things I keep in my cupboards:
Diced Tomatoes- Yes I buy them in cans, or even can my own in the summer. I can't tell you how many meals I use these in. When there is a sale I buy LOTS.
Tomato Sauce-I buy tons of these too. They are usually .37 cents a can at King Soopers and I buy ten at a time. I use these for everything. My favorite is my fideo! You can make your own pizza sauce and or spaghetti sauce too.
Spaghetti Sauce-I sometimes buy this but usually just make a whole bunch of it and freeze it.
Canned green chilies or jalapenos-Great way to add spice to your meals. In the summer I actually buy a ton, cut them up and freeze them. This summer I got 10 jalapenos for a dollar, not too shabby.
Pasta-Ok we all know the whole wheat kind is the best and sometimes you can get some great deals on them and normally they are only about .20 cents more than the regular kind. Pasta can last up to a year unopened so if you see a sale stock up!
Canned Fruit-I know the real stuff is best but if you drain the can of all the who knows what it is not so bad. I love to add canned fruit to my cottage cheese:) I also can fruit in the summer, especially when I get peaches for free!
Fideo Cortado-This is a staple at our house. It is not the healthiest thing in the world but it is something I grew up on and I always add some veggies to feel better about it lol You can find this at the grocery store in the Mexican aisle. It is usually around .40 cents a bag. The recipe I use is above!
Condiments-Always look for deals at the grocery and stock up. I always have tons of BBQ sauce, salad dressings, soy sauce, peanut butter, ketchup, buffalo sauce, etc...
The kind you buy is your preference. Sometimes I get these for free:)
Canned soups- These are terrible for you and it is much better to make them yourself. But let's be honest sometimes it is easier. I always have some just in case!
Baking Supplies- I LOVE to bake. It is just one of those things that helps me with stress. I think it is ok as long as I don't eat it all. I always eat at least a piece of whatever I make and give the rest away. Crazy I know but you should never deprive yourself. Ok sorry on to supplies....
-Flours- I buy 25 lbs of white flour from Sam's club it is 7 dollars...yep. I also buy Wheat Flour from the grocery store, 4 lbs for around 3 dollars. I always make everything half white, half wheat. Sometimes making things pure wheat can taste strange and kill your stomach.
-Sugar-Some people think buying in bulk is cheaper but it is NOT. It is more expensive. I just stock up when it is on sale, usually around holiday time at the good old grocery store. Brown sugar is on sale all the time so I stock up on that too.
-Chocolate Chips- I buy these at Sam's. I can't remember the price but you get a 72 oz bag and it lasts a long while.
Cereal-I don't buy healthy cereal all the time but I also don't eat it (Marcus does). I can sometimes get cereal for $1 and a lot of times it is cheerios or life cereal. It isn't Kashi but better than froot loops!
Snacks-We usually try to buy snacks at the dollar tree. They have nuts, and dried fruit, popcorn, pretzels, applesauce, graham crackers, animal crackers and fruit snacks. We are snackers around here, plus I make Marcus a lunch 2-3 times a week.
I know I missed a lot of things in here but you once again get my point right?
There are many things you can do to save money and eat healthy. If you take an hour or two a week and cook some beans, make some tortillas, portion out snacks (I also buy sandwich bags, gallon and quart bags from the dollar tree),cook some rice and freeze it, make oatmeal and freeze it,etc... It doesn't take too much time to plan and prepare for the weeks ahead. Make yourself a list and go to it.
One thing I want to point out is that every household is different. I am just giving you examples of what I have in my house. If you still have full fat cream of something soup or white rice, or white pasta don't throw it out. Use it until it is gone and then get brown or whole wheat. Just add some extra veggies;)