Friday, March 14, 2014

Frugal Friday: Pantry Principle

So far for the month of March, I have spent $36 on groceries.  My cupboards are on the bare side.  But I could go another week if I had to because I use the pantry principle in my meal planning.  All that means is I always have the same basic items on hand and then plan my meals around that.  I find it helps to keep the costs down, rather than having to purchase special items for a meal.  I save the that for special occasions.


Keep in mind that my list is probably going to look different than others. I buy a couple of convenience foods (ketchup, boxed cereal, etc.) but most everything I purchase are staples because I do all my cooking from scratch. I started doing that about 15 years ago because I have a daughter with severe, multiple food allergies and I didn't want to take a chance that she would have an anaphylactic reaction. Then I found that it was much cheaper to cook this way.

I keep a certain amount of each item in my pantry and when I go shopping, I restock whatever is below the normal amount. So if I normally would have 10 cans of diced tomatoes and I use up 5, when I go shopping I purchase 5 more.



Here is my list:

Meats-I tend to purchase the same kinds of meat but I will get it when it's on sale. So if I go to the store and chicken breast is on sale, I will stock up on that. The next time ground beef or pork may be on sale, so I'll stock up with those. Eventually, I have a good stock of meat in my freezer to choose from.

Chicken breast
Whole chicken
Ground beef
Pork
Beef  - this is almost never purchased anymore because of the cost.  Prices are crazy!
Pork sausage
Bacon
Fish  when there is a good sale

Canned Goods
Diced tomatoes
Tomato sauce - I can my own
Tomato paste
Crushed tomatoes
Salsa - I will make my own in the summer time
Spaghetti Sauce - I keep about 2 jars on hand for when I make pizza so I can just put sauce on it without having to make it from scratch. The rest of the time I make my own.
Tuna
Olives
Evaporated milk
Sweetened condensed milk
Cherry pie filling
Pumpkin

Condiments
Vinegar - balsamic, red wine vinegar, rice vinegar, white, and apple cider
Mayonnaise
Mustard
Ketchup
Soy sauce

Grains & dried legumes
Unbleached white flour
Whole wheat flour
Rye flour
Cornmeal
Pinto beans
Split peas
Lentils
Black beans
Cannelloni beans
Oats - old-fashioned rolled oats, quick, and steel cut
Rice - brown, wild, white
Cereal
Pasta

Dairy Products
Milk
Half-n-half
Heavy cream
Sour cream
Butter
Cheese

Baking Items
Sugar - white, brown, confectioner's sugar
Maple Syrup
Honey
Spices - too many to list
Extracts
Tapioca
Baking Soda
Baking Powder
Salt
Coconut
Chocolate chips
Yeast
Olive oil
Canola oil
Shortening

Frozen Items
Frozen peas
Frozen corn
The rest of the frozen veggies are from our garden
Ice cream - the one splurge we have though I have made it in the past and it's much better than store bought
Orange juice

Fresh Fruit & Veggies-I buy in season
Apples
Oranges
Bananas
Lettuce
Cucumbers
Carrots
Tomatoes
Celery
Onions
Garlic
Cabbage
Green peppers
Red peppers
Potatoes

I'm sure I'm missing some things but this gives you a general idea.   Anyway, that's my frugal contribution for the week.  You can head over to Rebecca's blog for more ideas.