Stocking your pantry without breaking your budget can be quite a challenge but with some advance planning and by following some simple steps, it can be accomplished rather easily.
One of the first steps is to plan your meals for the week or the month depending on whichever works best for you. By planning ahead, you will know just what ingredients you will need to have on hand and will not risk having to make a quick trip to the store for one or two items.
From your menu you have created, you now want to make your shopping list. It is now time to go through the grocery stores advertisement flier to see which store is offering the best bargains. If the stores have some really outstanding sales, you may want to revise your menu to take advantage of some of the best sales. Some thing else you should consider is to get member’scard for the local grocery store, which gives their members some good discounts on groceries. A friend of mine recently used her member card while shopping the local grocery store. Her bill was $68 but after discounts were taken, she paid $17.
It is also a good idea to check to see what bargains you might find at stores such as dollar stores, or a grocery outlet that allows you to buy groceries at a discount. In our area, there is also a food warehouse that is run by the Mennonites. When buying in places like these, just remember to check for expiration dates.
You will want to stock up on some basics such as flour, sugar, pastas such as spaghetti, and noodles. Canned meats such as tuna, spam, and corned beef are good to have on hand when quick, cheap meals are needed. Other items you might want to consider keeping on hand are cake mixes, peanut butter, cereals, soups and a variety of canned vegetables and fruits. It is also helpful to keep an extra jar of mayonnaise, ketchup, BBQ sauce and salad dressings, so that when one is used up you have a extra one.
If you have time and ambition, you may want to learn to can your own fruits and vegetables. This is an old fashioned, cheap way to stock your pantry. For those who do a lot of home baking, buying flour and sugar in bulk is a great idea. Just make sure these items are stored in good plastic containers.
Some final tips include to make sure you eat before shopping to avoid impulse buying such as those doughnuts that just look so good! Also use coupons only if they bring the cost of the name brand down to the same price as the store brand. Otherwise try to stick to the store brand. Buy in bulk when you find a good sale, but only if you know you will use everything before the expiration date.
By following these simple suggestions and adding some of your own, you will be able to meet the challenge of stocking your pantry, without breaking your budget.