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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

5 Kitchen Essential for Frugal Meals

Ever wonder how your grandparents always seemed to have food on the table even when times were tough? And yet, it seems that we can blow hundreds of dollars every week at the grocery store. Wouldn't you like to know their secret to create frugal meals? Well it's not really a secret; it was just good planning that allowed their dollar to stretch further.

It's what ingredients you have in your pantry that determines how far your food supplies will go. Stocking your pantry with few kitchen staples will make the difference between heading to the grocery store every few days instead of every other week. Stocking these key items will allow you to create simple frugal meals.

1. Rice -You can buy rice in bulk for a little money and with some creative cooking, really make it do some heavy duty work in the kitchen. First off, think beyond the side dish. Add in frozen vegetables for a substantial dinner accompaniment. Add in some sliced meat, vegetables and fry it up in a large pan and you have homemade fried rice. Mix up rice with spices or a can of soup and some meat and use it in one dish casserole that can even be frozen. Rice can also be used for a dessert, like rice pudding.

2. Flour - flour is a starter for many frugal cooking recipes. It helps make gravy, biscuits, rolls and bread. Flour is a must for any baking recipes like cake or cookies. Making your own desserts is a great frugal cooking tip.

3. Spices - Have a selection of spices on hand is a great frugal meals tip. Spices will literally "spice" up a boring meal, or help you re-use leftovers and turn them into a new meal. When stocking your spice cabinet, look beyond salt and pepper and experiment with the spices of different cuisines like Italian, Chinese and Indian.

4. Pasta -Dried pasta can be used in many different meals. A big bowl of pasta is very filling and is easy to make. Add a great sauce or throw in vegetables and some meat and the pasta is the basis for a substantial dish. Stuffed pasta also makes a great meal and you can make a large tray of it and have leftovers for several days.

5 Beans - Beans are a great kitchen staple, since they are inexpensive and an excellent source of protein and other nutrients. And for some great frugal meals, think beyond baked beans. Add beans as salad toppers, make a black bean dip or soup, our add to rice, another staple and you have a complete dish.

Are these food staples in your kitchen? Take advantage of sales at the store and stock up on these long-lasting kitchen basics so you can create frugal meals all week long.

Andrea Stein is the founder of, a cookware and kitchen news and review site. A passionate cook and foodie, Andrea has made the place for honest and comprehensive reviews of cooking and kitchen tools. Stop by to get your Free Essential Crockpot Recipes.

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Joquena said...

I try to always keep my pantry stocked. When I see a good sale I pounce... which gets me some interesting looks in the grocery store. Have you ever noticed how most people walk out of the grocery store with 1-2 bags? I don't get it!

Bloggers said...

yeah, I do not understand how some one can go to the grocery store and only come out with 1 - 2 bags. It just drives me crazy. I always see things on sale to stock up on and I get some weird looks too. LOL Most people in my small town, it seems ( I might be wrong) like they shop for each meal , each day. They do not buy a weeks worth or whatever. Just weird.

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