Budget Pantry Staples

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. We participate in other affiliate programs as well. For more details, please see our disclosure policy.

I’m coming off the heels of a month-long pantry challenge. I learned a lot. And I’m glad it’s over.

It was a great exercise in making do with what we had as well as a wonderful reminder to be thankful. My cup overflows, for sure.

Build a Frugal Pantry

Spending a month scrounging in my pantry and freezer also reminded me to be a little more deliberate in what I choose to fill my pantry with. Many nights as I was throwing together a soup or pasta dish, I would say, “If only I had….” And quite often it was the same “if only’s” that I was wishing for.

Like last year, I have a renewed desire to build a frugal pantry, to take some time and money and methodically stockpile the items that best suit our family’s dietary habits and best fit our budget.

I spent some time putting together a checklist of pantry staples that are building blocks of my go-to meals and I’m going to be on the look up for stock-up opportunities. When I finally busted out at the grocery store, I was amazed to find pasta for amazing prices — from 50 cents to free, after sales and coupons. Pasta plays a major role in my frugal pantry, so I bought about 24 boxes.

Yes, yes, I did.

But, I only paid about ten bucks for all of it.

A Staples Checklist

It took a little time to put together my Pantry Staples Checklist, but I’m so glad I did. It’s going to save me some thinking later in the month as I go about restocking. And restocking on staple items on sale is going to save me some money, too.

(I’ve made the checklist all spiffy with interactive checkboxes and a few fillable fields. It’s available to subscribers and Facebook friends during the month of February.)

What do YOU do to save money?

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

Read Newer Post
Read Older Post


  1. I love your posts. I’ve been thinking more about our pantry stock since our pantry challenge too and pasta was one I definitely needed to stock up on.

  2. I really need to start this. I do in small ways.. but I need to organize things a little better.

  3. I really need to do a pantry challenge. My pantry needs to be cleaned out.

    Thanks for the link-up.

  4. I need to stock up on those staples too. As long as I can get whole wheat pasta at that good of a price, I too will stock up. Thanks for sharing.

  5. America amazes me… We never ever can find food that cheap here. Even with a coupon, I’d be lucky to get pasta for $1 per box. Coupons aren’t abundant and the prices are much higher!

    I linked to my taco seasoning recipe. I’ve never calculated the actual savings, but I’m sure it is substantial if you calculate time to go to the store, etc. Plus it tastes great and has no preservatives!

  6. Good idea!

    I just bought a LOT of rice at the grocery store for the same reason. It is a staple and I found a great price.

  7. I find your pantry challenge and this post amusingly timed- no, I hadn’t read the posts on the topic beforehand, but I just decided to embark on my own challenge- a “how long can I last on only the foods in my house and what I forage- how long can I go without grocery shopping.” No, I don’t plan on doing this for a month. I usually go grocery shopping anyhow only once a month without midmonth trips for milk or produce- I conveniently use the produce in the order in which it will spoil, use powdered milk and frozen dairy products and meat, and forage for veggies to supplement our food. I find it amusing that a one month pantry challenge is a challenge, because that’s just how I live my life. 😀
    So glad you learned a lot though!

  8. This topic has come up in a different way this week for me. My Creative Budget list was talking about using a pantry as an investment tool, and then Get Rich Slowly had an article on the same idea: http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2011/02/02/fight-rising-prices-by-building-your-own-food-bank/

    I’m not sure if anyone mentioned this, but having a vegetable garden is another investment that can help fight rising food prices. A packet of seeds runs anywhere from $.99 to $1.49 and can produce pounds of food over a growing season. It’s also an investment in one’s health if done organically.

  9. I like stocking up on rice, beans, brown rice pasta:)

  10. I want to stop eating junk food! Help!

  11. We tried the Garden Delight Pasta and we love it. Got it free with coupons. (smile) Love your blog!

  12. Yeah, I need to restock my pantry too!

  13. Love these ideas…always looking for more and new ways to save money and be frugal!

  14. Susan M. says

    I would love to see the staples checklist…and I am a subscriber, but I can’t see where to get the checklist. Help? Thanks!

  15. Just found you…and excited to check out frugal mommy tips…could spend hours and hours I am sure! Way to go on the pasta deals…I love combining sales and coupons!

  16. Great idea! I have a list like that myself:-)

  17. I made a list of items to always have on hand in my pantry, fridge and freezer and it has saved me a lot of time and money! It has made those days when I get home late from running errands or taking the kids to and from practice and need to get dinner on the table quickly much easier! Here’s my list:


  18. Rice, Lentils, Beans, dry milk powder, canned tomatoes, dried herbs/spices… these are things I like to keep a lot in my pantry.

Thanks so much for participating in this conversation about "a mom's life."

This is a place where moms can be themselves. Remember that each mother's path looks a little different. Please keep your comments respectful and kind. Reasonable minds will disagree in a nice way.

So let's talk about it, using "our big girl words."

Share Your Thoughts