Build a Frugal Pantry

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One of my go-to ways to save money is to cook from scratch. I’ve done it for most of my life, actually. Mine was a cooking and baking family. Scratch cooking tastes better and is often the least expensive way to feed your family. Not to mention the healthiest.

During our most serious get-out-of-debt season, I was happy to use coupons for free groceries as a way to reduce our food budget. It was the first time my children had ever had pre-made cookie dough. And it was a very yummy thing.

But over time, I have gone back to cooking from scratch. For health and tastes reasons, this is what our family prefers. This year one of my goals as a homemaker was to reduce the amount of processed foods in our diet. And we’re making baby steps toward the goal.

One of the ways to make that goal a financial reality is to build a frugal pantry.

This past Spring a great group of bloggers partnered with me on the Build a Frugal Pantry series. We shared all kinds of recipes, focusing on twelve ingredient categories. If you stock your pantry with these items, purchased on sale, you will have limitless mealtime options.

Browse the series archives if you missed it the first time around and check out the wealth of ingredients and good cheap eats you can make!

What do YOU do to save money?

Share your favorite money-saving ideas today. Leave a link to a post that shares some frugal wisdom. (Please no giveaways or deals posts. Teach us how to fish!)

About Jessica Fisher

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

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  1. I was about to start building up my pantry supplies, and then found out we are moving! So now I am working on eating out of the pantry, lol!

  2. Great article…I actually did a similar post today too! Great minds think alike!!
    I’m a HUGE fan of cooking from scratch, stocking up on pantry staples when they are on sale, and cooking from my pantry as much as possible.
    I save so much time and money using these methods…and I don’t know anyone who would like a little extra time and money — do you?

  3. Ha! You are funny! I was sitting here wondering what food you were eating 2 years later…. pop tarts, lol?
    I don’t have much of a toiletry stash, except deodorant- which we just found out gives dh a terrible rash! Go figure, the time I buy 10 of something and we can’t use it!

    • @The Happy Housewife, ummm, we’re eating wheat that we moved 2 years ago. 😉 I had just bought about 500 pounds of wheat and then we ended up moving from Ohio to Washington about 3 weeks later! Crazy! :O But buckets of wheat are fairly easy to move and we weren’t paying by weight, only by space, so it worked out… 🙂

  4. I agree! I am building my pantry, cooking and baking from scratch- cutting out the preservatives, and feeling great about it! The time I have saved in just cutting coupons for great deals and not carrying my binder around, ahh the freedom! I h ave even made my own peanut butter and almond butter!

  5. We love “from scratch” foods! I am making pitas tomorrow with homemade hummus. I could live on it!

  6. I actually have a frugal tip this week; thanks so much for hosting as always. 🙂

  7. Thanks for hosting the blog hop. My post this week is about a frugal dinner to use up the little bits of veggies you have in the fridge.

  8. Thanks for the carnival.

    I don’t have a huge pantry, although I cook a lot. I don’t have a ton of space for food storage, so I plan most of our meals around the weekly sales flyers. I buy what I need for the week. If I find an awesome deal, I’ll stock up, but only enough to get me to the next sale.

  9. Thanks for hosting the linky. I always find other interesting blog posts from the linky.

    I do not enjoy cooking but my daughter loves to cook with me and I find the food is so much better (tastes better and better for you) when you make it yourself. Even something like pizza is easy to make yourself and is tastier and less expensive than frozen pizza.

  10. I can’t wait to skim the archives on this one – I’m curious as to the 12 ingredients as I’m a a “cook from scratch” gal too!

  11. I loved that series!

  12. Thanks for the carnival – I can’t wait to browse through these posts and get some more ideas. I blogged about how to save money on pantry items at Trader Joe’s.

  13. One of my long term goals is to get us completely off packaged food. I have no idea if this is ever going to happen and it seemed overwhelming when I was adjusting to the birth of my second and my first son starting school last year. This fall I decided to do babysteps and have implemented a few changes which are saving us a good deal of money.

    The first is making bread again. For some reason it never occured to me to approach this like I do freezer cooking. Last weekend I made four loaves and froze three. Even with how the price of whole wheat flour has increased it’s still cheaper than the $4 a loaf I was paying before.

    Ditching canned beans. This is more an effort to save resources but it also saves money. Our co-op sells 5 lb bags of beans for $3.95 to $7.95. That’s not as cheap as the regular grocery store but considering I was buying organic canned beans for $1 a can I cut that expense in half buying dried. I also included this is my monthly freezer cooking and have enough cooked beans in my freezer to last through October. Looking forward to chili and soup season. Yum. I’ve also started making huge batches of Crock Pot Refried Beans (from Year of Slow Cooking, sorry no link) which saves tons of money as well.

    I would love to start making my own salad dressing but I’m not sure that’s going to happen for awhile. Don’t know if I’m organized enough for that.

  14. Preparation & organization is the key to my saving money at the grocery! I just cleaned out my freezer and threw away a dozen boxes of frozen organic meals that were WAY past their expiration date. I’m trying to buy what I know I can reasonably cook, not all of the “inspired ideas” that I have in the grocery store that never come to fruition.

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.

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