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It’s hard to eat right on a budget! That’s because many of us become overwhelmed at how to start. Most of the time, we end up buying food that just sits in our fridge and goes bad because we’re unsure of what to do with it! Luckily, there’s an easy way to save money. There are 10 food staples every frugal kitchen should have. These are items that hardly go bad, always come in handy, and can be tossed together to create a meal in a pinch.
#1: Can of Black Beans
Black beans are a great staple to keep in your pantry because they have benefits such as protection from inflammation, common nutrient deficiencies, and heart disease! Black beans are also versatile. You can use them to make burgers, salads, casseroles, and more. They last 1-2 years in the pantry and you can use them as the main protein in a meal.
Chickpeas can be used as a quick snack a quick meal or even an appetizer! You can use them as a substitute for meat on top of a salad, inside of a wrap, or even in an omelet. Chickpeas can be baked in the oven and sprinkled with seasoning for a quick snack. Otherwise, you can ground them up and make a delicious hummus for the whole family to enjoy. Chickpeas are very forgiving and therefore you can use any seasoning that you enjoy on them. My favorites include paprika, sea salt, and ranch seasoning.
Rice is a great side dish for almost any meal. It doesn’t matter if it’s white, brown, jasmine, long grain or more. If you have a protein in your freezer, you can make a meal by pairing it with rice. It’s a quick and easy fix. Rice is also filling and can be added to thicken soups and crock pot recipes. There are even ways to turn rice into the main course.
A box of pasta is important to keep in your pantry at all times, especially if you have kids. If you don’t have hardly any other ingredients in your house, you can still make a filling meal out of pasta. That’s because all you need is a few ingredients like butter, cheese, seasoning, or sauce. There are over 100 different pasta recipes out there that couldn’t be easier to whip together on a weeknight.
#5 Marinara Sauce
Marinara sauce is the perfect sauce to have on hand. It’s versatile and can be used to toss over a helping of noodles, used to make a homemade pizza, or as a dipping sauce for anything else you have on hand. Nowadays, there are so many different options for jarred sauce. Recipes are advanced and you can hardly tell the difference between those ones and homemade!
#6 Carton of Eggs
As long as you have eggs in your fridge, you will never go hungry. It’s about time that we break the stigma that eggs are only for breakfast. Eggs are the cheapest and easiest way to up your protein intake. Eggs can also be cracked over a stir fry, served on top of a salad, or mixed in with a delicious soup.
A jar of mayonnaise is key to always have on hand. That’s because it’s great for sandwiches! You need it to make egg salad, tuna salad, and chicken salad! Mayonaise is also a great condiment that you can spread on bread or use to add flavor to chicken. Mayonaise is used in many different appetizers such as dips, sauces, and deviled eggs.
#8 Frozen Cauliflower
A bag of frozen cauliflower should always be in your freezer. You can heat it up as a side or create entire vegetarian meals out of it. Frozen cauliflower can be used as a substitute for bread, pizza crust, chicken wings, rice, and more! You can roast, saute, fry it, and more!
#9 Shredded Cheese
I always have shredded cheese in my fridge. I also keep a bag in my freezer to prolong its life. Cheese is one of those items that goes so well on just about anything. You can jazz up plain boring chicken with cheese, sprinkle it on top of just about anything, or eat it plain as a snack. There are 70 recipes alone on how you can use cheese to make mac & cheese recipes. Cheese is also low carb so it’s perfect for those who are watching their weight.
#10 Ramen Noodles
No longer is Ramen Noodles that food you ate in college when you couldn’t afford anything else. It is now kept in kitchens across the country to create gourmet meals out of! That’s because the twisty noodles are perfect for soups, pasta, casseroles and more. There are literally hundreds of different recipes you can choose from. Sometimes, it’s as simple as adding an egg and cheese to your ramen for a hearty breakfast.
Conclusion: Frugal Kitchen Staples
So did you enjoy the list? We think that these are great items in order to ensure that you save money, never go hungry, and aren’t wasting food. Is there any kitchen staple we missed that you keep in your kitchen at all times? Tell us about it in the comments!
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