Whenever I read about frugality, I find a lot about what “not” to buy. Well, I’m going to tell you what you should buy.
This is what to stock up on when it goes on sale. If you can budget even just a few dollars each month for stocking up on sale items it will save you a bundle in the long run.
Here are some of the goodies no Diva pantry should be without.
Salad Dressing – especially Italian, Greek and Balsamic. You can’t make these dressings cheaper at home if the price goes under $1.25. They make great marinades for meat, poultry and fish and you can also use them to dress steamed vegetables. Very versatile.
Canned Tomatoes – All varieties. Lycopene, the antioxidant found in tomatoes, is located in the cell walls. Cooking tomatoes releases lycopene to do its work so canned is actually healthier than fresh. They keep for about a year.
Frozen Vegetables – When the price of frozen goes below the price per pound of the fresh veggies; it’s time to buy frozen. Wait for sales, gather coupons and stock up. Another benefit is they don’t self destruct in your crisper drawer. Kept frozen they remain at peak quality up to 12 months.
Canned Soups – Keep a few cream soups on hand for quick meal fixes and a few main dish soups on hand for emergency meals. Watch for quality brands to go for $1.50 a can or less.
Condiments and Sauces – Like teriyaki, BBQ, mustard and catsup. They keep for a very long time and help with inspiration when it comes to meal planning. Dollar stores and grocery surplus stores are great sources for low cost condiments.
Peanut Butter – It keeps a long time and is always handy. Stored in a cool dry area it’ll last at least two years.
Pasta – Under a dollar a box for the good stuff is a good price. The bagged pasta can be found under 75¢ a few times a year. Stock up! Unopened packages, stored properly last up to three years.
Pasta Sauce – The canned stuff goes on sale under a dollar. If you’re like me you usually add stuff to it anyway, a little onion, garlic and sausage, you know. There’s your last minute meal, ready and waiting.
Baking Supplies – Flour, sugar, baking powder, yeast, chocolate chips and other baking essentials go on sale a couple of times a year. If you stock up on flour, freeze it then seal it tightly in plastic wrap before putting it in the cupboard. It’s a good idea to put flour in the freezer at least 24 hours when you bring it home. Cooties. Nuf said.
Cake & Brownie Mixes – When they get under $1.00 it’s hard to resist the convenience. I consider them insurance against an entertaining crisis. You never know when someone will need an emergency cake.
Canned Tuna – Tuna is a very healthy protein to have on hand. Go beyond the sandwich and enjoy this versatile ingredient in salads, pasta salads, wraps, soups, casseroles, tuna cakes and croquettes, made into dips and small bites as an appetizer. Low, low carb and low price; this is some handy stuff.
Broth and Stock – In an ideal world we’d all have homemade broth in our freezers. But we live in the real world and sometimes you need the convenience of reaching for a can. This kitchen essential makes easy work out of making sauces and gravy, adding flavor to pasta, rice and potatoes. Do I even need to mention soups? When it goes on sale, I buy cases of beef, chicken and vegetable broth to keep in the pantry at all times.
Diva Tip – Take notes. It helps if you know the regular prices of items so you know if you’re getting a good deal. I always recommend you keep a little note pad with you when you shop and record the prices of the items you use regularly.