How To Do a Pantry Week
I'm so excited to share with you how I save money and get super resourceful by using what I already have on hand to do what I like to call a "Pantry Week"
My husband and I are really watching our grocery budget as we realized it was a huge leak in our finances. I LOVE food and love cooking, but I was buying too many ingredients and not utilizing what we had. We love to do this towards the end of the month to use up items in both our pantry and freezer/fridge.
Here are some basics to get you started:
- Make sure you clean out your pantry and get rid of JUNK. When I talk about using what you have I don't mean eating 7 days worth of boxed mac and cheese...My mission is to help you see that even though it's easy, you want it to be as healthy as possible.
- Get creative! Many times you will find a recipe that you don't have EXACTLY the right ingredient for, but know you can improvise. Substitutions are welcome and you might be pleasantly surprised at what you come up with!
- Still plan ahead. Take inventory of what you have, plan your meals for the week and then do the most minimal shopping so you can fill in the gaps (You might need and want some fresh produce)
- Check out a site called allrecipes.com you can put in ingredients you have (even if they are random) and it will spit you out recipes that match!
I recorded a live video to walk you through these steps- feel free to check it our here
Here are some great staples you might have on hand already or you can start adding to your collection
GRAINS: Whole wheat pasta, wild rice, quinoa, gluten free pasta, rice ramen, tortillas, oats, popcorn, cornmeal mix
PRODUCE: Onions, garlic, shallots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, (and any other produce from the fridge like carrots, celery...)
DRESSINGS AND SAUCES: Olive oil, avocado oil, apple cider vinegar, marinara sauce, taco sauce or mix, salad dressings, mayo, balsamic vinegar, coconut oil
NUTS AND SEEDS: almonds, pistachios, peanuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, raisins, craisins, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, nut butters (peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower butter, cashew butter)
CANNED GOODS: tomato paste, diced or whole tomatos, black beans, chick peas, canned chicken/tuna/salmon, sundered tomato, green chilis, green chili sauce, salsa, olives
SPICES: Salt and pepper, garlic, tarragon, dill, basil, lemon pepper, cinnamon, sugar, cardamon, italian seasoning, paprika, chili or taco mix
BAKING ITEMS: Flour, sugar, salt, cocoa powder, maple syrup, almond flower, baking powder
FREEZER ITEMS: Chicken, turkey, fish, beef, shrimp, frozen veggies or steamer bags, frozen fruit, tempeh, tofu
I made this free download for you to use grocery shopping or to keep your pantry well stocked
Ok so now that you have a well stocked, clean eating pantry you can start putting things together. Again, the point is for you to use up what you have on hand, be creative and be flexible! Here is a list of ideas to get your juices flowing!
Egg and veggie casserole in the oven
Oatmeal Crock pot bake
Egg and veggie muffin cups
Tuna or chicken salad on lettuce or crackers
Soup!!! (take all the veggies you have, sauce them, add some broth and a protein and you are good to go!)
Quinoa or past casserole bakes
Rice ramen stir fry with tofu
Crockpot soups or roasts
Homemade pizza topped with fridge findings!
Salmon or tuna cakes
Spaghetti Squash with meat sauce
*I created a downloadable checklist for you of these items!
Here are a few recipes to get you started: