Meals That Stretch Part 2: Pantry Staples

by Nicole on September 15, 2011

After doing Meals that Stretch Part 1, I thought this would be a good follow up post. Maybe it should have come before the first post, but oh well, such is life. I have many clients who feel like they need to start completely over as far as building their pantry, but really that’s not true. You probably have more good things in there than you think, and if not it’s only a food store trip away.

I will say that it may seem expensive building a healthy pantry and the initial investment is expensive. BUT with that said, once you fill your pantry with staples, than you only need to replenish as necassary. It’s never as expensive as the first time. ALSO, although your food bill may increase, the more you eat at home the more you will save money AND eat better. And guess what, saving money AND eating better = you feeling better. Amazing right?

So what should you have in your pantry?


(note: I would show you my now pantry, but it’s more of many small cabinets at this point….so this picture will have to do for now!)

*Like I said in my part 1, if you prepare food one day a week it will save you loads of time during the week. Get some grains and beans going and there is a basis to a great meal.

*I have canned beans in my pantry because they are quick and easy, which a lot of my clients need. I do prefer dried beans, but it’s not always as easy as making a grain. Having both varieties allows you the option to make beans ahead of time, or open a can. Remember if you use canned beans, drain and rinse those beans WELL to avoid the added salt/sodium.

*This is a list of my staples, yours may be totally different. If you have all of these things in your kitchen it will make life much easier for you. Healthy meals will come quickly and easily with these foods. The combinations are endless!

Check out Angela’s post on 5 make ahead lunch meals which goes perfectly with this post. Part 1 and part 2!

What are your kitchen staples? What am I missing?

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg September 15, 2011 at 9:54 am

Having a well-stocked pantry really does make cooking at home SO much easier!
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Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic September 15, 2011 at 11:31 am

We have similar staples but I stock up on a lot of different cheeses and of course chocolate ;)
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joanna September 15, 2011 at 6:00 pm

this is such a helpful post!


Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun September 15, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Great list! A lot of it is in my pantry as well. I usually do canned beans because I can never remember to soak dried beans before I need them.
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