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Neatly arranged canisters of pantry staples

March is National Nutrition Month, which makes it the perfect time to talk about eating well on a budget. There’s a persistent myth that healthful eating is too expensive or time-consuming. Many assume a quick stop at the drive-thru for selections from the “dollar menu” is an easy to way to save money on food. It’s not. Preparing your own food at home is always going to be less expensive and much healthier, too.  canisters of staples in a stocked pantry

Whether you’re an experienced home cook or just starting to plan and prepare meals at home, a well-stocked pantry will make meal planning much easier and help you stick to your food budget. Start with this list of pantry staples and modify it to match your family’s tastes and dietary needs.

Eating gluten free? Find your list of pantry staples here.

Are you vegan? Find your list of pantry staples here.

 Dry Goods

  • Brown or white rice, quinoa or couscous (find cooking tips here)
  • Dry Pasta
  • Cereal (for breakfast and snacks)
  • Crackers
  • Popcorn (just the kernels, not microwave)
  • Nuts and seeds (don’t overbuy; high oil content can cause them to turn quickly)
  • Dried beans (Not sure how to cook them? Learn here)

 Canned and Jarred Goods

  • Pasta sauce
  • Canned tuna, salmon or chicken
  • Peanut, almond or other nut butter
  • Tomatoes (keep paste, sauce and diced on hand for different uses)
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned beans
  • Canned soup (for quick meals)
  • Chicken or vegetable broth
  • Canned fruit
  • Jams and fruit preserves
  • Pickles

 Baking Needs

  • All-purpose flour or whole wheat flour
  • Sugar/Brown Sugar/Powdered sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Cornstarch
  • Old-fashioned oats
  • Chocolate chips
  • Raisins, dried cranberries or other dried fruit
  • Brown sugar
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Honey, maple syrup or agave nectar
  • Yeast

 Condiments & Spices

  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Mayonnaise
  • Soy sauce
  • Oils (olive & coconut)
  • Barbeque sauce
  • Vinegars (white, balsamic, apple cider)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Cumin
  • Chili Powder
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Parsley

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