It can be such a hassle to get everyone out the door in the morning that the last thing on your mind is what to cook for dinner.
However, when you have dealt with work problems all day, you can be mighty cranky prowling the aisles for something quick and easy to get the dinner meal on the table.
This is where a stocked-up pantry saves the day. If you have plenty of shelf space you can put that to good use, but even if you don’t you can store items in the garage or other storage area.
Let’s take a look at some of the food items that can make your life a whole lot easier whether it is for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Canned or Dried Beans
There are so many ways to use beans and they are a good source of protein. You can cook the dried beans but you would probably need to use a crock pot if you wanted to have them for dinner.
Canned beans can also be added to salad, soups, and pastas. You can also swap in beans for half of the meat in tacos or other dishes.
I like to keep canned tuna, chicken, or salmon on hand for those grab-and-go dinners you need in a hurry. Make sandwiches, or add to salads, pasta, or casseroles.
Whole-Grain Low Sugar Cereals
You will have to read the nutrition labels to see which cereals meet your needs, but this is a quick way to feed the kids a quick nourishing breakfast. Store in a glass canister or a Tupperware™ container. Cereal can also be used for a healthy addition to trail mix, or a crispy breading for your meat dishes.
Basic Baking Items
Flour, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder are things that are used frequently so keep them in stock. When you have overripe apples, you can use these ingredients to make an apple crisp.
Dried Fruit and Nuts
There are quite a few dishes that call for dried fruit or nuts. Salads, cookies, cinnamon rolls, and granola are just a few dishes that are tastier when they contain dried fruits or nuts.
Keep trail mix on hand for healthy snacking and it packs well for snacks on the road.
You need healthy oil for frying, sautéing, and making salad dressings. Use canola oil if you are on a budget, but if not use olive oil which is healthier.
Pasta and Sauce
It’s a lifesaver to have these items in your pantry when time is short and the family is impatiently waiting for dinner. For fun you could get different shapes of pasta, and different flavors of sauce. You can add meat or just make a vegetarian pasta with pasta, sauce, and cheese.
If you’re like me, you have probably been all ready to cook, and you are out of that one spice you needed to finish the recipe. Salt and pepper are always needed, and garlic powder and onion powder, are also popular. For desserts use spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice.
It may take awhile to stock your pantry but once you do, it will save you so much time and money. So, motor down to the grocery store and start stocking up.