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Keep These 5 Cheap Items In Your Pantry At All Times

Pantry food may get a bad rap sometimes, but there are few things more comforting than a bowl of easy-to-make quinoa or pasta. It’s relatively cheap, quick, and fills you up while letting you stick to your budget.

Most importantly, these pantry essentials are versatile, and let you cook up many different things; perfect for those who are busy with jobs, school, or kids. Or, you know, those stuck inside for a while due to the occasional global pandemic. Here are five food items you should consider having in your pantry more or less at all times…

Photo: Shutterstock/Marie C Fields

Whole Grains and Bread

Rice is the perfect side dish for a variety of different meals, and a great addition to taco bowls, curries, and casseroles. Bread and tortillas can make you a delicious sandwich or turkey wrap for lunch, and quinoa is the go-to quick and healthy choice for those who want to eat well on a budget. The bottom line? There’s a reason that whole grains and bread are recommended in nearly every diet – they’re versatile and can keep your family fed for weeks.

Photo: Pexels/Pixabay


There are about a million different types of pasta and even more ways to cook them. Spaghetti with meatballs, lasagna, chicken Alfredo, you name it. All you need is a box of your favorite pasta and a handful of other ingredients (if even necessary) to quickly make a cheap, gourmet dish. Also, mac and cheese; what else is there to say?

Photo: Pexels/Shattha Pilabut


Almonds are a healthy and delicious snack on their own, but everybody knows that they’re even better baked into a dessert, or used in a salad. Keep a bag of almonds, pecans, and cashews in the pantry to add a crunchy texture to your favorite meals. They can even make a healthier replacement for chips when you’re in the mood for something crunchy and salty.

Beans And Legumes

Chickpeas, lentils, and black beans are great sources of protein and cost significantly less than meat. Add beans to chilies and tacos for a bit of flavor, or lentils for a delicious curry – the options are endless. Buy them canned or dry, and store them in pretty jars for a bit of kitchen decoration.

Photo: Shutterstock/Africa Studio

Some Sort Of Flour

Just reading that one word probably comes to mind – baking. But flour can be used for more than just baking. It can be used for pancake mixes, biscuits, or even egg pasta.

Behind The Pantry

Not everybody has the time or budget to cook a five-course gourmet meal every night. So give yourself a break now and then, and keep it simple-stupid. There’s little to no harm in indulging in some good, old-fashioned pantry food, as long as it doesn’t become your daily go-to.