Common food staples
What do you usually have stocked up in your pantry? When it comes to common staples, what are the items you just can't live without?
For me the following is almost always in the house:
Cream of Mushroom
canned refried beans
sugar (both white and brown)
Dried beans and lentils are an excellent source of protein and whenever I am out of meat in my freezer, make for a nice meal. Pasta and rice too are staples, I almost have one or the other (or a potato) as a side dish. Canned tuna is wonderful because it is a bit versatile- you can serve it in a sandwich or with a pasta (like Tuna Casserole). Tomato sauce is important because I either use it for spaghetti or one of my casseroles. I can't live without Cream of Mushroom (canned). I haven't resorted to making it on my own and perhaps I should, but I love the Campbell's stuff. Canned refried beans are great too, for a meal or a snack, just put it in a tortilla and you have a little meal right there. Canned veggies are essential too, but I am considering switching to frozen because of the processed nature of canned veggies. Flour and sugar in case I need to bake anything.
Any of those ingredients above can make a meal for a family and that is why I usually almost always have them in stock in my pantry. Since we stopped doing the once-a-month shopping trip, I am finding myself not running out of food towards the end of the month. Generally speaking, we do a small trip to the grocery store or gas station for milk and bread once a week or every other week, but for meats and other items we go twice a month now.
Speaking of grocery shopping, I love Costco. Now I can understand why my mom and sister hesistate to shop there because they are both single and don't have the need for things in bulk, but I'll tell you- for a family, it's awesome. I mean, I was buying refried beans (one of my staples) at the grocery store for 4 for $5 (small cans!). At Costco I get 8 cans for $5.79. Bread too- the more organic or wholegrain breads you pay $3-4 per loaf at the grocery store, I can buy it for under $5 for two loaves at Costco. 3 lbs of bananas is $1.30? Insane, isn't it? It's easy to get carried away though, which is why I usually have a list and usually stick to it for the most part.