Frugal Pantry Staples
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So yesterday was finally a beautiful day and since it was Sunday we decided to have family out for dinner and grill. On the menu, pork ribs in the smoker and fried fish, potato salad and coleslaw.

Not wanting to buy the expensive and not very good salads from the deli, I wanted to make my own potato salad and coleslaw… Okay, easy enough. I made a list of what I thought I needed and loaded up the kids to head to the store.

There is nothing better than the grocery store on a Sunday morning, HAHA. Three kids all trying to ride in the cart, car seats, diaper bags, and dolls, awe the magic… LOL. That would be an entirely different post topic.

Anyway, we got home, put groceries away and got my potatoes boiling. I grabbed a mason jar to make my dressing in and looked for the mayo in the fridge. Looked high and low.. no mayo. To the pantry… no mayo… This never happens, I mean I LOVE mayo and it is a pantry staples.

And that staple is the main ingredient in both potato salad and coleslaw. UGH!

So back to the store huffing and puffing I went..

Maybe this wouldn’t happen if I was a bit more organized in my pantry.

So here are my 25 frugal pantry staples that I TRY to always keep on hand.

Mayonnaise, Mustard, and Ketchup

The three condiment gods, also the main ingredient in many dressings and recipes.


Rice is so inexpensive and it is so easy to make and can be used in many dishes. I like to serve it with leftover veggies that I have stir-fried or and an easy side dish with meat. It is also a great filler to stretch meals and make them go further.

Dry Beans

Dry beans are a staple frugal pantry item. After cooking a pound of beans you have the equivalent of about 4 cans of canned beans for a fraction of the cost. You can use them in soups, along with rice for vegetarian meals or add to a salad. I try to keep a variety of dried beans on hand that I can throw in the pressure cooker have them ready a quarter of the normal time.


Pasta is a great frugal pantry item. We use all kinds of pasta in our dinners and to stretch soups. It’s easy to store and great to include in casseroles.

Frozen Veggies

Often much cheaper than fresh veggies, the other handy thing about frozen ones is that they last so much longer!

Baking Soda and Baking Powder

These are staples when it comes to baking homemade muffins, banana bread, cookies, and biscuits. You can save so much money by making these bakery items from scratch.


Flour is another inexpensive pantry item that can be used in so many ways. From baking to a thickening agent or even in mixes flour is needed.

Sugar and Honey

Sugar is another home baking staple. Besides baking is also an ingredient in my spaghetti sauce and perfect deviled eggs.

I prefer honey as a substitute for sugar in my teas and breakfast recipes. Check your local farmers market for great honey. The good stuff can get expensive at the grocery store.

Cocoa Powder

Cocoa powder is another frugal pantry staple that I keep on hand. I use it in for the best homemade brownies and chocolate truffle cupcakes.


Oil can be used in baking, cooking, and even making homemade popcorn. Oil is one staple I always have on hand.

Duck egg and chicken egg


Eggs are so great for a frugal meal. You can eat them for breakfast, boil them and make deviled eggs for a side dish. We love making breakfast for dinner. Eggs can be a cheap and easy meal the whole family will love. We have hens for all our egg needs but check your local farmers market for high-quality eggs.


Frugal pantry staple that I use these all the time to make enchiladas, tacos, quesadillas, and wraps.


Always have bread on hand for sandwiches and a quick snack of peanut butter toast.

Peanut Butter

We love peanut butter toast any time of day around here and it is a filling snack for the kiddos.


A staple of frugal living, super versatile- you can use them in soups, casseroles, breakfast dishes or side dishes.

Onions and Garlic

An inexpensive and easy way to add extra flavor to lots of different recipes.


Probably the cheapest kind of meat there is and so versatile too!  

Ground Beef

This is one of the top pantry staples and I like to keep it on hand because it’s so easy to make lots of quick meals with it.  You can also substitute half beans or rice to make that pound of beef go even further.  Zaycon Fresh also has quality ground beef for awesome prices as well!

Dried Herbs/Spices

Dried herbs and spices are a great way to add flavor to your recipes.  Garlic powder, onion powder, garlic salt, season salt, Italian seasoning are just a few that I always keep in the kitchen.

Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies

A flavor punch that can be added to many recipes when they just need that extra zing. Mix with a block of Velveeta for easy, zesty cheese dip!

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Frugal Pantry Staples

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Kathleen

    I enjoyed reading your post. I try to keep my Staples on hand. I find that I do better using the free Note app on my phone to list what I need or am about out of. I keep my phone near me so I don’t forget when I get to the store. Thanks.

    1. The Courageous Chicken

      That is a great way to keep track of want you need to pick up. I am a pen and paper kinda gal so I usually have a few lists of items floating around.

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