There have been lots of articles and YouTube videos make recently about stockpiling or prepping for uncertain times. We have seen food shortages across the world for various reasons and it really does pay to have extras in your pantry.
Some people spend thousands on dollars on building a very impressive stockpile ( or in some cases a hoard ). This might not be in everyone's budget so I thought I'd compile a list of very cheap pantry items that anyone can afford.
* Flour - plain, self raising, wholemeal or for those who have food intolerances the flours you can use. Flour prices start at $1 a kilo. When you have flour on hand you can bake bread, bake sweet or savoury snacks, use it to thicken stews and so many other uses.
* Sugar - I buy white, raw and icing sugar. From white sugar I make castor sugar and brown sugar. Sugar is used in baked goods, desserts, relishes, chutneys, sauces and jam making. White sugar prices start at $1.10 per kilo
* Pasta - any shape will do. We still have about 5 years worth of spaghetti pasta that was given to us about 3 years ago. We also use spiral pasta in pasta bakes and small shell pasta in soups. Pasta has a very long shelf life if stored in airtight containers or packets. Pasta prices start at 80 cents for 500 grams.
* Tinned vegetables. - We stock up on tinned tomatoes in case our garden crop doesn't grow well. I keep tinned corn kernels and creamed corn for soups and casseroles. We also have beetroot for Summer salads. Tinned tomatoes prices start at 60 cents for 400 grams
* Rice - I only keep white rice on hand now for it's long shelf life. We did eat brown rice years ago but found it went rancid after 6 months. Rice is a great side dish that can be jazzed up with seasoning or served plain. Rice also makes a very thrifty fried rice dish or a delicious creamed rice for dessert. Also used as a filler in casseroles, rissoles and meatloaf. White rice prices start at $1.40 per kilo
* Tinned meats - I keep many tins of tinned tuna in brine for casseroles and pasta bakes. While large tins of tuna cost $3, the meat can be stretched a long way. I also keep tinned salmon in the pantry to make salmon patties. Adding potato mash and grated vegetables to the salmon makes many more patties than you think. Tinned ham and chicken are also available on the supermarket shelf but i don't buy then nor can I vouch for them being thrifty.
* Dried bread crumbs - this might seem like an odd item to have on hand but it can cost nothing to make if you use the ends of loaves of bread. I keep them unseasoned in bulk in the pantry and season a batch when needed. Bread crumbs are another way to stretch a meal and save you money.
* Dried beans - I don't stock these simply because I don't like them. They are a good source of protein and can be used in meatless meals or to stretch meat further.
* Dried soup mix - I keep this on hand all year round but especially in readiness for Winter soup making. Add a few sad looking vegetables from the fridge or saved scraps from the freezer and you have a delicious and nutritious meal for just a few cents a serve. Soup mix starts at $1.70 for 500 grams and this makes many pots of soup.
* Tinned soups - this might sound like a contradiction considering I make soup from scratch all the time but tinned soups come in handy to make a cheap meal. They last for years past their best before dates ( if stored well ) and can be used to make tasty casseroles, pasta bakes or a thrifty lunch. They always come on sale for $1 a tin before and during Winter.