Wednesday 27 October 2021

10 Cheap Pantry Items To Stock Up On

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.      

What cheap pantry items do you like to have lots of ?


  1. I buy similar for my pantry. I good pantry is worth it weight in gold

  2. I have been stocking up on pasta at the Reject Shop as I have been able to buy it for 50 cents for 500g. I bought some precooked rice packages for the first time ever at 60 cents for 2 servings. I figure this is handy in storm season as it is fast. We have already a few power cuts this month.

    I do have flours sugars, dried fruits, various nuts. I keep tinned tomatoes, some types of beans, baked beans, tinned ham and salmon, some long life dairy products and plenty of cleaners. I have quite a stock of tissues, paper towels for very very gross stuff and not as much toilet paper as I would like.

    I have bought the tinned chicken and found it dry and tasteless. I prefer salmon to tuna so I keep that.

    1. I found tinned chicken too dear for my budget. Time to buy more toilet paper Suzan.

  3. I stock seasoning mixes, gravy mix, and broth powders. You can make some of them yourself. Great for making all the other pantry items into a quick meal. -Kathryn

  4. Replies
    1. Yes, rolled oats is a fantastic pantry staple. I forgot to put it on the list.

  5. Powdered milk is handy for baking etc especially as we don't often have fresh here. Ditto with the oats,As well as breakfast I use it a lot in baking. They keep well as long as you pop them in the freezer for a while after buying to stop the bugs

  6. We have lots of pasta, dried legumes, oats, barley, couscous and rice. As for the canned goods it's only fish and tomato paste- canned veg are very expensive where I live. We also have a few packets of ramen on hand.
    And also shelf stable milk and a lot of baking supplies!


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