15 Cheap And Effective Pantry Staples

15 Cheap And Effective Pantry Staples
See Gallery
15 Cheap And Effective Pantry Staples

Packing your pantry with these inexpensive staples will ensure that you're always prepared for a healthy dinner and getting the most for your money.

Canned or Dried Beans

If you have a can of beans, you have a meal. Toss chickpeas into a salad or make your own burrito bowl out of black beans. Beans are healthy, hearty and won’t cost you much.

Image Credit: Getty Images


Lentils are perfect for soups or salads – and filling enough for dinner too! Buying nutrient-rich lentils in bulk will save you money.

Image Credit: Getty Images


Dried pasta is an absolute must to keep in the pantry. Noodles are the easiest dinner for those nights when you’re not sure what to prepare. There are so many varieties to choose from and they are an inexpensive option.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Pasta Sauce

Keeping your favorite sauce around is smart for those nights that you’re too busy to whip up homemade sauce. A staple like tomato sauce works perfectly with pasta, lasagna or chicken dishes.

Image Credit: Getty Images


Rice is an incredibly versatile staple that can be used for a great side dish or to complement to a meal like spicy curry or chicken.

Image Credit: Getty Images


A handful of nuts makes for a healthy and satisfying snack. You can throw them on top of dishes or replace unhealthy potato chips with almonds or walnuts.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Canned Tuna or Salmon

Since fish can be a healthy addition to your diet, keeping canned salmon or tuna around makes it cheap and easy. One can of tuna is healthy, filling and tasty. Throw it on top of greens and you’ve got the perfect salad to bring to work or enjoy for dinner.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Canned Tomatoes

Canned tomatoes can go into soup, chili or pasta. This item is so versatile you’ll probably have to buy several to keep up with the demand.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Peanut Or Almond Butter

Peanut butter is great for a tasty and nostalgic sandwich. It's also a great spread to add a hint of protein to a piece of fruit or to oatmeal.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Dried Fruit

Dried fruit is the perfect snack to take on the go or to use as an oatmeal topping. While dried fruit should never replace fresh fruit, dried fruit lasts much longer than fresh produce, so you'll waste less and save more.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

A kitchen is simply incomplete without a good olive oil. It’s one of the easiest things to sauté veggies in, but it’s also perfect for salad dressings. Olive oil’s heart-healthy benefits are also a plus. Use just a little at a time and a bottle can last a very long time.

Image Credit: Getty Images


Balsamic vinegar is the perfect topping for salads, veggies or chicken. White vinegar also doubles for an all natural cleaning agent!

Image Credit: Getty Images


Spices like cumin, cinnamon, turmeric or paprika can turn simple dishes into exotic ones. Since spices are pretty much required in any type of cooking, these are definitely important investments.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Salt And Pepper

Cooking is not complete without a pinch of salt or pepper. Salt is an essential flavor in nearly every recipe and the easiest way to enhance the taste of a meal.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Stock Or Bouillon Cubes

Stock is not limited to soups. It can enhance the flavors of meat and rice dishes too.

Image Credit: Getty Images


It's surprisingly easy to be frugal and healthy at the same time. By investing in the right pantry staples, you'll have no trouble whipping up easy, tasty and nutritious meals every night of the week.

Stocking up on foods like legumes and pasta will ensure that you always have effective and tasty dinner ingredients.

Check out the slideshow above for 15 cheap and effective pantry staples.

More from Kitchen Daily:
Adorable Rooster Chopping Knife
10 Flavor Enhancers That Can Save You Money
How To Avoid Buying Overpriced Wine

Read Full Story