Basic Staples to Stretch Your Food and Your Dollars
Every kitchen should be equipped with basic staples. These staples are not only things we use everyday but also include many items that can stretch a meal. Using them in the original course along with leftovers can save you both time and money when grocery shopping.
Spices head the top of the staple list.
Salt and pepper should always be a main in the kitchen. Many who can not use actual salt can find a no salt spice to season their favorite dishes.
Other spices to include are cinnamon, garlic powder, nutmeg, oregano, onion salt and even vanilla are an essential part of our spice racks. Make a list of the spices you use most often. When those spices are close to the bottom of the container add it to your shopping list so you are never without that perfect spice.
Flour should also be towards the top of your list.
There are many types of flour available today. Find the right type of flour for your basic cooking needs. Flour is used in many items we fix on a daily basis. It is used as a coating for meat, added to milk or water to make gravy and used in most types of baking items. Flour is definitely a staple no home should be without.
Another staple to consider is pasta.
Pasta can be used to stretch any meal. For instance if you have chicken breasts one night and there are leftovers, chop that chicken up. A couple of nights later make some pasta, add the chopped chicken and some Alfredo sauce and you have a new meal. Pasta comes in many shapes and sizes. Noodles, macaroni and even spiral pasta are pretty inexpensive and make a meal go a long way.
Rice is a good idea to have on hand.
Rice is used often in meals. It can be added to meat and vegetables to make many different types of meals. Add a spice to change the entire taste of a meal using rice. Rice is also great as a side dish. Also think about the desserts you can make with rice. Things such as rice pudding, rice cakes and even rice based muffins can top off any meal.
One last important staple is the beloved bean.
Beans are great used in many different ways. How about a pot of good old soup or ham beans? Serve them as normal one night then add a few dumplings to not only stretch your meal but to add a little different flavor.
Beans are great on top of salad, mixed with pasta or rice or even as the basis for a meal made with leftover ground beef. Ever had cowboy beans? They are wonderful and can be used as a breakfast over biscuits, lunch over cooked rice or just as they are for a great supper idea.
If you go to your kitchen and begin to look for the “staples” you will probably find that most of the items listed above are already a part of your inventory. You will also probably find a few more that aren’t listed here. Making sure you never run out of those staples is one way to be sure you save time, money and feed your family a good meal.