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7 of The Best Pantry Essentials for a Budget

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Stocking your food pantry is easy if you have all the money in the world. However, stocking your pantry on a budget can be a little tricky.  

Some food items are going to be better for your budget than others.  

These are the best pantry essentials for a budget and will have you eating like a king (well, almost); I mean is possible!

I am using the term “pantry” loosely and really am just referring to your kitchen in general!  

One way to save money is to stock your home food pantry with essentials that are affordable and have many usages.

Food pantry staples on a budget

7 of the Best Pantry Staples on a Budget

The best pantry essentials for a budget are low-cost but high-quality foods. These items may be in your fridge or your cabinet.


Eggs are a top pantry essential to have in your home.

Eggs are a definite pantry essential. They are a very versatile food, and if you shop at the right places, you can get them relatively inexpensively.  

Eggs are also very healthy food and pack a lot of power in a small shell. I love having an inexpensive meal of Stuffed Pepper Omelets when I have an abundance of peppers from my garden!  

We eat eggs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

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Oats is a great food pantry staple to stock up on that is budget friendly and used in many recipes.

Oats are not just for oatmeal, although oatmeal is terrific. It is shocking how many recipes you can add oats too. 

Oats are a great staple to have on hand, from meatloaf filler to 5 ingredient granola bars to a simple breakfast food. Oats are a great staple to have on hand. The great thing is that a big container of oats is very inexpensive.

Dried Beans

A great food pantry staple to have in your home is dried beans.

I know that canned beans are easy, but the cost can add up. So if you are on a tight budget, dried beans are the way to go.

Dried beans are very cheap. Buy the biggest bag you can find because they have a long shelf life.  

It is simple to cook up a batch in the slow cooker and instant pot and freeze what you don't need that day.  

Beans are the perfect way to “fill” up a dish so that you don't have to add as much meat. We love to add beans to soups, casseroles, and even nachos.

Try Instant Pot Dried Beans recipe!


Pasta is a key item in any food pantry.

Pasta is a very inexpensive staple to keep in the pantry. It goes on sale often, and you can make simple meals quickly.  

Pasta can be the main dish, added to soups, stews, and casseroles, or used as an easy side dish.


Potatoes are a great food pantry staple that is budget friendly.

Potatoes are an amazing veggie, and they last a long time, unlike some other vegetables.  

You can use them in SO many recipes. Old fashioned scalloped potatoes go great with almost any main dish. I have used leftover mashed potatoes in potato pancakes.  

Don't forget about a loaded baked potato as a main dish using leftover chili or even taco meat as a topping.

Peanut Butter

Pantry staple on a budget, peanut butter is one of the best.

Peanut butter is one of those things that budget-minded people have on hand at all times.  

It is an excellent source of protein. You can use peanut butter in cookies, cakes, smoothies, etc.  

Did I mention the best standby ever? Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? You can even have some fun with it when you make Monsters on a Log!


Rice is one of the best pantry staples to have on a budget!

Pick your favorite rice and buy a huge bag of it. What a cheap way to fill your plate! I have a whole bunch of amazing Spanish Rice recipes that can be made on the cheap.  

I also love to make Easy Veggie Fried Rice as a meatless meal once in a while. Don't forget to add rice to your taco meat to make it go further.

What is Your Favorite Pantry Staple?

The best pantry staples on a budget are easy to whip into meals, side dishes, and even desserts. Do you have a favorite? What do you ALWAYS have in your pantry? Let's compare notes!! 🙂

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  1. Some of these items (beans, oats) are really good for you as well so having them on hand and incorporating them into your daily food intake not only saves money but can provide benefit to your health.

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