Pantry Staples for Quick (and Affordable!) Meals

We all know the feeling when you’re stuck in Austin traffic and don’t have anything prepared at home for dinner. Usually the first route is to look for the nearest drive thru and satisfy the need for a quick and cheap dinner. But when you are trying to minimize your eating out spending, it’s necessary to take a step back and look at alternatives.

Here are a list of pantry staples that have prevented me from eating out constantly:

  1. Rice. Very cheap, very filling, and you can do so many rice-based dishes that are easy and tasty. Examples include: fried rice, a casserole, or just a side dish.
  2. Eggs. Having breakfast for dinner has definitely been a huge help, and eggs are not only very nutritious but you can use them in so many dishes.
  3. Bread. Not only for sandwiches! Make yourself a french toast, grilled cheese, or the famous egg in a basket.
  4. Spices. This has changed the game for me. I have been building my spice rack for a while, and now I can bring life to otherwise bland meals. No more boring chicken breast!
  5. Oils & vinegar. The basics are olive and canola oil, as well as balsamic. I also keep apple cider vinegar and sesame oil on hand. The marinade possibilities are endless.

Even with all of the above, I can easily come up with a couple of meals that include these ingredients. I’ll be sharing my favorite inexpensive meals soon!

What do you keep in your pantry?