Don’t Get Stuck Without the Basics: 10 Pantry Staples to Start Any Meal

Money Talks News

Not knowing what to cook for dinner is one issue, but not having anything to cook is a bigger problem, especially after a long day at the office. In this situation, many of us resort to takeout food, which isn’t good for our wallets or waistlines, if it becomes a habit.

This is why staple foods, which work well with many meals, are so important. These items often have a long shelf life, making them good ingredients to stock up on for last-minute meals.

In this video, Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson shares the best staple foods to start any meal. After the video, read on for our full list of essential items to keep in your pantry.

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1. Eggs

Eggs are a great source of protein and vitamins, including vitamin A (healthy skin) and vitamin D (bone strength). Although they don’t reside in the pantry, they are an essential kitchen ingredient, budget-friendly and easy. They can be prepared in many different ways, from hard boiled eggs to grilled eggs.

2. Potatoes

Stock up on potatoes, and you can easily whip up French fries, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, potato chips, and more. They’re tasty, inexpensive, easy to prepare, and can easily be grown in a garden. They’re also filling and acceptable to eat at any meal time.

3. Pasta

Pasta has long been a staple food item filled with fiber and carbohydrates, which give us energy. It’s also cheap and pairs well with just about any meat or vegetable.

4. Tomato sauce

Pasta can easily sustain us, but it’s awfully boring without sauce. Stock up on a few jars next time you’re at the supermarket. Aside from pasta, tomato sauce can be used for meatballs, soup, pizza and more.

5. Tuna

Canned tuna is inexpensive, and it’s packed with protein. It is used in various recipes, such as sandwiches, salads, tuna melts, tuna croquettes, and casseroles.

6. Rice

Rice, like pasta, is inexpensive and a popular side dish with meals. It also provides a great source of energy.

7. Cereal

By cereal, we mean everything from Cap’n Crunch to old-fashioned oatmeal. Cereal is a quick or ready-to-eat meal, making it a popular choice for people who are often on the run. Cereal can provide a pick-me-up any time of day, and some types can even be used in a meatloaf mix or as a crunchy coating on a casserole.

8. Milk

Of course, Americans use milk in cereal and cooking. We also drink it, put it in our coffee or tea, use it in milkshakes and more. Milk is also an ingredient in many popular and cheap dishes, including French toast, mashed potatoes, and macaroni and cheese.

9. Bread

Americans love bread, not only because of its taste, but also because of its versatility. Bread works at any meal as a key ingredient in a sandwich, or on the side with a plate of eggs, a bowl of soup or a steak. Even after bread expires, it’s useful for making croutons, breadcrumbs and stuffing.

10. Beans

Beans are full of fiber and water content, which makes you feel fuller faster, says WebMD. If push comes to shove, beans can be a meal in and of themselves. They’re also great in soups, stews, dips, burritos and tacos.

This article was originally published on as 'Don’t Get Stuck Without the Basics: 10 Pantry Staples to Start Any Meal'.

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