Budget Friendly Cooking – What`s in your pantry?


Save Money – Cut down Grocery Budget – Organize the Food – Cook with what you`ve got

In order to save more money I`m trying to cut down on my food-budget this month, and one way of doing that is by cooking with what you`ve got. My cupboards were getting quite messy, so today I  cleaned the cupboard, wrote down every food item, and then organized the food. I also organized the freezer, and noted down whatever I found. And there were a lot more food than I`d thought:

Baking supply: Whole wheat, Whole-wheat flour coarsely ground, Whole-wheat flour finely ground, Wheat bran, Sunflower kernels, Pumpkinseeds, Flax seeds, Yeast, Flour, Vanilla sugar, Baking powder, Baking soda, Dark syrup, Light syrup, Demerara sugar, Sugar, Brown sugar, Confectionary sugar, Cocoa powder, Sweet condensed milk.

Dry Ingredients: Pasta Penne, Pasta Tagliatelle, Jasmine rice, Brown lentils, Red lentils, Tomato soup, Béarnaise sauce, Gravy, Oatmeal, Polenta, Muesli, Pistachio, Raisins, Saltines,

Freezer: Broccoli, Lingonberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, 6 Nan bread, 10 Tortilla, Hamburger bread, Portion Bread, Brioche, Sourdough Bread, 4 calzones, Pizza sauce, Pork, 2 Chicken Breasts, 4 Ground Pork meat, 4 Ground Beef,  2 Turkey Breasts, 2 Tenderloins of Pork, 1 Tenderloin of Pork BBQ, some Chicken wings, 3 portions of smoked salmon.

Fridge: Spring onion, Onion, Ham, Salsa, Butter, Whipping cream, Tomato pure, Milk Chocolate, Apples, Oranges, Bananas.

With these ingredients in mind, I decided to make the following meal plan, trying to incorporate food items I already got.

Meal Plan
Monday: Creamy Pasta with Ham & Mushroom
Tuesday: Norwegian Stew
Wednesday: Scrambled egg & smoked salmon with bread
Thursday: European Pancakes
Friday: Pizza
Saturday: Turkey Breast with creamy mushroom sauce
Sunday: Pasta Bolognese

For the next 4 weeks, I`ll be using what I`ve got as the main ingredients, and try to only buy items of food that`s absolutely needed. My starting budget is $421, but hopefully I`ll have some money left after one month.

What are you ways of cutting down the food expenses?

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20 thoughts on “Budget Friendly Cooking – What`s in your pantry?

    • Thanks! I tried making it varied, good and healthy:-) Diet coke is my favourite beverage, but I only buy it on the weekends! It`s amazing how cutting down on just a couple of things can save a lot of money!

  1. Good reminder I need to start food planning again! I tend to stock up on a lot of food, and after a while it gets to be too much. I than start living off whatever I have, and it makes me feel so much more resourceful. I think stocking up when there are sales is the best thing to do. Than, you can use those things when they aren’t on sale. Plus, you save time on having to go to the grocery store. Meal planning is the biggest money saver in my opinion.

    • Oh absolutely. Whenever there`s a sale on something we regularly eat I always buy extra. Meal planning has probably saved me thousands of dollars. If I go into a grocery store without a physical list of what I`m getting, I always buy more than I intended to!

  2. I totally need to take inventory. I feel like I have nothing to cook, but I know there’s stuff in my cupboards, I just need to figure out how to use it!

    • I usually do a food inventory every other month, this way I never forget any food. I know there`s this website where you can choose the ingredients you`ve got, and then it gives you recipes based on the ingredients, but right now I just can`t remember the name!

  3. I plan my meals weekly. Also, I use an app called Ziplist that helps me keep track of recipes I love and well as deals in my local supermarket and lastly, it allows me to create a shopping list. I think planning is the best way to save costs. I love your menu as well.

    • I`ve made meal plans the last 3 years, and it has saved us thousands of dollars each year! By writing down a shopping list based on your meal plan, you avoid buying food you don`t need. And yes, it`s also good for a stressful everyday!

  4. Yes, as other commenters have pointed out, probably the best way to cut food costs is to stop waste. This is easier said than done! You have to be really organized about expiration dates and spoiling of what you have. Also, if there are things that maybe you won’t heat up again (e.g. shellfish), then we try to cook smaller portions than normal to make sure it doesn’t get wasted.

  5. Pingback: Yearning for Spring & Saturday Link | Memoirs of The Norwegian Girl

  6. Pingback: How we save over $5000 a year on food | Memoirs of The Norwegian Girl

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