10 + Hodgepodge Pantry Staples and Our Basic Meal Plan

Frugal Pantry Staples at Hodgepodge My friend Heidi posted on our Hodgepodge Facebook page: “I would love to see a post about things you consider staples in your kitchen…things you always have on hand to make it easier to keep the Hodgepodge bellies filled.”

I’m glad she asked! Because she is right. We do keep basics on hand to make it simple. Today I share with you a tour of the pantry staples, arranged like a grocery list.

Quaker oatmeal and grits How about we start with breakfast? We get warehouse club-sized packages of oatmeal and grits. Not only do we use oatmeal for breakfast but it’s also a main ingredient in our favorite cookies. Besides grits, y’all, we do have five or six favorite cereals.

Cheese Cheese is a staple as well. I make pimento cheese about twice a month for lunches. It’s also good have on hand for grilled cheese lunches. Shredded cheese – bought in large quantities at the warehouse club – serves us well in all kinds of recipes. Other refrigerator staples include about four gallons of milk a week, yogurt, a big bag of spinach, turkey bacon, turkey sandwich meat.

Tortillas Tortillas. Lunch time grilled cheese quesadillas, turkey sandwich wraps. And, of course for tacos or Mexican Chicken any time.

spaghetti “If it’s Monday, it’s spaghetti.” ~ Flylady. We do some variation of pasta on Mondays or another night of the week. So we have frugal Hunts spaghetti sauce on hand. Garlic and Herb is my favorite variety. Then we buy our pasta from Kroger because it is practically the only place we can find pasta without egg. Lil’ Buddy carries an epipen for his egg and peanut allergies.

beans Beans and bunches of them. We are still working on a warehouse sized bag of pinto beans! But we also like black-eyed peas. And, of course, chickpeas for my favorite homemade hummus (I sometimes make large quantities in the slow cooker then freeze the cooked beans).

ground turkey Meat. We usually buy two meats each paycheck and stretch it to make it last. Lately that means two of the following: four pounds of ground turkey, two rotisserie chickens, cube steak, stew beef or a roast.

barrels of wheat Wheat/Bread. We buy big barrels of wheat from Bread Beckers so that we can make pancakes for our breakfast for supper nights plus muffins and bread.

Seasonings Seasonings. Especially for slow cooker cooking.

Canned salmon Canned tuna/salmon. I still can’t get over how much the children love Mamaw’s Cheese Salmon Loaf recipe.

veggies Canned Veggies and Produce. Fruit like apples, bananas and those in season. And during the summer, we enjoy garden veggies.

SunButter 10 lbs SunButter and 10 lbs of it in the name of allergy-friendliness. We love SunButter on a sandwich or in all sorts of recipes.

chocolate chips Chocolate chips. So we can make our favorite chocolate recipes including cookies and allergy-friendly microwave fudge (just three ingredients!)

I also batch cook meats in the slow cooker, freeze them in meal-sized portions, then pull them out for suppers another night. When I have these basic staples on hand and the main ingredient already cooked, then it is easy to follow the Hodgepodge meal plan which goes like this:

  • Monday: spaghetti (or some variation of pasta)
  • Tuesday: Veggie Plate/Beans & Cornbread
  • Wednesday: Slow Cooker
  • Thursday: Breakfast for supper or Slow Cooker
  • Friday: Pizza
  • Saturday: Tacos or other simple favorite
  • Sunday: Slow Cooker

Of course any of these days are interchangeable. With a meal plan like this I just don’t have to think.

cookbooks Resources

Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

What’s in your pantry? What did I forget?

Hearts and Trees: Art, Handicrafts and Nature Study for your Homeschool


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      Yes, we are definitely blessed to live within an hour’s drive of Bread Beckers! Well, with food allergies and a large-ish family, I’ve found I have to be somewhat organized. But I often rotate and reuse grocery lists – from Evernote. And having that basic meal plan plus easy ingredients – help my mama brain come the late afternoon ‘crazy hours’ :)

  1. 3

    Heidi says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I loved taking a walk through your pantry…I got some good ideas to keep on hand for my family! Hunt’s garlic and herb is our favorite too!

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    I love having Ro-Tel in the pantry…perfect amount of zest for an easy Mexican flavored meal….even just mixed into plain rice. I think the only other thing that I have in my pantry that I never want to run out of is broth…either canned or bouillon.
    Great post….love the practical. :)

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