5 Foods You Need in Your Pantry

Do you ever find yourself in the grocery store thinking about which foods to buy that will give you the most bang for your buck? Add these five budget-friendly pantry foods to your next grocery list.


Beans are great to add to your pantry because they are high in protein and fiber. They will last a long time in your pantry and are easy to add to many dishes.

Tip: Buy canned beans to reduce the amount of prep time for a meal. Rinse the canned beans with water to reduce the amount of sodium, or buy low or no salt added varieties. 

Make with beans: Breakfast burritos, soups, salads

Brown Rice 

Brown rice is a healthy carb that can be used in many meals. Keep brown rice in your pantry because it stays fresh for a long time. 

Tip: Get your family used to eating brown rice by mixing it with white rice. 

Make with brown rice: stir-frys, side dishes, desserts  

Canned Chicken/Tuna

Canned chicken/tuna is amazing to keep in your pantry for meals that need more protein. Protein is important for children’s growth and development, and will keep your family fuller for longer. 

Tip: Buy canned chicken/tuna that is canned in water. 

Make with canned chicken/tuna: dinners, burrito bowls, homemade chicken nuggets

Canned Vegetables 

The daily recommended amount of vegetables is 1 to 3 cups a day. Canned vegetables will help your family meet the daily recommended amount of vegetables without having to worry about them going to waste. 

Tip: Buy canned vegetables with “No Salt Added” on the label. 

Make with canned vegetables: casseroles, soups, one-pan/one-pot meals 

Whole Wheat Pasta 

Adding whole wheat pasta to your meals will make your meals healthier, and keep your family coming back for more. 

Tip: Don’t add your pasta to the water until it is at a full boil. If you add it before the water is boiling, then your pasta could be under or over cooked. 

Make with whole wheat pasta: pasta salad, lasagna, sides

Adding these pantry foods to your grocery list will help you stay within your budget, and give you peace-of-mind knowing you have healthy foods that will feed your family. 

Young girl with brown hair being held by her mother is smiling and pointing at a canned food product on an aisle in the grocery store with other canned food products.

Your Family Will Love This Recipe!

A simple recipe that uses 3 of the 5 pantry foods is the Chicken Noodle Soup recipe from Eat Smart, Move More.

By Samantha Seay

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