Playing Hookey from the Store

It’s been one of those weeks where I haven’t been able to make it to the grocery store.  You name it—spontaneous playdate, migrane headache, Cub Scout meeting, lost keys.  Grocery shopping wasn’t in the cards for me this week.

As I went to my pantry to figure out dinner the past couple nights, I realized how wonderful it is to be a frugal momma.  Sure, I may be low on fresh fruits and veggies at the moment, but I have TONS of staple foods to carry me through.

That’s what I’m always telling my friends– “Buy enough ________ to last you until the next good sale.”  They have always looked at me funny when I brag about the 12 boxes of cereal I came home with for $1 a box, or the 10 jars of Ragu for .50 cents each.  But at this moment, when running to the store is the last thing I should be thinking about, the 12 boxes of cereal look like gold to me and Spaghetti dinner sounds perfect.

So, what are some staple items I could suggest to have on hand?  I’ll list them below.  Buy enough to last your family at least a couple months.  ONLY buy these items when they are more than 60% off their regular price.  If they are not at least 60% off, it’s not a good enough stock up deal.  I’d prefer to raise the bar to 75% off, but that’s takes time if you are just starting out and don’t have a lot of ‘stock’ yet.


My suggestions:

  • dry pasta
  • rice (smaller packages paired with coupons are the best route)
  • pasta sauce
  • cereal (watch expiration dates, and rotate)
  • almond/soy milk in boxes (in case you run out of milk)
  • ravioli/spaghetti’os
  • canned veggies
  • canned chicken/tuna
  • bbq sauce
  • soups/broths
  • pancake mix (the just add water kind) (think waffle night!)
  • pop tarts (watch dates closely)
  • granola bars
  • dried fruit
  • nuts/seeds

If you have a lot of freezer space, make sure to freeze extra of these things:

  • cheese
  • bread
  • meat


All the things listed above, when bought in ‘a fews’ instead of ‘onesies’, will make you have to need-shop less often and save you money in the long run.  Plus, on hectic weeks like this one I’m experiencing, it’s nice to pantry-shop instead of grocery-shop.  Time to work on a 4th grade science project!