Cooking from scratch is beneficial in so many ways. It is far cheaper to keep a basic supply of ingredients on hand to whip up whatever you want than it is to keep buying pre-packaged items. It is also healthier and far more nutritious to cook from scratch because you are eliminating all the preservatives, colors, additives, etc. that come in the packaged foods. But, how does someone who wants to save money and eat more nutritious foods start cooking from scratch? How does someone who is used to depending on packaged foods or eating out all the times even try to begin cooking more this way?
The first step is to adequately stock your pantry and your refrigerator with basic ingredients.
Once you have all the basic ingredients on hand you can make any number of delicious meals from scratch just by “shopping” in your own kitchen. You can keep a running list of all the ingredients you have on hand and when you run out you add it to your grocery list. Grocery shopping becomes easier and you will probably notice you don’t have to shop as often.
Here is a basic list of items to always have on hand in your pantry or refrigerator.
Pastas (macaroni, spaghetti, rotini, spirals, shells, etc.)
Dried Beans (Pinto, Black, Lentils, etc.)
Vinegar (White & Apple Cider)
Raisins, or other dried fruit
Spices of your choice (Cinnamon, Garlic, Onion Powder, Basil, Oregano, Cayenne Pepper, etc.)
Bread Crumbs (Store bought or homemade)
Jams or Jellies
Take this list and, as your budget allows, replace all your packaged items with whole, from scratch, ingredients. Be sure to keep in mind how old your ingredients are and to rotate them. Having all these wonderful ingredients does no good if they go bad.
Are you excited yet? Next, we will be making sure your kitchen is equipped for cooking from scratch and trying out some basic from scratch recipes.