If you are like me, you go into the grocery store for eggs and milk and come out with eggs, milk, frozen yogurt, a delicious looking cheese, a new kind of salsa you have never tried and maybe a bag of M&Ms. I am definitely an impulse buyer at the grocery store, so the less I am there, the better.
Often I find a recipe that I would really like to make, and a trip to the grocery store is required. What is frustrating to me, is more often than not, it is an ingredient like chicken broth that should be in my pantry. So what is the solution? When I buy an item that I know I will need again, I buy a few of them. When an item I use a lot is on sale or there is a coupon for it--I take advantage of it. Now my freezer and pantry are stocked to the point where I can come up with a meal using what I have on hand, without going to the grocery store, saving me time and money.
Here are some items I like to keep on hand: boneless skinless chicken breasts, ground turkey, canned tomatoes, chicken broth, peanut butter, stir fry sauce, cereal, tomato sauce, pasta, rice, black beans, chili beans and tuna.
You do not have to buy them all at once of course, but when you purchase something at the grocery store, think about how much you use it, and if it is frequently, you might want to buy a few and save yourself a later trip. This is a great way to slowly stock your pantry and freezer. It also eliminates a step to cooking, making it easier to avoid going out to eat or ordering take out.