Grocery prices are rising, and the goal is to buy enough food without going over budget. One way to do that is by buying ingredients that can be used in many different ways for many different meals — cue the non-perishable pantry staples. For your next grocery shopping venture, grab these 11 items that will soon become your new essentials. They’re affordable, have a long shelf life, and can be prepared in so many ways to make your on-budget meals more interesting. The best part? You can find a lot of these on sale by using Flipp, and that’s always a win in our books.


The possibilities with oats are truly endless. It’s a great protein source that leaves you fuller longer and can be used for breakfast, savory dishes, and even dessert. Blend them up for pancakes or baked oatmeal, add them to a smoothie to make it extra filling, make granola to top off yogurt, bake breakfast bars or muffins, and even use them to try out these copycat Starbucks oat fudge bars by Just So Tasty. 

Canned Legumes

From all kinds of beans to chickpeas, canned legumes are a must-have pantry item. They’re cheap, cook fast, and are nutritious. You can add them to chili, curries, soups, or use them as a side dish…you can’t go wrong. For some delicious recipes that feature legumes, check out our post, Meat Prices are Rising – Here are 4 Protein Alternatives to Help you Save

Pasta and Pasta Sauce

There are just as many pasta recipes as there are kinds of pasta, so you’ll never get bored of this pantry staple. Everyone’s favorite inexpensive carb can be paired with red, green, or white sauce whether it’s macaroni, fettuccine, or bow ties. You can even stock up on pasta when it goes on sale, and buy enough to last you until the next sale. The Flipp app is a great tool to help you see where and when your essentials go on sale. Canned or bottled pasta sauce is just as affordable and great to stock up on. Plus, you can use it for so much more than pasta — soups and stews, meatloaf, marinades, etc.  

Brown Rice

Who doesn’t love rice? It can be dressed up to create so many appetizing dishes. It can be made as a stand-alone dish like a pilaf, in burritos, stuffed peppers, risotto, paella — it’s no wonder why rice is a staple ingredient in so many different cultures and cuisines. Whether you prefer brown rice for its higher fiber and minerals, or white rice for its fluffy texture, you can’t go wrong with this affordable, versatile ingredient. 

Peanut Butter

This childhood favorite can be used to make anything from these Thai Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce by, to Vegetarian Peanut Soup by Cookie + Kate. Costco sells a pack of two large jars of natural peanut butter that is cost-effective for how long it will last you. Whether you like eating it with toast, pancakes, or oatmeal, there is enough to eat it all your favorite ways and more. 

Tomato Paste 

These little cans pack a lot of tomato goodness. They can be used in curries, pasta sauce, and even shakshuka. Once you have these stacked up in your pantry, you’re good to go and prepared to cook. 


When it comes to cooking and baking, you want to buy versatile neutral oils with higher smoke points that can be used for any dish from frying fries to baking a cake. Refined coconut oil, olive oil, and canola oil are cheaper options that often go on sale. Especially with coconut oil, a little goes a long way so it’s sure to last you a long time. 

Crushed Garlic and Ginger 

Don’t worry about overspending on fresh ingredients for them to go bad. Especially with delays in the supply chain, it’s hard to find good ginger that isn’t already dried up. Buying jars of crushed garlic and ginger makes cooking a lot easier, plus they last a while so you will always have them in stock. Did we mention they’re budget-friendly too? 

Canned Coconut Cream and Coconut Milk

Dairy isn’t excluded from the rising prices, that’s why we recommend coconut cream and milk as a vegan alternative that will save you money. Instead of investing in heavy cream, stock up on cans of coconut cream or milk that will last you a very long time. They’re a lot cheaper and are an easy substitute for coffee creamer, soups, curries, and more. Make sure to get the ones with the highest fat content for the best flavor! 

Fried onions

Another great staple to have for easy cooking! Save time and money with fried onions. If you’ve never cooked with it before, it can be used to coat your fried chicken, in a casserole, or in curries. Fried onions are an easy alternative to bread crumbs and can last you a very long time.

You don’t need to overspend or go for a last-minute grocery run every time you want to prepare delectable meals. Purchasing these affordable pantry essentials will change the way you cook, stockpile, and save money. 

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