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Hi All! If you made here I am guessing you are one of three people: A newbie in the kitchen who has no idea where to begin, a person who wants to save money on groceries, or a girl who just really needs to get on top of this healthy cooking thing. Well guess what, I can help each and every one of you! Trust me, I have been there (check out my story here). There are many different places to begin this whole journey. I believe convenience and a minimalist approach is absolutely key:
Less is More but Easy is Pie. Take Both and Call Me in the Morning.
Ok, That little saying is cute, but life is not that easy, you say. How can I say 'less is more' when you still have to have all the right ingredients, all the time to make it, and all the right tools to do so? Because I think we have been fed that silly message and I call poppycock. Because I will let you in on a little healthy kitchen secret that no one wants you to know: Instagram and Pinterest are the highlight reels of someone's life. They trick us into believing that "those" people have it together, and every time we try to re-create their magic, we run into some very seriously real-life roadblock that they neglected to mention. Most meal planning and kitchen "rules" are WAY too complex just like the beautifully styled perfect ensembles of healthy meals. That's just not the way things go down at 5pm on a Tuesday.
I bet you have SOOO many questions though.What do you shop for? How do you store all the things? Do I really have to eat salads every night to make this work? Lets map out the struggle. I see three major pitfalls to healthy home cooking:
1. You find a pretty recipe on Pinterest or in your favorite magazine but struggling with where to begin in the kitchen. Will it taste good? Do I have the ingredients? How much chicken and broccoli can one person eat? You ask.
2. You find yourself throwing unneeded items in your grocery cart or farmer's market bag that end up in the trash
3. You order takeout at the end of the month when yet another PB&J just won't cut it again and your fridge is barren and you are stressed the eff out. Pizza it is.
Sigh. We have all been there. But there's hope. All of those things are just cycles, poor habits and not having the right PLAN. Having the main ingredients for a variety of home cooked dishes in your pantry or cupboard is the KEY to avoiding those pitfalls.
If you have good food in your kitchen, you will eat good food.
Good, healthy food at good prices with the lowest waste possible. This is the plan I will lay out for you. My number one tip to saving money and being successful with meal planning/dieting/saving money is start building out your pantry supplies TODAY. but the RIGHT way.
If you fail to plan, you should also plan to fail.
I am here to help you get off Pinterest, get into action mode and get on the right track for better health, a more balanced food budget, and a more minimalist food life. Eating should be enjoyable, not stressful. Even if you are on a strict budget, or you have a little extra money to spare, I am here to teach you what I learned during my poor, unhealthy years about building a solid foodie foundation. The very first step is making sure you have these TEN items in your kitchen at all times. NO EXCEPTIONS! It should be like milk, eggs and bread, but even simpler than that! In fact those 3 items don't even make my list. People focus so much on what they think they know, and then they fall into traps and bad habits.
(We all start somewhere. If you are a little more advanced in you basic kitchen pantry, find my FULL list of basics and my kitchen philosophy COMING SOON. Sign up for announcements and free printable worksheets HERE.)
Top 10 Pantry Staples All Foodies Should Keep in the Kitchen:
Sea Salt - Pretty much goes on or in everything. Pure, unadulterated sea salt is the key to enjoying food. This is what I keep in rotation in my Prime shopping bag.
Bulk Almonds - Or cashews or peanuts
Canola Oil - or Olive Oil (this local version is the BEST, and Mr Bariani is the kindest gentleman!) or Coconut Oil
Peppercorn - They can be any color, but black is usually the cheapest in bulk. And its delicious, so there's no need to buy $8 worth of the tri-blend. This version comes with a container you can take to the bulk store when you run out. Be sure to add "tare" labels (tare is the weight of the container. the checker at the store will subtract it for you).
Dried Beans - Look for an upcoming post on how to easily prepare a delicious recipe from dried white beans!
Quinoa - If you already know you are fond of another gluten free grain, by all means, pick your favorite! Millet is a favorite too!
Canned San Marzano Tomatoes -
Flex Item of Choice - This should be an item that fits your flavor preferences. It should pack a strong flavorful punch and still be versatile. Some of my favorite choices are: Can of chipotles, jar of pesto, red or green curry paste.
That's it! Most of these items you can find on Amazon w/ free 2-day prime shipping (I provided links if needed). If you don't yet have Prime (it pays for itself in a few purchases) click below to pick up your 30-days free here:
You can cancel after purchasing your pantry basics and then cancel. Keep it to maximize future cost savings! FREE 2-day shipping, free cloud storage, music, tv, all kinds of things!)
If you are interested in learning more about building a sustainable, organic pantry and reducing your food costs/improving health and reducing environmental impact, stay tuned for the next step: Curating your fresh fruits and veggies routine! Sign up for updates here!