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How to Stock Your Pantry on a Budget

How to Stock Your Pantry on a Budget

A well-stocked pantry is a kitchen staple, but keeping it full of the right ingredients can be both time-consuming and expensive. Not to mention, many people don’t know what having a “well-stocked pantry” actually looks like.

Pantry basics are divided into several categories: grains, canned goods, seasonings and spices. A standard pantry could include:

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  • Grains: flour, oatmeal, rice, polenta, quinoa
  • Canned goods: stewed tomatoes, beans, tuna
  • Seasonings/condiments: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, soy sauce, sea salt, black pepper
  • Spices: cumin, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander
  • Other: sugar, vegetable stock, nuts

With all of these items on hand, you can make a filling meal quickly and easily, without heading to the store – you just need the veggies and protein to round it out. Luckily, you can easily stock your pantry on a budget when you maximize your coupons, choose your grocery store wisely and more.

1. Make a Better List

Once you know what should be in your pantry, it’s time to go shopping. How many times have you gone to store and left with all the things you don’t need and none of the things you do?

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A list helps you stay organized, so you get everything you need, while shopping smarter. Use your list to compare prices on items at different stores, before you go, so you know you’re always getting the best deal possible.

Make your list more effective with apps like GroceryiQ. With this app, you can create a detailed grocery list, find coupons – which are intergrated within the app for major brands and stores across the country – and create favorites so it’s easy to add the same items every few weeks.

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2. Shop Around Before Falling in Love With One Store or Another

While shopping at just one store is convenient, it may not be the most cost effective method. Researching which grocery stores have the best prices is an almost foolproof way to make sure you’re getting the best deal. For example, according to a recent study, Aldi is one of the most inexpensive places to do groceries. Sixty-six of their items were priced the lowest when compared to other grocery stores, like Publix and Trader Joes.

Consider visiting different store for different items – depending on what’s available at what price. Some items may be more affordable for certain pantry items Trader Joe’s while Aldi may provide you with the best price for other items. Long story short: Stock your pantry as items run out and head to the most affordable store for that particular item.

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3. Maximize Your Coupons

Coupons are one of the simplest and easiest ways to stretch your budget. Online coupon companies provide a clutter-free way to get the best deal possible and many grocery stores have entire sections on their websites dedicated to coupons that you can print and use.

Whole Foods recently launched an app that provides users with a barcode for all the coupons offered that day and it’s scanned straight from their phone screen at checkout. Also, many grocery stores, including Publix, allow for coupon stacking, or using both store and manufacturer coupons for certain items.

4. Buy in Bulk

Buying in bulk is the best way to stock your pantry on the budget – just remember to only buy in bulk if you know you like the item. Twenty pounds of quinoa at 50 percent off is great, but make sure that you actually like quinoa before you buy all of that.

With a little research and preparation, you can stock your pantry on a budget. Use these tips to save money on every trip to the store and your bank account will thank you.

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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