Staples for Cooking on a Budget

  |     |   Apartment Living

Pasta NoodlesMaking meals at home is often cheaper and healthier than eating out, but even cooking at home gets expensive when you don’t shop wisely. Stock up on versatile, low-priced staples to create tasty meals on a budget. While canned goods are one type of staple, these often take up a lot of space and limit your menu. Residents of our Chicago apartments who are looking to make delicious, low-cost meals, consider these staples.

The Basics

Pasta, grains and beans offer an amazing variety of choices and are suitable for numerous dishes and types of cuisine. They also have a long shelf life and can be spiced up with other essentials. Stock several different shapes of pasta, lentils, beans of various flavors and grains like white and brown rice, quinoa and couscous.

Oils & Sauces

You can easily add flavor and a little pizzazz to any dish with a variety of oils and sauces. These staples can be used independently or combined to create tons of dressings and sauces to liven up boring fare. Most don’t require refrigeration, but some must be refrigerated after opening. Include soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, honey, hot sauce, mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup and a variety of oils and vinegars.

Spice It Up

Another way to add unique flavor to bland dishes is by experimenting with spices. While cheap spices aren’t as good as more expensive versions, you can still make amazing meals with generic store spices. Buy spices in bulk to save money and keep a varied collection on hand. Besides salt and pepper, some basics to stock include garlic powder, chili powder, curry powder, cumin, turmeric, cayenne pepper, oregano, paprika, rosemary, thyme and vanilla extract.

Save Even More

Dry goods like flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and cornstarch are typically the least expensive ingredients to stock. Save money by purchasing these and other staples in bulk, instead of pre-packaged. Store items in heavy-duty zipper storage bags to save money on fancy storage containers.

The Montrose in Chicago’s historic Uptown neighborhood offers studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments with outstanding city and Lake Michigan views. We also have an on-site Jewel-Osco Grocery Store to make shopping for your essentials even easier. Call (866) 659-3593 to tour our available floor plans today!

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