10 Essentials for your Italian Frugal Kitchen Pantry

There are some foods that last longer than others and some of these foods that last a while can be expensive so it is a good a idea to stock up while they are on sale and purchase them with a coupon during the sale.
I chose these items for a frugal pantry because buying them in small amounts may add up and cost more than a larger purchase in bulk.
  1. Nuts and dried fruit – Nuts stored in the freezer can last up to 8 months. Since they contain oils and not water they will not form ice crystals or freezer burn.
  2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Oils can be kept up to a year if container has been not been opened. I only buy olive oil when it is on special since I use so much of it for baking and cooking. If a bottle is opened oils will last for about 6 months half the time.
  3. Flour – Storing flour in a airtight container in a cool area will make it last a little longer. However Whole wheat flour will not last as long as white flour and should be used within six months while white should be used within one year of purchase.
  4. Soy sauce – This sauce lasts for some time. I suggest storing in the refrigerator unless there is an expiration date on the bottle it can last years so buying a relatively smaller bottle if you don’t use it that often is best otherwise if you are a big user of soy sauce slightly larger.
  5. Honey – I love honey,  which means it doesn’t last very long in my home. Honey has no expiration date however it can crystalize. If that happens heat the bottle of honey in a warm water.
  6. Beans – I buy all my beans dried because it is far cheaper to by them that way and soak them the day before I use them. Beans will last up to two years if they are stored properly in a airtight container. This is important because people often assume beans last a long time place them in a bag and what quite often happens is they start to form a little bug inside which when soaked creep out.. creepy!
  7. Balsamic Vinegar – Although vinegar ranges in price based on quality they tend to be expensive for the most part. They keep for up to one year if opened and two years if unopened however white vinegar will not expire due to it’s acidity.
  8. Baking powder or baking soda – Storing should be in an air tight container to not allow moisture to seep in. These two essential ingredients will last up to one year.
  9. Sugar – White sugar will last up to two years if kept in an air tight container however brown sugar typically lasts 6 months before it becomes hard. To soften brown sugar add a little water and heat in microwave a few seconds to try and the sugar to soften.
  10. Rice and pasta – While these two will last up to two years they tend to be on the cheaper side however occasionally you may come across are good special and it’s a food that can always be used on the run and defiantly part of the frugal pantry!
A well stocked pantry is essential to keeping food costs down and being well equipped by purchasing these products when you see a good sale.

Steven Zussino

Steven Zussino is the co-founder of Grocery Alerts Canada. He loves to help Canadians save money on groceries. He also runs the blog, CanadianTravelHacking.com.