Monday, March 9, 2009

Stocking your Condiment Pantry

One of the tricks to creating delish and interesting meals on a budget is to keep quality condiments on hand.

And one of the best ways to build your pantry of condiments is to buy these items when you see them on sale.

At Whole Foods you can also purchase bottled and packaged goods in bulk at a discount. For example, if your family consumes large amounts of pasta sauce, you'd be better off buying a discounted case versus one bottle on sale. Check your local store for details.

Because I'm a proponent of the economy of one-stop-shopping, I won't drive from store-to-store looking for the best deal on items, I'll simply stay alert when doing my weekly shop and buy my favorite tinned & bottled sauces, jams, mustard, oil etc. when they're on sale.

And because I collect condiments over time (when I see them on sale), I don't spend a lot on these items regularly. Obviously if I were to add six condiments to my grocery list every-other week, purchasing them at full price, my grocery bill would go over budget.

So the key is to add one or two of your favorite condiments to your shopping cart periodically. Following this simple rule means I generally have on hand:

1) 365 Olive Oil
2) 365 Pasta Sauce
3) 365 bottled Salsa
4) 365 Fruit Spread
5) Patak's curry paste, and or sauce
6) Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste, Pad Thai Sauce, Premium Fish Sauce
7) 365 Coconut Milk
8) 365 Mustard: seeded & Dijon
9) 365 Organic Brown Rice Vinegar & Red Wine Vinegar
10) Braggs Liquid Aminos (like Soy Sauce only free of wheat)
11) And maybe ketchup, mayonnaise, pickled ginger, olives, capers etc.

And with these condiments in my pantry and fridge, I can jazz up just about any dish that might otherwise be quite ordinary.

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