Having a well-stocked pantry is the key to a healthy lifestyle. But many are daunted by the fact that it will mean clearing out their entire pantry and buying expensive groceries, which may end up sitting in the cupboard, way past their expiry dates. I felt the same about 2 years back, when I first started packing salads to bring to work. However, through trial and error, I have learnt some simple tricks to follow, focusing on mindful spending and minimal wastage.
4 Steps to a Healthy Pantry Overhaul
- Start SMALL – Set aside a budget and write down a list to prevent impulse purchases
- Choose WISELY – Think of at least 3 ways/recipes you can use the product before purchasing
- Source CHEAPER options – I have often purchase very fresh salad leaves and beautiful cherry tomatoes from my neighbourhood wet market. Check out Sheng Shiong and even Giant for good deals, they often carry the exact same brand of products at a much lower price.
- Buy SEASONAL – Purchase fruits or vegetables in season. They are not only cheaper but also fresher and more delicious. Seasonal fruits are placed at the front of a supermarket and will likely be having some kind of promotion. You can check out the list of seasonal fruits in Singapore here.
To give you an idea, I have included a list of the groceries that I have in my pantry. Please note that the list is not exhaustive and you can definitely tailor it according to your own tastes and needs.
*Prices ( stated in Singapore Dollars ) are taken from Cold Storage at Takashimaya. You can most definitely find similar/same products at the more wallet friendly NTUC Fairprice.
1. Silk Organic Soymilk Original- $6.35
- 4 Servings when served alone
- 6-7 servings when used in a smoothie
- Alternatives: Nut, rice or dairy milk (Opt for high-calcium and unsweetened versions)
2. Flax seeds – $8.10, Pumpkin Seeds – $3.90
- Flax Seeds – 25 servings, Pumpkin Seeds – 6 Servings
- Alternatives: Chia Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Sesame Seeds
3. Pic’s Peanut Butter – $8.20
- 15 Servings
- Alternatives: Any other natural nut butters (Opt for unsalted with no additives added)
4. Canned Beans – $2 – 3.50 depending on type
- 5 Servings
- Suggestions: Kidney Beans, Cannellini Beans, Edamame
5. Canned Corn – $1.50
- 5 Servings
6. Quaker Oats Quick Cooking – $5.20
- 22 Servings
- Alternatives: Instant oats, oat bran, steel cut oats
7. Nuts, unsalted – $7-8, depending on type
- 7 Servings
- Suggestions: Almonds, Walnuts, Pecans, Cashews (Natural & unsalted)
Yes! Just 4 ingredients.Remember start SMALL!
Splurge on a good quality olive oil and sea salt. They will do wonders to bring out the flavours in your food without any harmful additives. You will be amazed.
- Olive Oil
- Sea Salt
- Black Pepper
Fresh Produce and Groceries
I always have the following items in my fridge to make a quick, healthy meal as they are easily available all year round. I will then add in 1 or 2 SEASONAL items to compliment and add an interesting touch to my meals. As a start, I would suggest choosing 3 items from this list and see what recipes you can use them in.
- Salad Leaves
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Fish (Salmon/Frozen Saba)
- Chicken Breast (Frozen, portioned out)
Last note: Pantry supplies and condiments do not need to be replaced regularly. Perhaps once a month or every fortnight to stock up will suffice. This will help you save cost and time. For fresh produce, focus on buying no more than 3 items at a time and using them (with the exception of eggs & natto) through the week to keep them fresh. As you journey through this healthy lifestyle, you will slowly get into the mode and buying groceries with minimal wastage will become much easier.
Thank you so much for reading!
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