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Level Up Prep With a Well-Stocked Pantry

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When the world shut down for COVID-19, was your pantry a friend or foe? A well-stocked pantry is an insurance policy against unexpected unknowns. But did you also know it can make meal prep easier for your headspace and health goals, all while boosting your budget?

DIY

For more nutritious meals, make them at home. Choose every ingredient, and you’ve won half the battle. Fast food costs twice as much as homemade—yes, really. On-hand ingredients simplify cooking and save time and precious energy; nobody wants to figure out every detail while they’re hungry.

Take Stock

Inventory what you have, with an eye towards how you like to cook because you can make great tasting, healthful food at home. You just have to stock the building blocks of what you like to eat. Review these categories and fill in the gaps in your stockpile.

  • Substance

Canned proteins like tuna and chicken are easy. Consider side dishes: pastas, rice, soups, canned veggies, and beans. What would you be happy eating if your refrigerator broke and it took ten days to repair?

  • Flavor

To immediately improve your dish, add flavor. A good herb and spice selection ups the odds of eating in. Try pre-made stock instead of water to cook rice. Nearly everything can be sautéed in olive oil, and it can serve as a base for ridiculously easy homemade salad dressing. Is there a specific flavor you’re after? There’s a vinegar for that.

  • Baking

Start with ingredients to bake a batch of cookies and expand proportionally to how much you enjoy baking.

  • Snacks

            Buy snacks you’ll feel good eating while binge-watching your favorite shows.

  • Extra Credit

Put the perishable foods you frequently run out of in your grocery cart every time. Remember your freezer is another line of defense in an emergency.

As we continue to work together to stop the spread of COVID-19, we’re finding that some of the pandemic’s lessons—like these tips for stocking our pantries—are also helpful in our everyday lives. They are just another way we’re trying to make health possible for everyone!

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