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Tag: plant-based

Building your plant based pantry – Part 2

So last week I showed you what my plant-based pantry looks like concerning foods & condiments. It really doesn’t have to be pricey! On that note I’d also like to add, if there are any of you thinking about adding more whole foods to your diet or changing to a plant-based lifestyle – this does not require throwing out any processed food or animal products you currently have in you kitchen! Although I promote a plant-based healthy lifestyle – I do not want to encourage being wasteful. This is what being frugal is all about. Since you have already bought it/ received it has a gift prior I believe you should still make use of these items – it is clearly wasted money otherwise.

How to build your plant-based pantry Part 2


So many people argue that plant-based meals aren’t very exciting – but in my opinion that’s because they don’t know how to cook them. Spices and Herbs are the secret!!! I think I probably overdo it most of the time (in a good way!) because I generally double/triple the amounts in recipes.


Sarah’s Spice drawer:


Bay leaf


Sweet paprika
Smoked paprika
mild Curry
Garam masala
Garlic powder

Spice drawer

This is it! My current storage system is not optimal – I have yet to find a nice organizing system that fits all the shapes and sizes. I don’t like the idea of buying the same size jars for all of them, because it’s a waste of money and then I still need an extra location for the overflow that doesn’t fit into the containers… I used to have them all neatly in a large box on the kitchen counter, but since we moved – counter top space has become precious as the kitchen is smaller. So instead I made room for them in a drawer and keep a small box for the spices that are in bags on the window sill. It is super convenient to have them all stashed away there right next to the hob without sacrificing counter space, but it does get messy quite often – if you have any ideas to better organize this, let me know – I’m open for suggestions!

This list may seem overwhelming – but all you need to do is by 1-2 herbs/spices each time a new recipe calls for it! And you will very quickly amass a huge variety without it burning a hole in your pocket. If you compare the list with the picture I also own a few spice mixes like cajun seasoning and paella spice mix – it’s nice to have them, but I rarely use them so nothing I’d consider essential!

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Building your plant-based pantry – Part 1

Before I went primarily plant based I wondered whether my grocery costs would actually increase – even if I saved money through not buying expensive meat, dairy and eggs! There were so many recipes using pricey or difficult to attain ingredients such as tempeh, amaranth and almond butter – just to name a few.  I was not hopeful in being able to cut my grocery budget. I felt pressured to include these into my diet and it took some time to figure out that these ingredients are not particularly necessary (though they definitely have dietary benefit) – I managed without them before hand so why not now!

Building your plant based pantry part 1


One of the main changes/additions to my shopping list was buying slightly sweetened soy milk instead of cow’s milk. If you are worried about soy – soy is actually not harmful to us, nor promotes cancer and may even be beneficial. 

I was still confused about this though when I changed my dietary habits so I originally made my own oat milk – also great for those who have soy allergy and don’t want to cash out for the pricey supermarket version or similarly expensive almond milk. We now stock pile almond milk for cooking purposes only when it’s on offer.

The other key change that happened is including LOTS of beans and pulses to my meals to replace the meat – previously I only ate chickpeas and kidney beans on a semi-regular basis and rarely lentils. Now my days are packed with all kinds of shapes and colours of beans & lentils!

Over time my list of staples in my pantry has evolved and I’d like to share it with you, to show that a plant-based diet does not have to be overly complicated and can be achieved on a budget. Fresh produce is of course added every week!

 Sarah’s Pantry


Sweet corn

Home-made hummus
Home-made baked beans
Chopped herbs
Veggie ‘fish fingers’ (marketed for children, but a life saver when we need a quick meal! Totally satisfy a fish finger craving, too.)

Dry goods

Whole wheat spaghetti
Whole wheat fusilli
Protein fusilli
Whole grain basmati rice
Short grain brown rice (recent substitute for risotto rice)



Pinto beans
Black turtle beans
Navy beans
Red lentils
Green lentils
Brown lentils
Kidney beans
Yellow split peas

Other non-perishable items:

Chopped tomatoes
Tomato paste
Coconut milk


Olive oil
Avocado oil
Dairy free sunflower/flaxseed margarine

These are the ‘fancyful’ (strange to me) items I thought were worth it and have adapted as staples:

Nutritional yeast
Miso Paste
Umami Paste
Dried mushrooms

Other condiments I generally have at home:

Soy sauce
Lemon juice
Lime juice
Vegetable stock powder
Apple cider vinegar
Peanut butter
Maple syrup


All purpose flour
Bread flour
Baking powder
White sugar
Brown sugar
Bird’s custard powder
Cocoa powder

I hope this shows that eating a plant-based diet does not have to be complicated or expensive. Having a stocked pantry does not only promote your healthy habits, but also prevents the temptation to order in or grab something unhealthy. Everything you need for a quick balanced meal is right there in your kitchen!

Plus I have now started to extend my pantry by buying excess of my staples whenever there is room in my weekly food budget so I don’t unexpectedly run out of an ingredient or can quickly whip up a freezer meal when there’s left over fresh produce without having to go shopping first.

In Part 2 we will look at what I have in my spice drawer – plant-based food does not have to be bland!

Do you feel there’s essential pantry staples missing from my list? Do you often ‘shop’ in your pantry to save money?

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