5 Cheap, Versatile Foods to Stock Up On Now (and What to Make With Them)

Interior of wooden pantry with products for cooking. Adult woman taking kitchenware and food from the shelves.

Wait, what?

If you’re like us, you’ve probably said those words at the grocery checkout recently.

Staples like eggs and milk continue to get more expensive (egg prices were up 92% between March and April, according to a Food Institute analysis of USDA data). Peanut butter is getting recalled and things like sugar, beef and poultry are becoming harder to find.

The USDA’s Food Price Outlook 2022, the agency’s Consumer Price Index for food which measures inflation, was up 1 percent from March 2022 to April 2022, and food prices were 9.4 percent higher than in April 2021. And the agency predicts prices will continue to rise this year.

So what’s a person to do?

For one thing, learn to think about ingredients differently. You may have sneered at canned chicken or frozen broccoli before, thinking they’re only good fresh. But with a little change of perspective and a dash of food knowledge, you’ll see the potential for green chicken enchiladas with a side of oven-roasted broccoli.

Read on to discover what we do with five cheap, versatile foods that are always in our pantry or freezer.