The Penny Pincher's Pantry: 9 Money-Saving Kitchen Staples
Budget Kitchen Basics
Need it: Pancake Mix
Make it: Stir together 1 3/4 cups flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. In another bowl, whisk 2 eggs and 3 tablespoons vegetable oil into 1 1/2 cups milk. Add liquid to dry mixture and whisk. Don't overmix; batter should be lumpy. Makes 10 to 12 pancakes.
Need it: Chocolate Syrup
Make it: In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together 1 cup water, 1/3 cup light corn syrup, 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Stir constantly until just boiling. Cool and store in the fridge for up to 2 months.
Need it: Bacon Bits
Make it: Finely chop leftover cooked bacon and place in a zip-top bag, pressing out all the air when you seal it. Form into a flat, thin layer and freeze; simply break off a few pieces and crumble them when you need bacon bits. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Need it: Pre-Chopped Garlic
Make it: Chop a handful of peeled garlic cloves in a food processor; place in a sealable container and cover with olive oil. Store chilled airtight up to 2 weeks. Once the garlic is gone, use oil to flavor pasta or salad dressing.
Need it: Fresh Buttermilk
Make it: For 1 cup buttermilk to use in baking, mix 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice with 1 cup milk; let sit 5 minutes and use. Combining 3/4 cup plain yogurt and 1/4 cup milk works, too.