What is a capsule pantry? How to get one started to save money on groceries

(NEW YORK) — Think of a capsule pantry as you would a capsule wardrobe: a variety of staple items to mix and match that can create a completely fresh, easy-to-assemble final product.

A capsule pantry starts with a strong base of ingredients that fit both your budget and food preferences and can be used in multiple meals. Staples like frozen vegetables or dried grains and canned proteins, for instance, translate easily to myriad budget-friendly dishes.

Kara, a personal finance creator who shares savings tips on social media to help others build wealth and reduce waste, further explained this newly popular grocery hack.

“I list out things that are in my capsule grocery budget,” she said. “The point of the budget is not [for you] to eat exactly how I eat, the point is to find foods that all work together to create multiple meals that you like, that work for your body and needs and that fit into your budget.”

To build a capsule collection, Kara suggests stocking up on “heavy hitters,” which for her includes “tortillas, eggs, black beans, chickpeas, kale, onion, poblano pepper, mushrooms — sweet potato and regular potatoes.”

She said that the key is finding items that “go really well together,” meaning they are versatile enough to make multiple dishes without trying too hard. Plus, capsule items like the ones she purchases “are all pretty cheap individually.”

Consumer Reports senior editor Tobie Stanger, who oversees financial topics including grocery savings, told ABC News’ Good Morning America that capsule pantries can help people “make different meals … all from pretty inexpensive items.”

“And you’re using the same [ingredients] so you’re not buying extras that you don’t need,” she added in support of the savings trend.

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