Dried Beans and Pasta
Dried beans and dried pasta are great pantry fillers, because they last so long and take up relatively little space. Dried pasta will last up to two years in a sealed container [source: Shelf Life Advice]. Dried beans, on the other hand, will last about a year [source: Utah State University]. That long shelf life makes them ideal for bulk buying. You can save a lot of money buying beans and pasta either in large containers at warehouse clubs, or by filling your own containers from bulk storage bins at health food stores. For example, whole wheat pasta bought in bulk costs 20 percent less, and dried black beans cost 32 percent less [source: Bailey]. Try to add some variety so that you can have different types of beans and pasta throughout the year or two that they'll last.