Do you keep a stockpile of items in your house? Keeping the pantry essentials in your house means you’ll always have the ingredients to make simple meals! One of the ways I stick to my grocery budget is making at least one meal a week out of what I already have, and you can do the same. Here are 11 items you should always keep in your pantry.
1. Rice and beans
These are absolute staples at our house! Either keep cans of beans in your pantry, or make your own and freeze, like we do. They’re so versatile; just add any mixture of seasonings and vegetables and you’ve got a complete, protein-filled meal!
Seasonings are what give your food an extra kick in flavor! I always try to keep the basics on hand at all times: Chili powder, cumin, basil, oregano, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, cinnamon, curry powder, salt and pepper.
3. Canned tomatoes
Keep all kinds in your pantry! Crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, tomato paste… Combine the diced tomatoes with the seasonings and rice and beans above for a Mexican dish, or use crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and seasonings like basil and oregano for a quick spaghetti sauce!
4. Baking essentials
Flour, sugar, baking powder/soda, oil, chocolate chips, cooking spray, and yeast. There are days when I’m craving bread, or want to bake some cookies, and it’s so nice to have everything I need already so I can just make a quick batch of something!
We are huge chips and salsa fans in this house, so I always try to keep a few jars in my pantry and stock up whenever the price hits rock bottom. Salsa is great for cooking in Mexican recipes, too!
6. Pasta and sauce
I keep these for a fast emergency meal, like if we don’t have enough leftovers for dinner or if for some reason I totally mess up my other dinner!
7. Chicken broth/bouillon cubes
I use these a lot in soups, or as the cooking liquid for my rice. Always keep some of this on hand!
I use oats a lot for regular oatmeal, overnight oats, granola, and baking muffins. Gotta have a large container at all times!
Things like ketchup, mustard, mayo, hot sauce, and pickles.
10. Peanut butter
Okay, so sometimes I just like to dip a spoon in a jar of peanut butter and eat it for dessert. But I also use it in my oatmeal and baking, so I make sure I never run out!
11. Canned soup
Either for actual soup or as an ingredient in a recipe, try to keep a couple cans of cream of mushroom/chicken soup (or make your own version to freeze!)
Is there anything you would add to this list? Share with us below!
Monday 24th of June 2019
Great tips. We make our own salsa using the fire roasted tomatoes from Aldi's fresh onions and jalapenos process them in a food processor or blender. If you like add salt, garlic powder, and a bit of lime juice. I use what I have and it's always bottled lime and lemon juice. It saves us a ton of money using them instead of fresh. We use so much salsa at our house as well I had to find a cheaper way. This recipe was one I found from Beth over at Budget Bytes.Com. You just make it your own with seasonings that you have and what your family will eat.
Monday 24th of June 2019
I need to make my own salsa more often! We go through a lot too. =)
Wednesday 21st of February 2018
This is a great list! I've been slowly trying to build up my pantry with staples like these. I'm learning to get them at a low price!
Thursday 22nd of February 2018
That's awesome, Cristina! It's gonna feel great to be able to "shop" from your pantry when it's time to meal plan for the week. =)
Sunday 24th of December 2017
What did this list accomplish? What will I cook with these items (already in my pantry?) The problem is even if I have them what will I make to eat? Everyone? pantry is suited to their families taste and economic status. If you have the extra Salsa or Chicken stock will you make Chicken Salsa soup? I typed in pantry recipes hoping for an idea on how to put some of these items together in a meal. I had a better chance of finding out how to make Prime Rib or grill Lobster Tails. I realize that was not your intent when writing your article. It is a simple fact on how big the divide between the haves and have-nots is in our country. Some woman somewhere is trying to feed her family on what is in her cupboard and she won´t find it here. Is that our concern? I feel we should make it our concern. But that is only my opinion
Monday 25th of December 2017
Hi Barbara! A lot of these items can be made into simple meals and are great to keep in the cupboard for emergencies. Rice and beans, for example, can be used in burritos. A box of pasta and a jar of spaghetti sauce can be an easy meal that makes a lot. It's definitely not lobster tails, as you said, but a mom trying to feed her family would probably like to have simple ingredients like in this post to help complete or complement meals. I know they've helped us plenty of times when we've been low on money!
Tuesday 4th of July 2017
I like to make and can salsa. I have also canned pinto beans.
Tuesday 4th of July 2017
Awesome! I've yet to delve into canning, but I know it's a nice cheap way to get pantry staples. =)
Tuesday 2nd of June 2015
i think this is a great list. I plan to stock up this summer for months when finances is straining. I will be pinning this!