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!
Jaime is a Nutrition Coach and professional writer. She enjoys cooking easy meals, running, and learning more about food.
Jaime specializes in helping women with ADHD learn to meal plan and cook healthier meals without getting overwhelmed.