Pantry Basics

Pantry Basics

What Every Well Stocked Pantry Should Have

In an economy that can make it difficult getting to the grocery store, I suggest stocking your pantry with basic dry goods that will allow you to be able to cook almost anything, even on a tight budget. A well stocked pantry will also allow you to make adjustments in recipes for everything from substitutions to extra people showing up for dinner.


Base Ingredients

Base ingredients are the items needed most commonly in recipes such as:

All-purpose flour


Sugar; granulated, brown, and powdered

Baking Soda

Baking Powder


Milk; powdered or dry milk, evaporated milk, condensed milk

Broth; canned and dry bullion- chicken, pork, beef, and vegetable


Dried Foods

Dried foods are items that can be reconstituted with water or other liquids.


Dried fruit; apples, bananas, pears, raisins, cranberries

Dried vegetables; peas, beans, onions, carrots, celery

Meats; jerky, salted meats like beef, chicken, turkey, and pork


Rice; long grain, minute, and basmati

Bread; crumbs, cubes, stuffing


Canned Goods

Canned goods can be a lifesaver when times are hard. While I believe in canning your own if you have the know-how, time, space, and an availability of product to can, store bought can goods will fill the need.


Can vegetables; assorted based on family preferences

Can fruits; assorted based on family preferences

Can soups; cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, tomato, chicken noodle, and other assorted types based on family preferences

Tomatoes; sauce, paste, diced, stewed, whole

Meats; tuna, chicken, Spam, ham



Additionals are items you should keep in your pantry but do not necessarily fall under any other category. These are items that will help you stretch leftovers, work for quick fixes, and can be useful for things other than eating.


Oils; vegetable, olive

Shortening; vegetable, butter

Gelatin (powdered); unflavored, assorted flavors

Chocolate; semi-sweet chips, unsweetened bars, cocoa powder

Nuts; walnuts, almonds, peanuts, and assorted according to family preferences

Cereal; corn flakes, puffed wheat and rice, and assorted family preferences

Crackers; saltines, graham

Coffee; whole bean, ground, instant

Tea; black, peppermint, chamomile, and assorted flavors according to family preferences

Peanut butter

Preserves; assorted jams and jellies


Peppermint; dried leaves, starlight mints, hard tack



Wine; red, white

Wooden matches



The items listed here have long shelf lives and can be used for a multitude of purposes including easing common ailments such as headaches, stomach aches, and fevers. Having a well stocked pantry is not only a wise decision financially for stretching the budget but also serves in emergency situations that arise from natural events like earthquakes and storms and from manmade event like the loss of public utilities. Whatever the situation it helps to be prepared and an easy place to start is with your pantry.