My Pantry

When our kids got their first apartments, they wanted to know what I kept on hand in my pantry. They found my list helpful; maybe you will too.

Please note that if you are setting up a new kitchen, you don’t need to go out and buy all these items at once. Just get them as you need them. Eventually, you’ll have a well-stocked pantry.


  • Flour[1]
  • Sugar[2]
  • Brown & powdered sugar (at times)
  • Cornstarch
  • Salt
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Vanilla
  • Brown rice
  • Bulgur
  • Spaghetti (whole wheat)
  • Macaroni (w/w)
  • Canned spaghetti sauce
  • Canned diced tomatoes (I prefer the petite dice)
  • Canned beans: black, small white, garbanzo
  • Refried beans
  • Canned chili peppers
  • Canned fruit, varies
  • Onions
  • Jam (flavor varies)
  • Tuna
  • Oil (canola and olive)
  • Vinegar (plain, white wine, red wine)
  • White wine
  • Red wine
  • Crackers
  • Tortilla chips
  • Cashews
  • Garlic
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Bread
  • Oatmeal
  • Generic cold cereal
  • Meat tenderizer

Spice rack:

  • Rosemary
  • Oregano
  • Dry mustard
  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Curry powder
  • Thyme
  • Sage
  • Summer savory
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Pepper
  • Cayenne


  • Frozen chicken, the parts you like best
  • Frozen burger, in ¾ – 1 lb. packages
  • Frozen meat or fish-tilapia, cod, salmon, pork, beef roast—whatever was on sale
  • Frozen green beans
  • Frozen peas
  • Nuts: slivered almonds, whole pecans


  • Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Chicken stock base
  • Beef stock base
  • Soy sauce
  • Catsup
  • Relish
  • Pickles
  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard
  • Maple syrup
  • Cheese (maybe low-fat Cheddar, low-fat Swiss, blue, and/or feta)
  • Sliced lunch meat (turkey or ham, usually)
  • Milk or soy milk
  • Dry sherry
  • Butter
  • Ginger (fresh, pureed, comes in a jar)

A few extra things we like to have on hand:

  • Canned green beans, wax (yellow) beans, & kidney beans, for making 4-bean salad
  • Mandarin oranges, for salads
  • Baked beans: my husband eats these for dinner when I’m not around to cook for him
  • Frozen mixed veggies: Italian style (for use in quickie burger minestrone)
  • Black olives
  • Tapioca (instant)

Whatcha think about this?

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