Stocking a pantry can seem a bit daunting if you’re not sure where to start. Do you want to feel more prepared for emergencies? The rising cost of groceries? Maybe you just want to feel like your pantry is prepared for any recipe.
If these situations sound like you, here are some of the foods and staples that would change all that. Most of these foods have a very long shelf.
These are the basic food items I would recommend keeping stocked in your pantry at all times. If you’re finding your budget tight be sure to check out my sale cycle posts for buying items each month and how to prep on a budget:
Be sure to see more articles on preparation at the end of this post.
Stocking a Pantry – What You Need
1. Brown Rice
While brown rice may not store in your pantry for nearly as long as white rice (about 6 months), it’s still a much healthier option for your family. There’s so many different ways that you can prepare it, whether you add spices, vegetables, garlic powder, or soy sauce to it.
Rice is an excellent side dish to go with chicken, pork, fish, or added to your homemade burritos.
Boxed pasta can last in your pantry for a very long period of time. It’s always handy to have several boxes tucked away in your kitchen pantry, when you need a quick meal or last-minute side dish.
Make sure that you stock up on all the different types of pasta, like spaghetti, rotini, macaroni, fettuccine, seashells, and any of your other favorites. Pasta can also be added to soups and stews, or made into a flavorful pasta salad.
3. Dried Beans
If you’re wanting to add protein and other nutrients to your meals, dried beans are the way to go. They’re also very filling after only eating a little. Pinto, kidney, lima, northern, black, and red beans are all great options and can be used in so many different ways.
They taste wonderful in salads, tacos, stews, chilis, and hearty casseroles. Beans can also be added in with your hamburger to help stretch out your hard-earned dollars.
4. Canned Vegetables
The next time there is a big canned food sale going on at your local grocery store, make sure to stock up on several of your favorite kinds. Although they are not fresh, they still make an excellent healthy side dish so that your family is getting important vitamins and nutrients.
Canned fruits are another smart choice when you need it!
5. Canned Meats
Do you have any meat eaters in your family? While a majority of people prefer eating fresh meat that’s bought from the grocery store, canned meat can be a great resource to have.
You can find a variety of canned meat; including chicken, pork, beef, turkey, as well as tuna, salmon, and sardines.
6. Distilled White Vinegar
Distilled white vinegar is a versatile ingredient that will last in your pantry forever. It can be used to make marinades, salad dressings, and so much more.
7. Peanut Butter
If you’re a mom with several kids, it’s probably a good idea to never run out of this item. Nothing seems to go better with grape jelly and white bread than a spoonful of peanut butter.
You can also put some on saltine crackers or bananas for a little snack, or bake some delicious cookies with it. Peanut butter contains a fair amount of protein too!
Besides being a delicious natural sweetener for your tea, bread, and glaze for your ham, pure honey can also be used on bug bites, scrapes, and scratches. Honey will also store in your pantry indefinitely.
When it starts to crystalize, that doesn’t mean that it’s gone bad. Simply place the jar or plastic bottle of it under warm running water and it should be good as new.
Don’t forget to have sugar on-hand as well, including white, brown, or powdered sugar. It can be added to your hot and cold beverages, baked goods, cereals, and so much more. Sugar is also a necessary ingredient for preserving delicious homemade foods. As long as you keep it in a dry, air-tight container, sugar will not spoil.
This pantry list would not be complete without the mention of flour. There’s just so much you can do with this versatile kitchen staple. Not only can you make different types of cakes, bread, and other delicious baked goods with it, but it can also be used for coating chicken before frying, making pancakes, along with thickening gravies and soups.
If you never use cornstarch, there are a few things you’re missing out on by not having it. Cornstarch is necessary for thickening gravies and stews, but it can also help soothe sunburns, diaper rash, and other irritations of the skin.
12. Herbs and Spices
Just imagine a world without herbs and spices. That’s why stocking up on some of them for your pantry is a must. Italian seasoning, pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, garlic salt, and seasoning salt are just a few that you need to consider.
While some of the popular brands can get a bit pricey on some of them, there are also off-brand spices and herbs that will cost you a fraction of the price.
13. Bouillon Cubes
Tired of your meals tasting kinda bland all the time? Once you start adding them to your soups, stews, rice, and meats, there will be no going back. The most popular bouillon cube flavors include beef, chicken, and vegetable.
Salt will last in your kitchen pantry forever, as long as it isn’t exposed to moisture. Not only will it add more flavor to your meals, but it can also be used to dehydrate and preserve certain foods.
Stocking a Pantry with Everything You Need
Whether you’re simply looking for pantry staples to stock up on, or meals that can be used during an emergency, this list of food items will last in your kitchen pantry for a very long time. You’ll be able to prepare so many different kinds of meals with them and have a majority of the ingredients that you need if you’re following a particular recipe.
More on Being Prepared
How to Store Water for Emergencies
Preparing for Hyperinflation
How to Prepare for Food Shortages
How to Make Hardtack Recipe
Prepping Items to Buy at Yard Sales
Is Prepping Selfish?
Best Foods to Buy in Bulk