A Prepared Pantry: My Kitchen Staples

A prepared pantry is a beautiful thing. Keep staple items in your fridge at all times and you will never have to fret about having an empty fridge or pantry. You will also save lots of money by buying items only when they are on sale. Below is my personal list of staple items in my kitchen. Of course yours will not be the same as mine, as every family has their own specific tastes and eating habits. My family loves Mexican food for example, so we always have on hand chili powder, pinto beans, tortillas, and the makings for homemade salsa. And many families are more into frozen or prepackaged meals than we are. Still, this should give you a good starting point. Here are the staple items that I keep in my kitchen:

IN THE FRIDGE:

Vegetables/Fruit/Produce

Flat-leaf parsley

Carrots

Bell peppers

Cilantro

Seasonal fruit

Bakery/Bread Items

Tortillas

Meats

Sandwich meat

Polish sausage

Bacon

Dairy and other Refrigerated Products

Milk

Eggs

Cheese: mozzarella, parmesan, other

Cream cheese

Butter: salted, unsalted

Margarine

Yogurt

Sour cream

Condiments (I like to keep extras of all of these in the cupboard as well):

Salad dressing

Mayo

Mustard

Ketchup

Miracle whip

Soy Sauce

Worcestershire sauce

Hoisin sauce

IN THE FREEZER:

Frozen Foods

Frozen veggies

Strawberries or other berries

Juice concentrate

Lemon juice (frozen in cubes)

Meats

Chicken breasts

Ground beef

Pepperoni

Other meats (whatever is on sale)

Other

French bread

SOMEWHERE IN THE KITCHEN OR PANTRY:

Vegetables/Fruit/Produce

Fresh tomatoes

Potatoes

Onions

Garlic

Bananas

Bakery/Bread Items

Sandwich bread

Tortilla chips

Canned Foods

Tomatoes: stewed, crushed, paste, sauce, diced, Ro-tel (for salsa)

Canned salsa

Green chilies

Jalapenos

Broth: chicken, beef

Peanut butter

Jam

Kidney beans

Corn

Cream of: chicken, mushroom soups

Honey

Canned fruit

Boxed Foods

Ranch dressing packets

Lipton onion soup packets

Rice mixes

Dried Beans/Pastas/Fruits, etc

Pinto beans

Raisins

Cranberries

Rice: white, brown

Spaghetti

Short pasta (penne, rigatoni, etc)

Couscous

Staples/Spices

Flour

Sugar

Brown sugar

Oats

Oils: olive, peanut, canola, vegetable

Dried spices:

Cayenne

Bay leaves

Chili powder

Thyme

Basil

Oregano

Paprika

Ground cinnamon

Ground cumin

Curry powder

Peppercorns

Other

Tortilla chips

Related Articles:

Prepare Your Pantry

What a Good Cook Keeps On Hand

Organizing the Pantry

What is Pantry Cooking?

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