By keeping your pantry stocked with nonperishable items such as pastas, beans, sauces, and spices, you’ll have the basic ingredients for many meals on hand at all times, spend less time in the supermarket, and always be able to cook in a pinch.
How to Do It
Keep in a convenient place a running list of items to replenish—taped inside a cabinet door, for example. Then you can check your running list as you write out your weekly grocery list, instead of rifling through your pantry each week, trying to remember what you need.
What to Stock
The following lists contain basic items that you should have in your pantry. You’ll probably want to modify your own lists a bit to match your preferences and dietary needs (and those of your family).
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Cereals (cold and hot)
- Dried beans (lentils, split peas, black)
- Dried grains (rice, quinoa, rolled oats)
Dried Herbs and Spices
- Bay leaves
- Black pepper
- Chili powder
Canned and Bottled Goods
- Beans (kidney, black, garbanzo, baked)
- Broths (beef, chicken, vegetable)
- Jellies and jams
- Maple syrup
- Oils (canola, olive, corn, peanut)
- Peanut butter
- Salad dressing
- Sauces (barbecue, chili, soy, pesto, Worcestershire)
- Vinegar (white wine, red wine, balsamic)
Though unopened canned and bottled goods can be stored in cabinets at room temperature, most must be refrigerated after opening. Be sure to follow the storage instructions on the product labels of these items.