How to Stock a Pantry with Everything You Need

Save Money and Cook Great Food With These Kitchen Pantry Staples

A picture of a stocked kitchen pantry
Meal prep is fast and easy with a fully stocked kitchen pantry. Photo © Astronaut Images / Getty Images

How many times have you opened your kitchen pantry and wondered, "What's for dinner?" With a stocked kitchen pantry, you won't have to wonder. Make cooking and meal planning easier and save money on groceries by spotting sales on your basics. Have everything you need on-hand with must-have essentials for stocking a pantry that help you savor mealtime with your family.

Herbs and Spices

Paying full price for herbs and spices is expensive.

Grow your own herbs or keep an eye on sales to save money. With a variety of herbs and spices on hand, you can cook savory soups, mouth-watering pot roast and season all of your favorite foods to your taste.

Herbs and spices for your kitchen pantry:

  • Basil
  • Bay Leaves
  • Beef Buillon
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Celery Salt
  • Chicken Buillon
  • Chili Powder
  • Chives
  • Cilantro
  • Cinnamon
  • Cumin
  • Curry Powder
  • Fennel
  • Garlic Powder
  • Ginger
  • Minced Garlic
  • Nutmeg
  • Onion Powder
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Peppercorns
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Rubbed Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Savory
  • Thyme

Baking Supplies

Whip up a batch of cookies on a moment's notice. Bake banana bread the kids will devour. Sweeten your ham or cook the best fried chicken you've ever eaten.

Baking supplies for your kitchen pantry:

  • Almond Extract
  • Baker's Chocolate
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Brown Sugar
  • Confectioner's Sugar
  • Corn Meal
  • Corn Syrup
  • Cornstarch
  • Evaporated Milk
  • Flour
  • Oatmeal
  • Vanilla Extract
  • White Sugar
  • Yeast

Liquids

Mix your own salad dressing, make marinades for your meats or keep your pork chops from burning in the skillet.

Liquids for your kitchen pantry:

  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Canola Oil
  • Cooking Spray
  • Olive Oil
  • Red Cooking Wine
  • Vegetable Oil
  • White Cooking Wine
  • White Vinegar

Sauces and Condiments

Homemade sauces are ideal but not always possible to make without a lot of prep time. Store-bought sauces and condiments have a long shelf life and add lots of flavor to everyday recipes.

Sauces and condiments for your kitchen pantry:

  • Alfredo Sauce
  • Barbecue Sauce
  • Honey
  • Ketchup
  • Mayonnaise
  • Marinades
  • Mustard
  • Pepper
  • Salad Dressing
  • Salt
  • Soy Sauce
  • Spaghetti Sauce
  • Steak Sauce
  • Teriyaki Sauce
  • Worcestershire Sauce

Special Seasonings

Many foods you probably prepare from scratch are available as special seasonings. When you're in a pinch, these pouches can shave up to an hour off of the time you spend on dinner.

Special seasonings for your kitchen pantry:

  • Chili Mix
  • Gravy Packets
  • Marinade Mixes
  • Salad Dressing Mix
  • Stew Mix
  • Stroganoff Mix
  • Taco Seasoning
  • Vegetable Seasoning Packets

Cans and Jars

Canned and jarred goods make your kitchen pantry an instant source of vegetables, fruits and proteins. Busy cooks can also use canned goods for stews and casseroles.

Cans and jars for your kitchen pantry:

  • Applesauce
  • Baked Beans
  • Black-Eyed Peas
  • Canned Chicken
  • Canned Tuna
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Fruits, such as canned peaches and fruit cocktail
  • Green Beans
  • Peanut Butter
  • Peas
  • Soups, especially cream soups for casseroles and broths
  • Tomatoes

Packaged Goods

Storing packaged goods covers all bases -- from hot breakfasts on the table in minutes to afternoon snacks the kids can eat when they get home from school.

Packaged goods for your kitchen pantry:

  • Biscuit Mix
  • Brownie Mix
  • Cake Mix
  • Cereal
  • Cereal Bars
  • Chips
  • Coffee
  • Crackers
  • Gelatin
  • Granola Bars
  • Hot Chocolate Mix
  • Instant Mashed Potatoes
  • Instant Oatmeal
  • Instant Pudding
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Microwave Popcorn
  • Muffin Mix
  • Nuts
  • Pancake Mix
  • Salsa
  • Stuffing Mix
  • Taco Shells

Pasta and Rice

Look like you spent all day in the kitchen without having to slave over a hot stove. Cook quick, healthy dishes for your family with pasta and rice in your pantry. Low-fat spaghetti and meatballs and mushroom risotto are just two fast recipes you can prepare in 30 minutes.

Pasta and rice for your kitchen pantry:

  • Angel Hair Pasta
  • Brown Rice
  • Elbow Macaroni
  • Fettucini
  • Spaghetti Noodles
  • White Rice

Storage and Cooking Aids

Most of these products serve double duty in your kitchen, helping you coat foods with marinades, cover cooking foods in the oven and store your leftovers.

Storage and cooking aids for your kitchen pantry:

  • Aluminum Foil
  • Plastic Baggies
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Wax Paper