The Basics of a Well Stocked Pantry

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What to have in a well-Stocked Pantry.

If you are going to cook from scratch you need a well-stocked pantry. I will cover what you need in your pantry, fridge, and freezer.


Having a well-stocked pantry will save you money, you won’t be making last minute trips to the store, you will have things on hand to fix a meal at the last minute. It will make cooking so much easier because you will know that you have what you need when you decide what you want to fix. Also having a well-stocked pantry if you are out of something chances are you have enough stuff to make it from scratch or something you can use as a substitute.


These are the basic staples if you do any specialty such as Mexican, Chinese, Italian then you will need to add the ingredients that you use most often on the list.  As I said this is a basic list of staples you will probably want to add things that you use a lot of that are not on the list. Such as I put green chili in almost everything so that is something I always have on hand that you may not ever use.
So adjust the list to fit our needs.
It looks like a long list but chances are you have a lot of it already in your pantry so don’t get discouraged by it.
If it has a * behind it that means it is something that you can make yourself.



Canned Goods

Chicken broth *
Beef Broth *
Marinara sauce *
Tomato sauce *
Petite diced tomatoes *
Assorted Beans, Whatever you use
Tomato paste
Whole tomatoes
Canned fruits *
Canned vegetables *
Sweetened condensed milk *
Evaporated milk *
Pie fillings *
Applesauce *
Canned meats *
Cream Soups *
Enchilada Sauce Red & Green *



Shelf-Stable Items
Peanut butter *
Pasta (in various shapes, strands, and tubes)
Long-grain white rice ( whatever rice you like to use)
Lentils and dried beans
Dried bread crumbs *
Rolled Oats
Dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, etc.).
Syrups ( Maple, Corn, Chocolate, etc.) *
Almond extract *
Vanilla extract *
Lemon extract *
Crackers asst *
Corn Meal
Tea ( regular & herb teas)
Baking Staples
Baking soda
Baking powder *
Semi-sweet chocolate chips*
Brown sugar*
Powdered sugar
Cocoa powder
Corn starch
Powdered milk
Beef & Chicken Bouillion Granules
Bisquet Mix *



Garlic powder & Salt
Onion powder & Salt
Black Pepper
Cayenne pepper
Chili powder
Bay Leaves
Red chili pepper flakes
Dill seeds
Dried mustard
Poppy seeds
Salt (regular & coarse)
Cloves (ground & whole)
Ground allspice
Ground cardamon
Ground ginger
Ground nutmeg
Anise seeds
Seasoning salt *
No Salt
Cream of Tarter
Powdered egg whites (meringue powder)
Celery Seed
Ranch Dressing Mix *


Oils / Vinegar

Nonstick spray *
Extra virgin olive oil
Coconut oil
Avacado or grapeseed oil
Vegetable oil
Balsamic vinegar
Red wine vinegar
Apple cider vinegar



Ketchup *
Dijon mustard
Yellow mustard
Mayonnaise *
Salad dressing
Barbeque sauce *
Salsa *
Soy sauce
Worcestershire sauce *
Hot sauce *
Terikiyi sauce
pickles (sweet, dill & relish) *
Lemon Juice
Jelly & jams *



Butter *
Cream (heavy or whipping)
Parmesan cheese
Sour cream
Various cheeses
Yogurt *
Cottage Cheese *
Cream Cheese *



Fruit-juice concentrates (orange, apple, pineapple)
Frozen vegetables: (peas, broccoli, bell pepper and
onion mix, corn, chopped onions, Cauliflower, uncooked hash browns etc)
Frozen berries *
Ground beef
Chicken breasts
Wonton & egg roll wrappers
Flour and corn tortillas *
Vanilla ice cream
Tator Tots
Shredded Cheese
Meat Balls *


Fresh Produce

Garlic bulbs
Onions (red & white)
Potatoes ( Baking & boiling)


I am sure I have missed a few things but as I said this is a basic list so add the things that you use that are not on it.
I hope this will give you an idea of what you need in a well-stocked pantry.

8 Replies to “The Basics of a Well Stocked Pantry”

  1. NRP

    Holy Macaroni & Cheese there girl…. HAHAHAH
    I will not disagree that would be a heck of a Deep Pantry, but I need to ask, are all of those items needed for most people? The answer is YES, most likely by those that ‘really’ cook.
    I will admit I do have quite a few (most) items you have listed, but I built my Deep Pantry a little differently than most I believe. My method was to take the 50+ most used I make recipes, the items I don’t have a recipe for, and list the ingredients of all into a spreadsheet, Excel works great, with the amounts needed for each. Sort the sheet and poof, there ya go. This goes back to the Store what you eat and Eat what you store.
    Next I added all the ‘odd’ stuff I use, like canning, pickling and BBQ-ing stuff, even adding the Smoker and dehydrating spices other things like Thai and Chinese ingredients.
    With the total list I determined how long most items would store for; some are short term (Sour Cream and Yogurt), some years and years (Beans and Rice).
    Next I really REALLY contemplated about how long I was building my Deep Pantry for, 6 months? A year? Or 5 years?
    Finally I added the “comfort” items like Chocolate Bars, Hard Candy, Snacks that will store long term.

    Once I had my list I built a budget, and made sure I was on the right track by reviewing my efforts 3-4 times. Than the hard part….. Buying at the right price and what I felt was the most urgent.
    It has taken me well over 3 years to get where I’m comfortable I have 5 years of essentials, WHY you ask, because I know things WILL happen and have happened in the past.

    One last thing that I would insist someone has if I was mentoring them. An Inventory of what’s in the Deep Pantry, my D-P is not all in one room whereas I can just turn around and see everything , it is spread over many places and freezers, storage spots and locations. Additionally I do not include what is in the Kitchen as Deep Pantry ‘stuff’, it’s to volatile and changes way to fast, I’m not going to inventory each time I use 2 eggs from the Refrigerator….

    Thank you Rancher’s Wife for the article, I know you put a lot of work into it, well done.

  2. WT Abernathy

    That is a well-thought our list- keeping our pantry stocked like yours is almost religious for me. As soon as something is used, it is immediately placed on the list if not doubled. The thinking is that if was used, it will be used again in the near future.

    On our off grid homestead, we have limited cabinet space, so we use some of the shelves in our canning pantry for store-bought items. As long as we know where something is, it keeps it’s value. As soon as we forget, the next thing you know we have doubled our supply on the next shopping trip.

    Thank you for you ideas- it makes me feel better knowing that others take it so seriously:)

    1. Post author

      Thank you,Doesn’t it feel good to know you have a deep pantry and are prepared for most anything? Having some kind of list really helps in keeping up with what all you have. I try to keep a list of what I have canned and put in the freezer but am bad about not keeping good track of what I buy so I do end up with extra but I figure it will get used.

      I know there are a lot who do take this serious but not nearly enough I figure if I can get even one more person to work on a deep pantry then it is worth the work I put into this.
      Have a great day and thanks for stopping by,

  3. Shirley Wood

    Helpful list for new homemakers. We tend to only keep the most common spices we like the most and same for condiments. A well stocked pantry is so helpful when we cook at home all the time. I wish you had Pinterest image I could share. Stopping by from Merry Monday. Hope to see ya back next week.

  4. Kathleen - Bloggers Lifestyle

    A very thoughtful list. We cook everything from scratch, it is more work but well worth the trouble. I have to confess that I live next to a supermarket so I am not quite as organized as you are. Thanks for sharing, I am sure many will find this list helpful.
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