Perfectly Practical #101 - Basic Pantry Staples List

During these last 10 weeks, we have committed to a self-inflicted pantry challenge.  We have not had beans and rice every night (although we have that fairly often pantry challenge or no pantry challenge) and it has been amazing to me the meals that have been created.  I put that down to the staples that are kept in the cupboards at all times. 

Weekly, I post a potential menu plan using the Brookshire's grocery ad.  That plan assumes that the user has some basic items on hand always. 

Everyone has a slightly different pantry staples list due to dietary needs or preferences.  For instance my list has 4 kinds of rice on it whereas yours may have 6 or none at all.  Be aware of what your family eats and more importantly, doesn't eat, so you aren't wasting money on groceries just because someone else thinks they are a necessity.

This list is to give you a jumping off point as to what a basic pantry needs to make most meals.  As in almost everything in our lives, these ingredients run double duty for the most part.  The tea and coffee aren't just for drinks, but also used in cooking, the cinnamon can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, baking soda and vinegar and used for culinary and cleaning purposes, etc. 

Drinks (instant or regular)



All-Purpose Flour
White Sugar
Brown Sugar
Cocoa Powder
Oats (I like old fashioned oats since they are a bit more versatile)
Canned Tomatoes (blend them to make tomato sauce or cook them down to make tomato paste)
Vegetable Oil
Olive Oil
Peanut Butter
Macaroni Noodles
Raspberry Jam (use this in salad dressings, marinades, sauces, or stand alone)
White Rice (sweet or savory)
Dried or Canned Pinto Beans
"Cream of" Soups
Vanilla Pudding Mix
Canned Pineapple

Spice Cabinet

Table Salt
Black Pepper
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Chili Powder
Italian Seasoning
Cinnamon (this can be in sweet or savory dishes)
Cumin (really versatile from Indian to Mexican)
Baking Soda
Baking Powder
White Vinegar
Chicken Bullion


Sharp Cheddar (the sharper the cheese the less you have to use to get the desired flavor)
Whole Grain Mustard (use this in salad dressings, marinades, sauces, or stand alone)
Barbecue Sauce
Worcestershire Sauce
Teriyaki Sauce

This is part of Works for Me Wednesday.


  1. Wow! That's a great list. I'm going to print out a copy and tape it inside my pantry. I would add yeast to the list since my family can't live without bread :)

    1. I thought about adding yeast for approximately .03 of a second but as I only use it to make homemade wine, I figured it probably wasn't a pantry staple for us. ;)


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