Learn how to take charge of your pantry & your family’s eating habits! Especially right now, we need to be thoughtful about our spending, keep ourselves healthy, and save money wherever we can. Our free printable pantry staples list PDF will help you stock a pantry on a budget in no time!
I’m passionate about pantries
Food storage has been a PASSION of mine for a long time! That sounds super nerdy, but I don’t care. I love thinking about what people eat, how they store it, how they use it, etc.
My grandparents were kids during the Depression and I remember that every time I visited them, I’d see racks of home-canned produce in the basement. Somehow, my grandma could whip up cookies or supper in a moment’s notice. Just by scrounging through her pantry and freezer, we could put together a hearty, filling, family meal.
There was something about those experiences that made me feel so warm and cozy!
I want to help you have a pantry like my grandma’s! It’s easier than you think with a printable pantry staples list.
Jump ahead to find what you’re looking for:
What is a pantry staples list?
Simply put, a pantry staples list breaks down everything you need to keep in your pantry. It’s kind of like a grocery list.
A pantry staples list printable exists to help you know what to buy at the store. It covers simple, basic ingredients to cook from scratch and whip up delicious desserts!
Basically, a pantry staples list is a memory aid. Instead of remembering every single thing you need at the store, you can use the list as a reference guide!
This is way more than just a pantry staples list.
Back in 2020, I first created a pantry staples list printable to help home cooks stay organized with simple ingredients to prepare real, nourishing meals.
I literally stared into my fridge, freezer, and pantry for days, thinking about what items I always have on hand and if they are universal enough for other home cooks.
After getting so many reader questions about setting up a kitchen & pantry, I created an ebook to answer the most common questions I was asked about setting up a real food kitchen.
What’s in the free ebook?
- An overview of WHY cooking from scratch is so important
- Key tips on WHERE to shop (and how to compromise when $$ gets in the way)
- Tips on HOW to store bulk foods so they last
- WHICH vegetables to always have on hand for easy meals
- WHICH cooking tools you can’t do without if you want to cook from scratch every day
- HOW we can help you jump start your lifestyle change
Here’s how people usually use this printable pantry staples list:
Personally, we like to keep one in a sheet protector on our fridge that we can adjust during the week. If we run low on apple cider vinegar, I’ll use a dry erase marker to write it on the list or check the vinegar box!
Then, when I go through my meal planner to create my grocery list, I just stick apple cider vinegar on the list. Easy!
Why is it so stinkin’ important to stock your pantry?
1. You’ll be ready to cook or bake anything
Imagine knowing that your pantry has all of the basic ingredients you need to whip up breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, side dishes, snacks, and more.
Yes, your pantry!
It is way more fun cooking when you have what you need on hand. You’re not last-minute googling substitutions for swiss chard or how to make brown sugar (because you forgot to refill it after you made cookies for the bake sale).
2. You’ll shrink your mental to-do list (at least your grocery list)
You and I both know that women keep track of everything. I remember asking my husband one day:
“Do you keep mental tabs on how much toilet paper and laundry detergent we have like I do?”
His response: “Uh, no?”
My brain just cannot handle one more list or thing to track. That’s why I created this pantry staples list. You can check items off the list as you finish them and automatically build your grocery list for the next trip.
Keeping things in your brain is a recipe for 1) forgetting what you need, 2) making a back-up trip to the store where you spend even more money, and 3) having to change your dinner plans last minute because you’re missing a key ingredient.
A pantry staples list is a memory aid. It’s a tool to help you take more off your plate (that’s definitely a bad pun).
3. You’ll be able to eat healthier (and stick to your food goals!)
Know what people have for dinner when they don’t meal plan and have a haphazard pantry?
They order pizza. They hit the drive-thru. They’re microwaving something in a plastic tub. The local UberEats driver knows their delivery schedule by heart.
If you’re trying to eat a certain way for your health, these quick dinners are not supporting your food goals.
My pantry is paramount to us sticking to a lower-carb, balanced way of eating. I’m able to prepare simple, anti-inflammatory meals to regulate my insulin resistance using basic ingredients. It’s so much easier than it seems, especially when you have the tools you need on hand.
No matter how you want to eat, being intentional with the ingredients you buy will make it way easier to prepare the right types of food for your body.
4. You’ll be able to meal plan lightning fast
We spend about 5-10 minutes meal planning per week.
I know…most people tell me they spend way more than that! It’s just not necessary.
How on earth is this possible? Well, we keep our meals super simple. We’re strategic about what we make, but we also keep the essential ingredients we need for quick, healthy meals on hand.
Meal planning in moments happens when you’re prepared and you know what you have on hand at all times. Think it’s impossible? Learn how my favorite strategies to simplify meal planning!
Psst! My ebook The Well-Stocked Pantry also includes a printable weekly meal planner to help you get started!
5. You’ll save money at the store by buying simple ingredients
When I hit the grocery store, this is what I typically see when I snoop in people’s carts: boxes of cereals, cans of soup, frozen meals, bags of bread, bags of chips, bags of candy, bottles of soda, etc.
Many processed foods are made with inferior ingredients and loaded with additives and preservatives to make them last. Of course, they charge you for their time and labor preparing these foods you could easily make yourself.
If you try to buy higher-quality packaged foods, you’re likely to pay even more (sometimes twice as much)!
Let’s save some money quickly by reducing the amounts of prepared and packaged foods we buy. Instead, let’s prioritize simple ingredients we can prepare quickly. These foods are way cheaper (and so much better for you)!
6. You’ll get in and out of the store way faster than before
Imagine this situation: you’ve been checking off your pantry staples list throughout the week. You know exactly what you’re out of and what you need to replace.
With your pantry staples list in hand, you fill your cart with just what you need and slide into the checkout line in just moments.
Absolutely possible (and about to happen)!
7. You’ll immediately start living more sustainably
If you’ve been here a minute, you know that minimizing my waste is extremely important to me! I have been making the transition to a sustainable lifestyle one zero waste swap at a time.
When you purchase ingredients instead of dining out, grabbing a pizza, or eating microwave meals, you’re immediately reducing the amount of plastic trash you produce.
You can take this even further by choosing paper packages over plastic ones or even filling your containers in the bulk section. Save that for later, though. Right now, we need to focus on making one habit shift at a time!
8. You’ll be able to flex your pantry when the budget shrinks
This is something so many people don’t think about, but absolutely should. Especially over the past few years, we’ve seen food shortages, job losses, prolonged illnesses and quarantines, etc.
Think of keeping a well-stocked pantry as low-key prepping.
I’m not saying you need to go out and buy 50 lb bags of flour and a heap of mylar bags (you do you, though).
Instead, treat your pantry as an investment. Focus on stocking your pantry with the essentials you need to cook from scratch.
When times are hard or a big bill comes due, you’ll be able to shop your pantry. This drops your grocery budget immediately so the money you normally spend on groceries can go to the tire shop or your kid’s dentist.
Get your pantry staples list now!
Clearly, there are so many reasons to get your pantry organized. It’s way easier than you think and my free tools will help you get started right away.
Send your free downloads directly to your inbox!
Where do I go from here?
I’m going to teach you everything I can about eating from scratch, living sustainably, and building resilience in your home (and budget)!
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