Saturday, April 8, 2017

Pantry Staples I Always Have

 Not including coffee, tea (both must haves) and assorted baking ingredients, I have a few pantry staples that I rarely let my cupboards be without. It truly is a bonanza if I can get these items at really low prices. In no particular order, these include:

Assorted Pasta
Pineapple-chunks or rings
Canned Tuna
Tomato Soup
Canned beans

You can see pasta was on sale, and DH has never seen a low priced box of pasta he didn't like so I believe he bought 10. Tuna is his other proud buy. I once came across a sale on store brand pineapple chunks at something like $ .59 a can, almost half price, and bought a case of 24. That might have been excessive, but it was when my older kids were teens, and I had a toddler. I couldn't fit that many in my pantry without sacrificing just about everything else. I had read an analogy in the Tightwad Gazette about bulk buying storage and finding unconventional places. She compared storing cases of bulk bought items at rock bottom prices to having someone pay you, perhaps $50 a month, to store something under your bed. I think I found a space in the laundry room, but the idea was the same, though my savings was probably more like $12. I haven't bulk bought quite like that since but still make sure I toss extras of these essentials into my cart. 

Combined with odds and ends from the rest of my pantry, freezer or refrigerator, I can pretty much wing it for any food need without having to go to the grocery store. Needing to stretch dinner because a friend came home with DD? Cook up a side of rice pilaf in broth and serve pineapple in sauce dishes. A request to drop off a desert at church or for a work potluck? Pumpkin bars, pumpkin bread, or pumpkin cake can be ready in an hour. Impromptu trip to the Lake? Make a tuna salad, or enough tuna for sandwiches, and grab buns and chips on route. DD wants childhood comfort food after a grueling day of tests? Macaroni in tomato soup, a la spaghettios, fit the bill. Canned bean such as baked beans, chili beans, or garbanzo beans can be cooked with the rice, or combined cold with the pasta, or mashed and made into a sort of burger, and I have a protein filled main dish. 

No one in our family has any food sensitivities such as gluten, so I have it quite easy. I won't say my family likes me raiding the pantry as our sole menu plan, but in a pinch, can appreciate the relevancy of having core items at the ready. Besides baking goods, spices, and seasonings what items do you always have on hand?



  1. My "Always have on hand" staples list would look like....pasta, soups(tom and cream of), chicken stock, canned tomatoes, tom paste, rice, dried beans, condiments, salad dressings, tuna, applesauce.

  2. We always have rice on hand too. My challenge is that my daughter is now vegetarian and also avoids dairy as much as she can (almost vegan). I can never find enough good vegan recipes that we all like, especially since we don't like beans much.

  3. I always have on hand tuna, salmon, and chicken breasts in a can, pineapple, Uncle Ben's parboiled rice, soups of all kinds, green beans, corn, jello, canned fruits, tomato products of all kinds including spaghetti, dried beans, applesauce.

  4. I forgot the canning jars of things I dehydrated--Vidalia onions, celery, bell pepper, cranberries, bananas. Then, there are many jars of store dehydrated items that have been transferred to canning jars--dates, raisins, cranberries, mangoes, prunes.

  5. We are at the point where the only shopping we to do, other than coffee, orange juice and paper products is if something is at a rock bottom low price. We always have pasta, rice, oats, canned tomatoes, sweetened condensed milk, and soups on hand. Most of these are purchased on clearance/dent sales.

  6. Let's see, we typically have the following in the pantry: pasta (my picky eater's favorite meal), risotto, garbanzo beans, canned tomatoes (prefer my own sauce, but in a pinch), nuts, rice, & oats.

  7. My pantry staples are pasta, all kinds of canned beans,tuna, chicken and salmon, assorted fruits, pumpkin rice, oats, soups and shelf stable milk. I also have different flours, brown and white sugar. With these staples I can go for long periods of time without going to the store if needed.

  8. Pasta, canned and dried beans of all kinds, brown basmati rice, arborio rice, canned crushed tomatoes, canned diced tomatoes, coffee, real maple syrup, canned tuna, salmon & clams, homemade stock in the freezer, frozen berries, all sorts of nuts & peanut butter. Usually some canned pumpkin and canned evapo & condensed milks, baking choc chips, applesauce cups etc. Everything bought on sale.

    Yours DeeCee

  9. Good for you!
    Mine is pasta sauce jars.

  10. Since we ate from our food storage for a month my pantry is lower, but still ample by most standards. I always have canned:tuna, salmon, olives, fruit (pineapple, applesauce, and peaches), green beans, kidney beans, artichoke hearts,tom and cream of soup, tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, turnip greens, than pasta, powdered milk, rice, couscous, barley and just about every dried bean or lentil known to man.

  11. Thanks for all the great comments everyone. It seems there is a lot of variety in must have pantry items, but some that are pretty universal. Rice (of some variety) and pasta seem to be the most universal.


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