Kitchen Staples

So you’ve moved out of your parents house, you now have to start cooking for yourself because you realize that eating out every day is really expensive. Maybe you’ve been on your own a while and you just run to the store every time you need something. You don’t have to! By learning what kitchen staples to keep stocked you can virtually eliminate those last minute grocery runs.

So let’s start with the basics for the pantry

  • All Purpose Flour (Try to store in a large jar or tub vs. the bag)
  • Whole Wheat Flour
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Light Brown Sugar
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Chocolate Chips (I always like to have the ingredients for chocolate chip cookies on hand)
  • Vanilla extract (Do not use immitation)
  • Peanut Butter
  • Honey
  • Quick cooking oats
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Pasta Sauce
  • A couple different pastas (I keep Penne, Spaghetti, and bow tie on hand)
  • Minute rice (Brown or White)
  • Olive Oil
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Cream of chicken and cream of mushroom soups (Great for casseroles)
  • A few cans of canned veggies, I like to keep green beans, carrots and corn
  • A few cans of beans, I like to keep refried, black beans and pinto beans
  • Chicken and beef broth
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • A few cans of soup (for nights you absolutely do not want to cook) I keep things like Chunky’s chicken noodle, corn chowder and tomato.

Basics for the spice rack

  • Salt
  • Sea Salt grinder ( I get the big one from costco)
  • Black Pepper
  • Garlic Salt
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Chili Powder

Basics for the fridge

  • Butter; Salted and Unsalted (Not Margarine)
  • Heavy Cream
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Shredded Cheese (or blocks to shred if you prefer)
  • Lemon Juice
  • Minced Garlic
  • Almond Milk (for smoothies and overnight oats)
  • The basic condiments: Mayo, Mustard, Ketchup, Worcestershire, Soy Sauce, Salad dressing

Basic produce; Living in Alaska our produce goes bad pretty fast so I try to limit my “staple” produce to things that take a few weeks to go bad. Other produce I buy will be based on my weekly food menu or snacking fruit I want for the week.

  • Yellow Onions
  • Potatoes (I usually stick to red or yukon gold in the 5lb bags)
  • Carrots
  • Apples (They normally stay good for about 2 weeks so I will buy a bag of them)

Basics for the freezer; Again, living in Alaska it’s hard to get fresh stuff all the time. So I keep all my meat in the freezer and buy lots of frozen veggies and frozen fruit for smoothies. Even if you don’t have to worry about getting stuff fresh, buying your meat in bulk is the more economic choice. Even if you don’t shop at a costco or Sam’s Club, most local grocery stores (like safeway) will run specials like buy one get one free on Chicken Breast and that’s when I stock up.

  • Broccoli
  • Stir fry veggies
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Salmon
  • Ground beef or ground game meat
  • Pork Chops
  • Shrimp
  • Halibut or Cod
  • Whatever fruit you like for smoothies ( I get mixed berries and mango chunks)
  • Bread ( I always like to keep a loaf of bread in the freezer in case I run out)

Now, most of you are probably thinking “Ummm, this is a lot of stuff.” And yes, it is. But it’s actually not as much as you think. Besides the produce and the stuff in the fridge everything has a super long shelf life so you really won’t be buying it that often. Most of you probably already have half of the stuff already sitting in your cabinets.

People tend to buy more things at the grocery store that they don’t need when they are making multiple trips. By having these staples in your kitchen you are limiting your trips to the grocery store to once every week or two which in turn will save you TONS.

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