The Modern Pantry List

There are many benefits to keeping a stocked pantry.  One of them is that you know exactly what you have on hand – no more accidental duplicates!  I keep a list of everything I have in the cupboards, refrigerator and freezer.  This way I know what I have, what I need and what needs used up before it goes bad.  This (along with monthly menu planning) has helped me tremendously in keeping my grocery costs down.  This is my complete pantry list.  When I do my grocery shopping, I make a list of what I’m running low on and then add fresh fruit, vegetables and meat.  Easy!

The Cooking From Scratch Pantry





CheesesParmesan, Romano, Cheddar, Mozzarella or Provolone, Cream, Feta, Blue

Sour Cream

Yogurt plain

Heavy Cream I use this for making half and half and coffee creamer

GrainsWhite, Wheat, Bread, Cornmeal, Oatmeal, Barley

SweetenersWhite Sugar, Brown Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Maple Syrup, Molasses, Honey

OilsOlive, Vegetable, Sesame

Dried BeansBlack, Cannelini, Red Kidney, Garbanzo, Lentils

PastaCouscous, Linguini, Rigatoni, Shells, Elbows

RiceWhite, Brown, Jasmine

Canned TomatoesPaste, Crushed, Diced, Whole

Vinegars Red Wine, Apple Cider, Balsamic

Baking Ingredients Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Cornstarch, Cocoa, Evaporated Milk, Sweetened Condensed Milk, Light and Dark Corn Syrup, Shortening, Yeast

Olives assorted green and black

TunaPacked in Water

Nut ButtersPeanut, Almond

Jellies, Jams and Preserves Assorted Homemade

Basic ProducePotatoes, Onions, Garlic, Lemons, Limes, Bananas, Apples, Celery, Carrots, Bell Peppers, Parsley

SpicesSalt, Pepper, Cayenne, Red Pepper Flakes, Ground Mustard, Cumin, Coriander, Chili Powder, Sage, Thyme, Rosemary, Bay Leaf, Basil, Oregano, Nutmeg, Ground Ginger, Allspice, Clove, Cinnamon, Cream of Tartar, Dill, Paprika, Tumeric, Celery Salt

ExtractsPure Vanilla, Anise, Almond

Condiments Ketchup, Mustard, Mayonnaise, Worcestershire Sauce, Barbecue Sauce, Dijon Mustard, Soy Sauce, Tahini, Hot Sauce, Pickles, Relish, Jarred Hot Peppers

FreezerGinger, Spinach, Peas, Corn, Bacon, Homemade Chicken and Beef Stock

MiscellaneousPopcorn Kernels, Bread Crumbs, Coffee, Assorted Tea

If you are new to keeping a stocked pantry, I would suggest that you start slowly, adding items a little at a time.  This keeps your grocery budget in check.  Tomorrow I will be sharing with you my list of “per-serving” costs for the above list – it’s a great tool for menu planning and budgeting!  Stay tuned! (Update – Here is the link!)

Do you keep a stocked pantry?  Has it helped with your grocery budget?  How?  I’d love to hear from you!

52 thoughts on “The Modern Pantry List

  1. I have kept a stocked pantry for years, it just makes cooking so much easier. I taught myself to cook from scratch when our kids were little and I stayed home with them. I found it was much cheaper to make my own instead of buying pre-packed. I still do this for the most part. I do cheat and use dried onions and frozen vegetables alot. I also believe in freezing leftovers and making meals ahead. I don’t do this as much since it is just the hubby and me now, but it still comes in handy. There have been times in our life when money was tight and my stocked cupboard and freezer meals got us through until the next payday. I also do alot of deydrating to keep supplies on hand.

    • It is so amazing to me how much a stocked pantry helps out when money is tight! I am very intersted in dehydrating – I haven’t done it before. What type of dehydrator do you have?

  2. It is so much easier to run a household and eat healthy with a well stocked pantry and fridge. It is a blessing when we have that luxury, as so many don’t.

    • Yes it is – and you are right, it is a blessing to have a pantry, no matter what the size when so many in this world don’t have enough food to eat.

  3. I am the same way! It’s also a great idea to create the same type of list for regularly needed household items such as cleaners, toilet paper, animal food, etc. 🙂 Glad I’m not the only one!

      • Stephanie, those are so helpful! I’ve been kind of piecemealing my plan as I go along, but now I’m going to print all 3 of your posts to give myself a little more direction. Have you been on any vacations where you attempted to stick to a “real food” diet? I’m going on one in 2 weeks and already trying to mentally prepare….would love any advice 🙂 And thank you again!!

      • Because our family is so big – our vacations typically involve rooms that have mini-kitchens and we bring our own food to make. Having said that – we will go out to a restaurant once a day, it’s vacation after all! I think it’s easier to keep breakfast and lunch snacks on hand and enjoy dinners out. If you can get a mini fridge in your hotel room – you can stock up on fresh fruit, veges and other healthy items for quick and easy meals. I’m thinking hummus, pitas, salad fixings etc. By the way – I love your blog! Thanks for stopping by mine!

  4. Thank you so much for the advice – you’re right, it’s a vacation 🙂 I will probably have no problem remembering that, but I’m sure my body and pocketbook will appreciate me stocking the fridge like you mentioned! I love your blog too!! I’m just getting started in the blog world, so it’s great to see others with great advice and proven success!

  5. A couple of my other essentials are unsweetened coconut flakes, raisins and nonfat milk powder (I keep my buttermilk in a powder too). I’m not sure if this counts as cooking from scratch, but semi-sweet chocolate chips too!

  6. i come from a long line of FOOD hoarders(among other things), therefore i do not keep my pantry stocked w/ any one item except for beans, & spices. i was turning into a food hoarder, but not using what i was hoarding, and this created waste. so, when the opportunity arose to downsize my refrigerator thanks to a kitchen remodel, i decided then to ALWAYS create a weekly menu, and only buy what was on my menu for the week. this has saved hundreds of dollars for me. on the weeks when i don’t create a menu (due to upcoming vacation, or out of hand premenstrual symptoms for example ), i will work off a daily menu, and buy only those items needed for dinner.

    • That’s a great point – it’s of no value to have a stocked pantry if the food goes to waste. I think there is a fine line between what works and what doesn’t, and every household is different! Thanks for the comment!

    • I do exactly the same thing. For years I was buying things to store just so I’d have it handy. But it just cluttered up the kitchen and a lot of food went bad. Now i only buy what I need for specific meals, plus a few extras I KNOW I always need.

  7. One of the advantages to keeping a stocked pantry, especially if you are aware of how much of any given thing you normally use in a month or two, is the ability to take advantage of good sales. For instance, we use a jar of lemon juice in a few weeks in the summertime, and lemon juice takes a long time to go off; therefore, if I see a good sale on lemon juice, I might buy three or four jars – an amount we can use before it goes bad. If you apply the same to a bunch of different foods, you can save quite a bit of money. Bulk buying also helps – we buy oatmeal, sugar, flour, and rice in the biggest bags we can find, since we do generally use a lot of these things, and finish the bags before they go bad. Likewise with cases of tomato sauce and canned mushrooms. The up-front cost is usually higher, but the per-pound cost is waaaaayyy lower. Of course, this only works if you actually use what you buy, but if you do, you can cut your grocery bill significantly.

  8. This is incredibly helpful to me for two reasons:

    1. For YEARS I’ve been trying to find a pantry list that corresponded to how I cook.

    2. I am trying to cook from scratch and this gives me a heads up on what to keep on hand in order to do that!

    I linked this article on my fb page,

  9. I love pantry pages! I’m trying to build mine up, but I’m finding it hard to keep up with 2 weekly posts, the pantry page, my 7 month old daughter and, and, and! I agree that a well stocked pantry is a must! Thanks!

    • Thanks! And thanks so much for stopping by! I use whipping cream for lots of things so I try to keep it on hand – But I don’t like the taste of full cream in my coffee – so thinning it down into “Half N Half” is just right for me!

  10. Thanks for “liking” my blog. I love the way you did your pantry list. So concise. It took me several posts and it’s organized differently, but also has recipes. Check it out. Love your blog!

    • Thank you and thanks for stopping by! I love how your list is broken up – Love it! It’s really nice to be able to focus on one pantry area at a time….your blog is fantastic! I’ll be back for sure!

  11. I loooooooooooove a stocked pantry! The only reason it hasn’t saved me money is because by mid-late year I will have moved three times and not been able to take it all with me!

  12. Yes, I do, along with what my husband calls ‘flood food’. I also limit grocery shopping to once a week, planning a set menu for about half our meals, and re-purposing leftovers for the other half. The payoff is healthy meals and lower cost.

    • Exactly – we try to do the bulk of our shopping once a month and then weekly trips for milk, fruit, veges etc. It’s a great way to keep costs down!

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