The Stocked Pantry

Dinner in a Flash- Pantry Meals Ready to Go!
Dinner in a Flash- Pantry Meals Ready to Go!


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Reducing your grocery bill to under $250 is a cinch if you maintain a fully stocked pantry of basic ingredients. Here is a basic list of must-have ingredients:

Baking/Cooking GoodsMiscellaneous ItemsSeasoning/ Spices
□ Baking Mix (Biscuit)
□ Baking Powder
□ Baking Soda
□ Beans (dried)
□ Breadcrumbs
□ Chocolate chips
□ Cocoa, unsweetened baking
□ Cornmeal
□ Cornstarch
□ Corn Syrup, Light
□ Corn Syrup, Dark
□ Dried Fruits
□ Evaporated Milk
□ Four, all-purpose
□ Flour, whole wheat
□ Flour, Semolina
□ Gelatin
□ Honey
□ Lentils
□ Molasses
□ Nuts, various
□ Oatmeal
□ Pasta
□ Peanut Butter
□ Powdered Milk
□ Split Peas
□ Rice, Arborio
□ Rice, brown
□ Rice, Jasmine
□ Rice, White
□ Shortening
□ Soy Sauce
□ Sugar, confectioners
□ Sugar, granulated
□ Sugar, brown
□ Unsweetened baking chocolate
□ Semi-sweet baking chocolate
□ Worcestershire Sauce
□ Yeast 
□ Minced Garlic
□ Canned tomatoes
□ Tomato Paste
□ Tomato Sauce
□ Broth
□ Canned Pineapple
□ Canned Fruit Cocktail
□ Condensed Soups
□ Pie Fillings
□ Tuna
□ Crab Meat
□ Hot Sauce
□ Olives, black
□ Olives, Green
□ Pickles
□ Salsa

□ Nonstick spray
□ Canola Oil
□ Coconut Oil
□ Corn Oil
□ Olive Oil
□ Vegetable Oil
□ Balsamic Vinegar
□ Cider Vinegar
□ Red Wine Vinegar
□ Rice Vinegar
□ Seasoned Rice Vinegar
□ White Vinegar

□ Allspice
□ Basil
□ Bay leaves
□ Bouillon (Chicken, Beef, Vegetable)
□ Caraway seeds
□ Celery seed
□ Chives
□ Cilantro
□ Cinnamon (ground)
□ Cinnamon (sticks)
□ Cloves (ground)
□ Cloves (whole)
□ Cumin
□ Curry
□ Dill seed
□ Dill weed
□ Extracts- Vanilla, Almond
□ Fennel
□ Garlic (minced)
□ Garlic powder
□ Garlic salt
□ Ginger
□ Italian seasoning
□ Mace
□ Marjoram
□ Mustard
□ Nutmeg
□ Onion powder
□ Onion salt
□ Oregano
□ Parsley
□ Pepper (black)
□ Pepper (cayenne)
□ Peppercorns
□ Pickling Spice
□ Rosemary
□ Sage
□ Salt (coarse & Iodized)
□ Thyme
□ Tumeric
□ Vanilla

Several of the items on this list are homemade, for example, the Baking Mix (similar to Bisquick), we home can tomatoes now- but on occasions, we still purchase cans if we find them on sale or with coupons. My spice/seasoning list is considerably longer than this – but we don’t purchase them all at once.

When making our menu’s for the week, I generally take a look in the pantry to see what I have on hand (something many folks do Every single night at dinnertime), then sit down to compile the meal plan.

Once I have a list of meals, I literally carry that list into the pantry with me and do a quick check to see whether or not I have everything I need to make what’s on the list. Sometimes you may find that you don’t have a seasoning or don’t have brown sugar.

If that’s the case and I still have weekly shopping to do, I may pick the item up, but more often than not, I find a substitute for it. For the brown sugar- I simply make my own using a bit of molasses and granulated sugar.

Keeping a fully stocked pantry & learning how to use substitutes will drastically reduce your monthly grocery bills.

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About GB101 720 Articles
Filled with an insatiable wanderlust to see the world, I've dedicated most of my life to saving money where I can so I can afford to see and do the things I want. I dug our family out of debt by reducing our grocery expense to less than $300 a month. You can too!


  1. I’m sure someone has thought of this, but is there any kind of programs that have a master list of good unit prices per item? For example, on the grocery guide, you find a comparison of sale items. But, how do you know that these are the best prices you can get overall -maybe at a diiferent time or maybe in bulk?
    Just having a Master List of Unit Prices for items that you frequently buy in the area in which you live would be helpful, wouldn’t it?

  2. I have a price list of my families favorite items and our “keep on hand” items. This way we only have to go to 2 or 3 stores to get all our groceries and supplies. My husband then plans the route to save on gas. We also split the kids and the list at every store so we each get half.

  3. I am in desperate need to get my budget under control! My question is how do you get a well stocked pantry without spending $200 up front to obtain each of these items? Do you just purchase a few at a time?

    • I’m with the last poster on this… How do I stock up without spending a ton at one time?

      Buy ON sale! When pasta is on sale, stock up! When you find a good price on protein, buy as much as you can afford/have room to freeze. Dollar stores have a lot of basic rice, pasta, dried beans etc.

      cheap. When fruits and veggies are in season, buy/can/freeze. Generic frozen fruits and veggies are picked at peak freshness, and much less seasoned or processed than canned. Take it a step at a time, and learn what you will actually use.

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