Sometimes, it seems impossible to stock your pantry; every time I share a video on TikTok or Instagram saying the best thing to do is shop from your kitchen pantry first, I get lots of comments, saying well, how do you stock your pantry? What if you don’t have the money to stock it?
What if you don’t even HAVE a pantry? I’ve been there; in our first home, we had six cupboards and used our basement door as the pantry. The key to living a frugal life that benefits you and your family is to use what you have first to the best of your abilities.
This is key when stocking a homesteader’s kitchen with pantry staples.
It’s worth taking the time and putting aside your weekly grocery budget to stock up your pantry before you try to make meals from home and shrink that grocery bill. If you are struggling with paycheck-to-paycheck living and your grocery bill is insanely high ( I mean, who isn’t these days?), you must commit to a well-stocked pantry first.
So today I will help you organize and stock up your homestead pantry.
Let’s get to it.
**Grab a free pantry list at the end of the blog post.
A detailed inventory of pantry staples is crucial to know what you have and need. It also helps you avoid buying duplicates and wasting money on items you already have.
I have a sheet for this in my meal planning binder- which you can get for 50% off ( use code Blackfriday) which is less than a Starbucks cup of coffee that you can use OVER AND OVER again.
To ensure that your pantry staples stay fresh, rotate your stock regularly. Use older items before newer ones and replenish them as needed.
For example, if you have two bags of rice, use the older one first and buy a new one to replace it.
Investing in airtight containers is necessary to keep dry goods like grains, flour, and pasta fresh for longer. Mason jars, plastic storage containers, and metal tins are all great options for storing pantry staples.
I switched our pantry over to all plastic containers for snacks. It’s made a big difference in what the kids will eat and see how much of something is actually left.
I did a TikTok video on this here.
Labeling your containers with the contents and expiration dates is essential for easy identification and to avoid confusion. You can use a label maker or write on the containers with a dry-erase marker.
If you are using mason jars, I love the dissolvable stickers you can find at Walmart or Amazon.
Organize by Categories
Organizing your pantry by categories such as grains, canned goods, spices, and baking supplies makes finding what you need when cooking easier.
When you see your pantry like the one above- you are not as motivated to find meals to make. Keep it organized so you can see what you have and find what you need quickly.
You can use shelves, baskets, and crates to keep your items organized and accessible. If you are tight on space these over-the-door pantry organizers make a huge difference- don’t slam those doors shut!
Maintain a supply of essential emergency pantry staples like rice, beans, cream soups, and canned fruits and vegetables. These items have a long shelf life and can create simple yet satisfying meals in an emergency or when you run out of fresh ingredients.
Canned and Preserved Foods
Learn home canning and preservation techniques to store garden produce and fruits for later use. Canning and preserving foods also allow you to control the ingredients and avoid preservatives and additives in store-bought products.
Dehydrating foods is another way to preserve them while maintaining their nutritional value. You can dehydrate fruits, vegetables, and herbs to store them for longer or use them in recipes throughout the year.
Check out our dried apples in the Ninja Foodi recipe.
If you have a root cellar, you can use it to store root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and onions. These pantry staples can last for months in a cool and dark environment.
Herbs and Spices
Stocking up on herbs and spices adds flavor and depth to your dishes. You can buy them in bulk and store them in airtight containers to save money and reduce waste.
You can see this is an older picture of my pantry before I put the snacks in clear containers which are in a different cupboard now but I love my big bulk spices.
I buy mine at wholesale clubs because they are cheap and usually have good quality spices. They last forever.
When using dried spices, always crunch them up in your hand before you sprinkle them in your dishes or bake them to awaken those flavors.
Flour and Grains
Different types of flour and grains like whole wheat, cornmeal, and oats allow you to make various baked goods and meals.
Store them in airtight containers to keep them fresh and prevent pests. I find buying four and grains at wholesale clubs the cheapest. When trying to cut back your grocery bill and make your own loaves of bread, cookies, and snacks, you will go through a 10-pound bag of flour faster than you think.
If you keep grabbing those 5 lb bags of flour at Aldi and run out within the first week, you are going to the store more frequently, giving you more impulse shopping opportunities.
In addition to canned fruits and vegetables, canned protein like tuna, salmon, and chicken can be used to create easy and healthy meals when fresh meat is unavailable or too expensive.
Swap recipes using canned tuna for canned chicken; again, you can get these at BJ’s, Sam’s, or Costco for cheap.
Dried fruits like raisins, dates, and apricots are great snacks and add sweetness and texture to baked goods and salads. Store them in airtight containers to prevent them from drying out.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds are great healthy fats and protein sources. They can be used to make snacks, add crunch and flavor to salads, and to make nut butter.
Having different cooking oils like olive oil, coconut oil, and vegetable oil allows you to cook different types of dishes and also add flavor and nutrition to your meals.
When thinking about making your own meals, think simple, roasted veggies drizzled with the right olive oil and salt are delicious. If you only want to get ONE oil in your pantry it should be this one. This is the one I swear by. It’s so good. Grab it at Walmart or Amazon .
Different sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, and molasses allow you to naturally sweeten your meals and baked goods.
They are also better for you than refined sugar. I like to drive around our country town and find local honey and maple syrup stands rather than buy them in the store.
Condiments and Sauces
Various condiments and sauces, like mustard, ketchup, and soy sauce, add flavor and depth to your meals. They can marinate meat, dress salads, and dip snacks.
Having a few cans of soup in your pantry is always handy when you need a quick and easy meal. Choose soups that are low in sodium and preservatives and contain whole grains and vegetables.
Cereal and Granola
Stocking up on cereal and granola is a must for busy mornings when you need a quick and healthy breakfast. Look for options that are low in sugar and high in fiber and protein.
Nut butters like peanut butter, almond butter, and cashew butter are great sources of healthy fats and protein. They are also versatile ingredients for making snacks, dressings, and sauces.
Baking essentials like baking powder, baking soda, and yeast allow you to make various baked goods. Store them in airtight containers to prevent them from losing their potency.
Cocoa and Coffee
Cocoa and coffee are must-haves for making desserts and waking you up in the morning. Look for organic and fair-trade options to support sustainable and ethical practices.
Having powdered milk in your pantry allows you to make any milk you need, from regular to almond and coconut milk. It is also a great source of protein and calcium.
Pasta and Rice
Different pasta and rice types allow you to create various meals worldwide. Look for whole-grain and gluten-free options to suit your dietary needs.
Pantry Must-Have Printable
Easy-to-Make Pantry Staples Recipes
Here are three of our favorite home-cooked recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner:
Breakfast: Oatmeal with Fruit and Nuts
1 cup rolled oats
2 cups water
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup mixed fruit and nuts (e.g., bananas, strawberries, blueberries, almonds, and walnuts)
1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
In a saucepan, bring the oats, water, and salt to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the oats are cooked and creamy.
Stir in the mixed fruits and nuts, and drizzle with honey or maple syrup.
Lunch: Chickpea Salad with Lemon Dressing
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cucumber, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix the chickpeas, onion, bell pepper, cucumber, and parsley in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
Dinner: One-Pot Chicken and Rice
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 cup long-grain rice ( Jasmine is our favorite)
2 cups chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
Add the chicken and cook for 5-7 minutes until browned on all sides.
Add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper, and sauté for 2-3 minutes until softened.
Add the rice, chicken broth, diced tomatoes, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes until the rice is cooked and the chicken is tender.
Having a well-stocked pantry is essential when cooking from scratch.
By keeping track of what you have and what you need, rotating your stock regularly, using storage containers, labeling your items, organizing by categories, and stocking up on emergency staples, canned and preserved foods, dehydrated foods, and root cellar items, you can ensure that you always have the ingredients you need to cook delicious and healthy meals.
Following our tips and trying our favorite recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you can make cooking from scratch a fun and rewarding experience.