Put It In The Pantry With Your Cupcakes

Are cupcakes, cookies, and chips the only things in your pantry?  (It’s that cupboard in your kitchen where you’re supposed to keep food.)  Your pantry is a valuable tool in cooking and eating at home.  A well-stocked cupboard makes your life much easier, and allows you to spend less time thinking about what you’re going to eat, and more time eating it.

Before you stock up, ask yourself a few questions.  What kind of food do you cook most often?  Is there some food you’d like to try?  How much space do you have?  Answer those few questions, and then move on to building up your capacity.


Spices are the first thing most people think of when they hear “pantry.”  Obviously, you need salt and pepper.  Your other choices will go back to the questions above.  If you make a lot of Italian food (you are making your own sauce, right?) you’ll need basil, oregano, and parsley.  Want to try Indian or Jamaican?  You’ll need some curry powder.  Are you the adventurous type who likes to try new things?  Check out the spices in the bulk section of your local store.  Get just what you need for a new recipe, without spending a ton of money.  Ethnic stores are also a great place to get inexpensive spices.


Grains can bulk up pretty much any meal, stretching a half pound of hamburger and some random veggies to an awesome risotto for six people.  They’re also delicious.  Make a big batch at the beginning of the week, and your weeknight meals will come together with ease.

Canned stuff

A lot of canned goods are pretty gross.  I recommend frozen veggies over canned.  They have more nutrition, and less sodium.  That being said, canned beans and tomatoes make life much easier, and meals much faster.  Canned fish is also a potential lifesaver.

Fresh stuff

Some long lasting produce shouldn’t go in your refrigerator.  Potatoes and onions are great to have on hand.  Apples and oranges also keep for a long time on the counter.  Keeping them out where they’re visible will help you eat more fruit.

Stuff that’s not technically pantry stuff that you should maybe have all the time

Keep frozen veggies around so you never have an excuse not to eat them.  A bag of mixed veggies added to spaghetti sauce, sloppy joes, or ramen improves its nutritional profile and makes it go farther.

Frozen fruits are picked when they’re ripe, and are great for smoothies and cooked stuff.  When it’s hot, you can just eat them out of the bag.  Yum.

Basic Pantry List






Salt Rice Beans Mixed veggies Potatoes
Pepper Oatmeal Tuna Bananas Sweet potatoes
Basil Pasta Salmon Berries Onions
Oregano Fancy grains (farro, millet, etc.) Anchovies (Try them in salads) Whole garlic cloves
Curry powder Grits/polenta Sardines Apples
Chili powder Broth Oranges
Cumin Tomatoes Nuts
Garlic powder Dried fruit

What do you keep in your pantry?  Leave a comment below!


One thought on “Put It In The Pantry With Your Cupcakes

  1. I keep pasta, chips, crackers and pet food in my pantry along with what u said.
    My pantry shelves are very deep. I have found at least 2 bags of chips back there plus kernel popcorn I now remember buying 2 yrs. ago.
    And several house/pantry spiders which I know you’re not a critter crawlies type,
    Thanks for the information plus now gonna CLEAN and CULL. ♡


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