If you buy everything you need each time you go to the grocery store, you may find you are spending more money than strictly necessary. Alternatively, not keeping track of what you have in your cupboards may result in you not having what you need when you are trying to make something. While you cannot plan for every scenario, there are a number of ingredients used in so many different recipes, which makes them extremely beneficial to keep in stock at all times. Here is our list of pantry staples, grouped into a few major categories.
The majority of people will use seasonings like salt and pepper on their food—make sure to keep these around! Sometimes the other spices will vary based on the type of cuisine you prefer (if you like curries, make a note of what they use a lot of), but some of the most common are oregano, cinnamon, crushed red pepper, garlic powder, as well as the soup base of your choice (often vegetable or chicken).
Sauce and Oil
You should always have some vegetable or canola oil on hand, as these are good for frying since they have a neutral flavour. You may also wish to keep olive oil around, as well as sesame oil if you cook a lot of Asian food.
In terms of sauce, it is always an excellent choice to keep a jar or can of your favourite pasta sauce (or the nonperishable components of it). In addition to this, soy sauce is a great addition, as well as fish sauce if you make Thai food on a regular basis. Also, though it is not a sauce, white or malt vinegar is a good staple as well.
There are a lot of dry goods to keep in stock. These items include flour, baking powder, baking soda, rolled oats, cornstarch, dry pasta, white sugar, and brown sugar. These are often used in baking, so if you bake a lot look at your favourite recipes. Make note of any nonperishable items on more than one of those recipes and be sure to add them to your pantry staples.