What’s in your pantry?

Since I only do grocery shopping once a month, a well-stocked pantry is a necessity. Here are some of our favorite healthy and inexpensive pantry foods:

  1. Oatmeal
  2. Brown Rice
  3. Whole Wheat Pasta
  4. Dried Beans
  5. Potatoes
  6. Canned Tuna
  7. Peanut Butter
  8. Canned Tomatoes
I’m very curious to find out what you keep in your pantry. Leave a comment and share your ideas with us!


  1. I went vegetarian a few months ago and was shocked at how much I could save by buying things dried versus canned! My pantry is now packed with red lentils, green lentils, black beans, kidney beans(beans and lentils are actually both cheaper in our International foods aisle than in the baking aisle!), brown rice, basmati rice(I buy the large bag from the Asian aisle). I love to stock canned tomatos, tomato paste, tuna and salmon. Oh, and popcorn! That’s definitely a favorite staple around here!

  2. Jobina — Oh wow, how did I forget popcorn?!? That’s amazing that beans are less expensive in one section of the store vs. another… I never knew that!

  3. momof4sweetsisters says

    we’ve been “beefing” up our pantry. Thanks for the tips.

    I also buy dried milk in pouches for baking. They stay fresh longer.
    Big bottles of vinegar from Sams for cleaning. Honey, Sucanat and chocolate chips

  4. Hi momof4sweetsisters, I don’t usually get powdered milk, but that is a great idea! I have gotten shelf-stable milk before and found it was great for cooking, baking, tea, or coffee.

  5. Prudent Homemaker says

    We have gone without shopping for months at a time. y husband works in Real Estate, and a paycheck is not always guaranteed nor do we know when it will be enough for bills AND food.

    You can see what I keep in our pantry (both pictures and a list) here: http://theprudenthomemaker.com/awellstockedpantry.aspx

    We buy in bulk for many of the staples, such as rice, beans, oats, powdered milk, flour, sugar, pasta, etc.

  6. kathalog.com says

    Variety of flours due to lots of bread baking here. We are always trying a variety of bread, rolls, crescants, everything. I stock on peanut butter – that’s always a favorite. Rice, tomato paste, popcorn……

  7. That Girl in Brazil says

    Well, you pretty much read off my pantry supplies right there. And Brazil ONLY has UHT “shelf” milk – it tastes nasty, but it really is a great food storage item.

    And dude. You can’t forget the chocolate chips.

  8. we don’t like tuna, but i do keep canned chicken on hand. otherwise my list looks very similar to yours.

  9. I buy most of our groceries at Costco, so we always have a well-stocked pantry. I buy canned chicken in addition to tuna, various canned and dried beans, canned tomatoes, oatmeal, rice and pasta, potatoes, usually a few cans of soup too for “emergency” meals. Also canned peaches, I discovered back when we lost power after an ice storm that they were one of the few things from our canned goods that tasted nice cold and ever since then I’ve made sure to keep some in stock!

  10. @ That Girl in Brazil — Oh, yes, we have plenty of chocolate in our pantry as well. I buy about a year’s worth of it at after-Christmas sales and use it for baking throughout the year. Oh, and we love chocolate chips in our pancakes… YUM!!

  11. The girl who painted trees says

    Thanks for posting on my blog (http://the adventuresofbear.blogspot.com) so I could find yours!

    In our pantry – oatmeal, brown rice, dried legumes (lentils, beans, chickpeas), canned peaches packed in juice, canned corn, raisins, flour (whole wheat and white) and other baking supplies, canned salmon and canned tuna.

    I’m sure I’m forgetting stuff.

  12. Your Frugal Friend, Niki says

    Diced tomatoes
    Tomato paste/sauce
    Tomato soup
    Cream of chicken soup
    Cream of mushroom soup
    Whole wheat pasta
    Brown rice
    Black beans
    Pinto beans
    Northern beans
    Garbanzo beans
    Split peas
    Mushroom pieces/stems
    Canned chicken
    Popping corn
    Peanut butter

  13. I am also a vegetarian—actually, I try to be vegan (no dairy, no eggs, no animal products of any kind, but I cheat whenever there’s birthday cake, my biggest weakness!). My husband is a meat eater but eats vegetarian at home, and my son eats 90% vegetarian. So we of course have beans, rice, etc. But I also try to keep interesting grains (quinoa, for example) on hand and I drink almond or soy milk in shelf-stable packaging. Also I can’t live without dried cranberries, blueberries and cherries for baking, and cereals like oatmeal, oat bran, and farina, because I eat those for lunch if there are no leftovers. Sadly, my son is addicted to all manner of boxed cheesy pastas (although he will also wolf down any homemade macaroni and cheese type thing I make) but luckily, he loves the natural brands like Annie’s and has never had Kraft. (I lived on Kraft mac and cheese in the 1970’s and I’m pretty sure my insides are sill bright orange.) My son always needs more iron and fiber, so the Trader Joe’s version of Cheerios is always in our pantry. We also eat tons of nuts for fiber, protein, and heart healthy oils. And the most important thing for my baking is Ener-G egg replacer, since I don’t use eggs any more. Love the blog, thanks for the ideas.

  14. p.s. how could I have left out the 5 most critical pantry items for us? crunchy salted peanut butter, Fair trade chocolate, coffee, and tea (about 5 varieties of tea at any time) and instant mashed potato packets (I know, I’m anti-packaged food too, but those are my go-to comfort food for when I’m not feeling well, and a box will last me about a year). The mashed potatoes are a legacy of my 1970’s childhood as well!

  15. Julie, that is so funny about the mashed potatoes, and I know exactly what you mean! In the beginning of my pregnancy with Clara I would feel nauseous almost the entire day, and then would have a window of about 2 hours from about 3pm until about 5pm when I felt like I could eat something. The thing was, it couldn’t be just anything, it HAD to be mashed potatoes. And I could eat sooooo many bowls of it. It’s still a comfort food for me too.

  16. Val in the Rose Garden says

    MMMMmmmmmmmmmm… pantry is like a magic word around me. I love my pantry. I have had a very big, very well stocked pantry for years and I just keep learning more and getting the pantry more in tune with what our family eats so nothing sits there for years and years.

    Here is my post about pantries:


    I keep (all organic):
    red rice
    brown rice
    jasmine rice
    wild rice
    spelt flour
    ww flour
    unbleached flour
    ww pastry flour
    yellow split peas
    green split peas
    unbleached sugar
    brown sugar
    creamy farina (cream of wheat base)
    pinto beans
    black beans
    garbanzo beans
    red lentils (which right now need to be moved to a smaller jar because we don’t use them often anymore)

    Then not in jars I keep canned olives, tomatoes, chicken broth, tuna… and more… then in my own jars I have peaches, strawberry applesauce, jellies…….. oh man, honestly my food lists could go on and on. I have a little food storage/prep/etc addiction.


  17. Val, okay, I am drooling over your pantry now!! Soooo jealous! Seriously though, I have found a well-stocked pantry to be KEY to lowering the food budget. Yours must be huge! I’m off to check out your post now…

  18. i googled "what to keep in my pantry" (just learning to cook, really), and your blog came up! awesome! very helpful. another one i liked was one that robyn webb listed on her blog. she recommended bulgar and lentils. nom nom nom

  19. Thank you for your help!

  20. prepared teacher says

    I have begun my journey into the world of food storage. I have pasta and sauces ( 3 months worth), beans, flour, salt, sugar, drink mixes, veggies, fruit…etc I even include personal products. I use two web sites.
    http://www.foodstoragemadeeasy.net (how to stock your pantry)
    http://www.everydayfoodstorage.net (show to cook using your storage)

  21. prepared teacher says

    And here is a woman who needs her own spot, the one who got me started…. The prudent home maker….

    Her site has pre-made menu's…..and her story which gives you strength to get it done!!!!!!!!!