Never Run Out of Ingredients by Stocking Your Pantry Right

IngredientsHave you ever noticed when you run to the store for one particular item you usually end up grabbing a few more items than you intended? I’ve found by keeping a good stock of staple items I can make many different dishes from basic ingredients.

This has significantly lowered our food bill. I’m not limited on making a meal because I don’t have a certain mix or can of something to make the recipe.

Here is my basic list for having on hand in your food pantry. You can choose which items you stock from the list and you don’t have to stock each item, but you will need at least one from each category.


  • apple cider vinegar
  • concentrated lemon juice
  • lime juice
  • whole lemons
  • whole limes


  • organic cold-pressed coconut oil
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • avocado oil
  • butter and/or lard


  • black beans
  • pinto
  • white
  • kidney
  • garbanzo


  • sea salt
  • canning salt
  • curing salt for meat curing projects


  • milk
  • cheese
  • buttermilk
  • yogurt
  • kefir


  • quinoa
  • organic cornmeal
  • rice
  • oatmeal (not instant)


  • organic sugar
  • evaporated cane juice
  • honey
  • maple syrup
  • molasses
  • rapadura
  • stevia


Unsalted raw nuts are best
, as you can roast them, make your own candied nuts, make your own nut butters and toast them for texture in soups or on casseroles, You can also add them as toppings for muffins, cakes, and breads, or eat them plain.


  • beef
  • pork
  • poultry
  • fish
  • lamb


  • cayenne pepper
  • celery salt
  • Ceylon cinnamon
  • Chili powder
  • cloves(whole and ground)
  • cumin
  • curry
  • ginger
  • mustard(whole and ground)
  • nutmeg
  • red pepper flakes
  • pepper
  • paprika
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • turmeric


  • basil
  • dill
  • oregano
  • parsley
  • rosemary
  • sage
  • thyme


I stock both powdered cocoa and organic chocolate chips.

Leavening items

  • baking soda
  • baking powder
  • cream of tartar
  • active dry yeast (store yeast in the fridge for best results)

Truthfully, I’ve found it much more frugal to make dishes myself from scratch. The food tastes better, and when you count the time it takes to drive to the store, park the car, take kids to the bathroom, go through the aisles, wait in line at the checkout, get kids and groceries into the car, start to pull out from the parking lot only to have kids say they have to go potty again, it’s faster to make it at home as well.

After numerous power outages in our area of the country — and after a mudslide took out the main highway for almost three weeks — I’ve also learned the benefit of having a food supply at home. Not only does it help when the store isn’t open or we can’t get to it, but it also saves me time by allowing me to shop from our pantry instead of the store shelves.

I can make a few cups of sauce to replace those cans of condensed soups in three minutes for about 50 cents, and that’s using organic ingredients.

Adapted from: The Made from Scratch Life. Copyright © 2016 by Melissa K. Norris. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon. Used by permission.