Let’s talk pantry staple items and what you should be grabbing at the grocery store if you do an order or a run.
- Canned goods (soups, sauces like spaghetti or pesto, even pizza sauce, canned vegetables and beans)
- Dried pasta (+ butter + cheese) – I say this because if things got really bad, you can live on buttered noodles – these are also very affordable and can be less than $1/pound. Get a variety to switch it up and eat with spaghetti or pesto sauce
- Rice – again, a little goes a long way and it’s a great value – you can season this up or buy seasoned as well
- Bread – for sandwiches/toast/grilled cheese
- Tortillas (they freeze well)
- Nuts (they also freeze well and are a good source of protein)
- Extra virgin olive oil – too cook with or put on pasta
Other pantry items to consider:
- Fruit cups or canned fruit
- Snacks like cheesy crackers, pretzels, chips, veggie straws, raisins, graham crackers
- Mac n cheese (just because it’s Mac n cheese)
- Granola bars
- Potatoes (can put in refrigerator to keep better longer)
- Beef/chicken/vegetable bouillon – super affordable way to make a stock for soups
- Peanut butter
- Cheese (if it’s sold out in shredded or deli slices, get the block of it. You can slice or shred it yourself and it’s actually more delicious/fresh that way and you can freeze)
- Berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries – to preserve these, rinse and freeze on wax paper then save in freezer bags. To keep fresh, toss in 1/3 cup white vinegar + 2/3 cup water, let sit for a few minutes, then rinse in a strainer and let dry for a bit and put in an airtight container).
- Organic milk – it stays better LONGER (and tastes better) – if you can find it.
- Juice (orange/apple/white grape is good for tummy aches)
- Cream cheese (lasts a long time) and sour cream
- Carrots and celery last a long time
- Bacon/breakfast sausage (this is scarce though, right now)
- Lunch meat
- Ground beef
- Ground turkey
- Frozen pizza
- Frozen potatoes/hash browns
- Frozen vegetables
- Frozen meals
Additional items like soap, dish soap, laundry detergent, toothpaste, and medicine should all be considered, as well.
Also, while watching the news this morning, I heard that we are being encouraged to only buy enough food for a week at a time, so I guess keep that in mind while shopping. (Case in point, people stocked up on infant’s Tylenol and I ordered some last week and the order couldn’t be fulfilled and now it’s unavailable pretty much everywhere and I have a 3 month old with a fever 🥵).
Good luck to you all out there – I hope this list, albeit a bit comprehensive, is helpful as a guideline at least. Feel free to leave a comment on this post or message me directly on instagram @littlethingsbytess for any help or questions!
PS – below are a few pictures of our pantry … figured I’d show the pantry we built when we remodeled this house while I’m in here posting. I’ll talk about that later though! I don’t want these pics to be misleading – we have all of our snacks (chips, crackers, toddler snack stuff) in the pantry cabinet in our kitchen. Don’t think for a moment that we don’t eat all that crap too ;).