It takes about 20-25 minutes to get from my family’s little homestead to Walmart. I shop at Walmart for quick trip items, but my bulk grocery trips are completed at Ruler Foods in the next town over. The drive to Ruler is 30 minutes from my house, but the savings are worth it. Because of the drive (and trying to coordinate leaving the kids with my husband on an off day) grocery shopping typically takes place 1-2 times per month in our household.
Abandoning the shop-every-week mentality is a bit scary because you have to learn to make your food stretch. One-and-done box meals and mixes don’t stretch so I do my best to avoid spending money on them. Instead, I stock up on pantry staples that allow me to make yummy and healthy meals even when the store hasn’t seen my face in a month.
Pantry Staples for a Homemade Household
This list is great for families that love the accessibility of anytime, simple, from scratch meals. I make pancakes (my 2 year old’s favorite), biscuits & gravy, stir fry, rice casseroles, dinner hash, and more. Want to know what is on this lucrative list of mine? Here it is, mama! 😉
Some of the foods listed could be made out of other items in the pantry, but I haven’t started making them yet. I will put an *asterisk* next to these items just in case you want to give them a shot:)
- Dried Beans & Peas– White, Black, Red, Navy, Pinto, Black Eye…just throw all the colors in here 😉
- Canned Beans– White, Black, Red
- Seeds– Flax & Chia
- Nuts– Almonds, Walnuts, Pecans
- Rice– White & Brown
- Tomato Paste- I opt for the small 8 oz cans just because I rarely use a full 15 oz can unless I am making soup or pasta sauce.
- *Tomato Sauce– If I am out of tomato sauce, but I have tomato paste then I just add some water to the paste..easy peasy!
- Diced Tomatoes- Grab some diced tomatoes with green chilis to add a little spice to your meals.
- Oats- Oats are an absolute must have. They are used for our oatmeal, energy snack bites, granola bars, and even in treats for our livestock!
- Flour- All-purpose, Bread, Whole-Wheat, Almond…There are tons of flour options, just choose what you will use the most.
- *Breadcrumbs– You can toast leftover bread until it is crunchy, then crumble it up.
- *Cornmeal– You can grind dried field, sweet, or popcorn with a grain grinder like the WonderMill or by using the Grain Mill Attachment on your KitchenAid.
- Yeast- We use yeast on a regular basis for bread making & fun science experiments.
- Honey-Extract honey from your own hives or purchase from a local source.
- Lemon Juice- You can keep fresh lemons on hand for this, but I like how much longer I can keep a bottle of pre-squeezed lemon juice.
- *Pasta- I keep spaghetti, fettuccini, and shell noodles on hand. You can make your own pasta if you like with a Pasta Maker or by using the pasta attachment on your KitchenAid. (seriously…those things can do it all!)
- Nut Butter- We prefer peanut butter, but you can use any nut butter (or even cookie butter if you’re feeling spunky).
- Eggs- If you don’t have chickens of your own, try to purchase eggs from a local farmer.
- Potatoes- We keep sweet, red, & russets in our Tater Bin.
- Onions- Yellow Onions are the ones we stock our bin with.
- Oil/Fat- Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Vegetable Oil, Corn Oil, Lard
- Popcorn Kernels- I like to buy a big bag of kernels to pop in coconut oil. The kids LOVE watching it pop on the stove!
- Cocoa Powder- I love making quick from scratch desserts & I love chocolate so I make sure to always have cocoa powder stashed away.
- Minced Garlic- Garlic goes in almost every single recipe that I make (minus the desserts).
- Dried Fruit- Raisins, Cranberries, Apples, Prunes, Mangos…whatever fruit you like
- Frozen & Canned Veggies- My favorite veggies to stock up on are sweet peas, carrots, broccoli, and okra. You can buy these canned or frozen or you can buy fresh, prepare, and freeze/can them yourself.
- Spices & dried herbs- The go-tos in house are cayenne pepper, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme, basil, and paprika.
- Salt- Coarse & Table
- *Boullion Cubes- You can make your own broths or purchase boxed broth, but I keep bouillon cubes on hand because they are quick & they last a long time in the pantry.
- Brown Sugar- Make your own brown sugar with sugar & molasses.
- Powdered Sugar- Have I mentioned how much I love desserts?
- Baking Soda- Buy a ton of this stuff. I use it for everything…even in non-food recipes like laundry detergent & carpet powder.
- Baking Powder- If you bake much at all then you will need a stash of baking powder in your pantry.
- Vanilla Extract
- Vinegar- White, Apple Cider, Red Wine, Balsamic
- *Butter- Make your own butter with heavy cream!
- Maple Syrup- I really want to tap some trees, but until then the maple syrup will stay on my “purchase” list.
- White Granulated Sugar
- Coconut Flakes
- Chocolate Chips
- Applesauce- 1/4 cup applesauce can be used as an egg substitute in many recipes
- *Jelly- Of course you can make jellies & jams yourself…I haven’t tackled that step just yet, but it is on the list!
- *Condiments- Mayo, Ketchup, Mustard
- Sweetened Condensed Milk
- Evaporated Milk
Download my Pantry Staples Checklist using the form below.
To get an idea of the types of recipes that I am able to make with these staples, you can check out these recipe posts!
- White Sandwich Bread– The simplest bread that I have ever made! Perfect for sandwiches & toast.
- Dinner Hash– This “Bottom of the Pantry” Dinner Hash is made up of items that I typically have leftover at the end of the month…and guess what…it is one of my family’s favorite meals!
- Skillet Cornbread– I ran out of cornmeal on a day that I had promised to make cornbread so I mixed some corn & flour together (with a couple other ingredients) and I had the best cornbread that I had ever tasted!
- Honey Butter Rolls– From scratch rolls with honey butter brushed over the top…yummm! There is also a little trick for when you run out of flour in the middle of mixing this up 🙂
- No Bake Cookies– We made these cookies for my son’s Star Wars party as Wookie Cookies. Delicious & super simple!
- Honey Vanilla Ice Cream– My favorite ice cream recipe EVER! And it only takes 4 ingredients.
- Homemade Flaky Biscuits
- Southern Sugar Cream Pie
- Homemade Poppyseed Dressing
- Granola Bars & Toad in Hole– I made these one year for Valentine’s Day & They were both a hit!
- Chicken Fried Rice– This is a recipe that I go back to over & over. We switch between a Chicken Fried Rice and a Chicken Stir Fry each week.