Complete Pantry Staples List

grains in a jar from the pantry staples list
putting a pantry staple on a shelf
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Complete Pantry Staples List

We won’t soon forget the toilet paper crisis of 2020! Seriously though, we all learned a lot as we sheltered at home during the lockdown. I learned very quickly that my pantry was not as well-stocked as it could have been. In fact, it lacked a lot of the basic necessities that, within hours, were already flying off the shelves.

To help prepare my family for the future, I created an essential pantry list. It’s my hope that you can benefit from using it too!

Pantry Essentials

This list of pantry essentials will help you to have a complete pantry that could sustain you should you not be able to visit a store for a while. Start a Pinterest board with “pantry recipes” so you’ll be prepared if you ever have to make meals using only the items in your pantry.

A pandemic isn’t the only reason to stock your pantry. You never know when a job loss or other circumstances could cause you to need your pantry items. As we’ve all learned this year, it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

Canned Goods

  • Soups
  • Corn
  • Green Beans
  • Peas
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Chickpeas
  • Hominy
  • Canned Peaches
  • Canned Pears
  • Canned Pineapple
  • Canned Chicken Breast
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Canned Chili
  • Cream of Chicken
  • Cream of Mushroom
  • Refried Beans
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms


  • White Rice
  • Brown Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Pasta
  • Bread Crumbs
  • Oatmeal
  • Ramen
  • Mac & Cheese

Baking & Cooking Essentials

  • Nuts
  • Brown Sugar
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Honey
  • All-purpose Flour
  • Soy Sauce
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Rolled Oats
  • Cornstarch
  • Baking Soda
  • Baking Powder
  • Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Raisins
  • Evaporated Milk or Powdered Milk
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Peanut Butter
  • Almond Butter
  • Yeast
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Coconut Milk
  • Chicken Broth
  • Beef Broth

Dried Herbs & Spices

  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Cumin
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Oregano
  • Ginger
  • Thyme
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Chili Powder
  • Onion Soup Mix
  • Taco Seasoning Packets


  • Ketchup
  • Mayo
  • Mustard
  • Relish
  • Ranch Dressing
  • Jam or Jelly
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Salsa
  • Hot Sauce


  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Powdered Creamer
  • Fruit Juice
  • Canned Soda

Paper Goods

  • Paper Plates
  • Paper Towels
  • Toilet Paper
  • Plastic Utensils

Feminine & Baby Products

  • Pads
  • Tampons
  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Formula
  • Baby Food

Household Items

  • Candles
  • Lighters or Matches
  • Trash Bags
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Pet Food
  • Ziploc Bags
  • Foil

Cleaning Items

  • Dish Soap
  • Dishwashing Liquid
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Laundry Softener
  • Bleach
  • Windex
  • Multi-Surface Cleaners
  • Clorox Wipes
  • Clorox Bathroom/Toilet Cleaner
  • Swiffer Refill and Pads

Over-the-Counter Medications

  • Benadryl
  • Tylenol
  • Ibuprofen
  • Aspirin
  • Pepto
  • Sudafed
  • Pepcid
  • Hydrocortisone Cream 1%
  • First Aid Kit

How To Stock Your Pantry on a Budget

Not everyone has a budget that will allow them to stock their pantry all at once. Don’t stress, work towards completely stocking your pantry in phases. Start with the important basics, the items that will go the furthest and last the longest.

Next, start purchasing a few items each week or month to add to your pantry. Looks for deals on Amazon or Amazon Pantry that can help you save money.

One of the best tips is that once your pantry is well stocked, maintain it! so that you won’t have the big expense all at once to replenish it.

jars filled with grains from the pantry staples list

How To Organize Your Pantry

Buying your pantry items is just the start! Now you’ve got to organize your pantry or space where you’re keeping your essential items. Here are a few tips to help get you started:

  • Store items in a dry and temperature-controlled space.
  • If you remove items from their original packaging, be sure to write the expiration date on the new package or container that you place them in.
  • Line the same items up so that the latest expiration date goes in the back.
  • Set a reminder on your phone for a month before items are due to expire, that way you can use them before they go out of date.
  • Print the pantry list and keep it on a clipboard. That way you can keep track of what you have and what items you still need. Get the kids involved. These are great projects for them to take part in.
  • Invest in some airtight food storage containers, pantry bins and box organizers.
pantry food storage items for storing your pantry staples list
Photo Credit: Amazon

Pantry Essentials for Kids

Stocking a pantry can look different if your family has children. Consider adding a few of these items to your pantry for your kids so that you’re always prepared for snack time!

Let us know in the comment section if we left forgot an essential pantry item!

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