Go-To Ingredients – for pantry & household needs

by on December 12, 2010 in Food Storage,Recommended Articles & Series

Go-To Ingredients

If you spend some time thinking about what your family likes to eat and what you like to cook, you probably can come up with a list of Go-To Recipes. Based on that, you can build a Go-To Ingredient List.

Use your Go-To Ingredient List to stockpile items when they are at their lowest price, getting great deals and saving money overall. Even if you only stock a basic pantry, you still need to figure out your Go-To Ingredients.

If you’re into serious Food Storage, you really need this list, plus more, because you might buy ten jars of spaghetti sauce this week. Don’t worry, you’d only do this a few times a year, if that! And, when you buy items at their lowest price, you get the most savings!

I prefer to keep my pantry stocked so that it is right on the verge of crossing over into Food Storage. I can easily cook a week’s worth of meals without needing to add any ingredients, and if push came to shove we could probably live on what we have for a few months.

As you observe your family’s consumption of goods, you will notice patterns. You probably have core groups of items you buy over and over. Focus on those and build from there.

Once you have your pantry stockpiling or food storage underway, be sure to keep it organized!

Free Printable Pantry InventoryI have created three printable tools to help you keep track of what you have, and know when to restock. Each one is available in two versions – with categories or without.

Want to see my Go-To Ingredient lists?

This is just an idea of the types of things you might buy and store. I have developed these list based on the meals we regularly eat and the items I buy for our home.

GROCERIES (broken down by section)

Dry Goods: baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar, cocoa powder, dry beans – various, dry pasta – various, flour, oats, powdered sugar, raisins or other dry fruits, rice, spices, sugar

Canned Goods: broth (beef, chicken, etc), cooking soups (cream of mushroom, chicken, etc), diced tomatoes, evaporated milk, fruit, mushrooms, soup for eating, tomato paste, tomato sauce, tuna, veggies

Packaged Goods: baking mix, boxed items like stuffing, brownie mix, cereal, coffee, extracts, gravy packets, sloppy joe mix, spaghetti sauce, taco seasonings

Convenience Foods: granola bars, mac & cheese, peanut butter/jelly

Freezer: frozen lunches for work, home frozen veggies, meat, store frozen veggies, discount bread

Refrigerator: apples, butter, cheese, discount bread, lunch meat

Other: condiments and sauces, cooking oil, cooking sprays, root cellar items like potatoes and squash if stored properly, onions, salad dressing


aspirin, band-aids, bar soap, bathroom cleaners, bathroom spray/fresheners, body sprays or perfume/cologne, body wash, cold medicine, conditioner, dental floss, deodorant, feminine hygiene, first aid, hair gels/spray or styling products, lotions/creams, make-up, mouthwash, razors/refills, shampoo, shaving gel, small garbage bags, toilet paper, toothpaste


aluminum foil, cleaners, cling wrap, dish soap, garbage bags, hand soap, napkins, paper towels, plastic bags of various sizes, sponges, scrubbers, wax paper


detergent, fabric softener, in-laundry stain fighters, pre-treaters


baby food, baby shampoo, creams/lotions, diapers, formula, garbage pail bags, wipes

PET SUPPLIES (don’t forget the furry family members!)

pet food, supplies for their pooping needs: kitty litter, litter deoderizer, box liners or pooper scooper bags, treats


charcoal and grilling needs, lawn care supplies, oil or additives for your car, outdoor garbage bags, pest control sprays

Do you know what your Go-To Ingredients are? Share your lists and tips on how you organize your pantry and food storage needs!

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