Pantry Essentials

Pantry Essentials

There are a bunch of items I always keep in my pantry that help me to prepare easy dinners for the family.  I’ve listed them below.  I hope it helps on your next stop to the grocery store.  I usually wait till they are on sale.  My supermarket always has really good buy 1, get 1 free sales that help me stock up.  Then when its time to cook a meal, you only have to pick up a few items.

Egg Noodles to serve with stew or chicken soup

Orzo pasta

Small pasta like bow tie, elbows, or little stars

Whole wheat spaghetti

seasoned black beans

low sodium black beans

low sodium kidney beans

low sodium pinto beans

low sodium garbanzo beans

tomato paste

tomato sauce(cans-I buy a couple of different sizes)

crushed tomatoes

whole peeled tomatoes

cans of corn

Cans of peas

low sodium chicken broth and beef broth

rice(I keep a variety, yellow, white, brown, etc.)-They also have minute rice I keep in my pantry for really quick meals.  It literally cooks in minutes.

Bread crumbs-Panko and regular.  I usually buy the seasoned ones.

Cans or jars of olives and other vegetables to put in a salad or antipasto(marinated mushrooms, hearts of palms, pepperoncini, etc..)

Cans of tuna

Bags of lentils and split peas


jars of salsa

Good Seasoning dressing packets

Small cans of diced green chilis

Enchilada sauce

Taco shells, tostadas, or fajita wraps

I found some great items on Amazon to help you organize pantry so you can actually see what you have in there.  You can also head to your local dollar store.  The containers aren’t as sturdy but you can find some that may work for dirt cheap.  I recently organized my pantry and it really makes a difference.

These clear containers are perfect.  It helps that you can see what’s inside.  These can also help to organize items in your fridge.


This 10-piece food storage container set is great.  I store all of my leftover uncooked pasta  and cereal in them so I don’t get bugs.


Mesh stacking bins  and wire baskets will work out well for a lot of items like boxes of rice and cans.

SimpleHouseware Stackable Can Rack Organizer is perfect to stack all of the cans neatly!



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I'm a stay at home mom and my life revolves around feeding my family of four. I love to cook for my husband Matt and two boys(Matthew-11 and Dominick-9). I'm not good at entertaining big crowds. That makes me nervous! I TRY and cook healthy meals, and I TRY to buy organic. Matt likes almost everything except for olives, mustard and fancy cheeses-everything I love)! So I try to find recipes without those ingredients or sneak them into the food I make and then he picks them out... And when he likes something, he has no control. Can't stop. Won't stop! But he really tries to make good choices in what he eats. In the last five years or so we both have made changes for the better in our diet. Matthew eats very little and is very picky. It's hard to watch him eat cause he's always picking! My mom get's so annoyed watching him eat! I was the same damn way as a kid. I tortured my parents by becoming a vegetarian for 7 years! I still can't eat all meat. I'm picky. Dominick loves almost everything! And when he loves it, you know it. It's all over him and the floor. Unlike Matthew. Not a single crumb.... I am 100% Italian-I think.. I grew up in Long Island and always ate really great food!!! While the other kids in school were bringing Lunchables or buying lunch, I was eating a chicken cutlet sandwich! My mom is an amazing cook. Much better than me. I have to pull recipes and follow them. She just whips stuff up in minutes and its amazing! And my dad loves all of her food, and all food in general! Except if its too healthy, like salmon.... Most of the time when he's eating his eyes are closed. He says he can taste it better that way... My sisters both live in Long Island and our conversations usually consist of food, fashion, beauty or kids. Ali is similar to my mom. She whips up delicious meals. And they are usually healthy and light. She says she doesn't eat carbs, which is a lie. Every weekend shes at the pork store picking up twisted Italian bread, sausages, and ravioli. Her eyes light up when her 2 year old Joseph eats. Her goal in life is to feed him. And she hates casseroles. Refuses to make them. Lol Jen is very busy as a dance mom with her two girls. But when she gets in the kitchen, watch out! She cooks up a storm. Her salads are the BEST ever! Usually, it's accompanied with steak and rice or fried chicken cutlets! And there are leftovers for the whole week. The goal of my blog is to share some of my family's favorite foods. I'll let you know what works out well and not so well for me when it comes to feeding the fam!

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