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Part of saving money in the kitchen and being prepared is keeping a well stocked and organized pantry. Don’t know how to do it? We’ve got helpful tips!

An essential component to cooking frugally is keeping a well stocked pantry. The concept of a pantry is more than storage. Your pantry should be a place where you always have a good supply of basic ingredients and a few less expensive convenience foods.

Foods You Always Need In Your Pantry

Foods You Always Need In Your Pantry

When you have the opportunity to buy something that you use frequently at a great price, buy a lot of extra and keep it in the pantry until the next time you can get such a good price. This allows you to opt not to buy an item except when the price is very low, “flexing” your pantry.

Here is a list of items that we keep stocked in our pantry virtually all the time. I plan meals around what I have in the pantry and I buy what is on sale to keep my pantry well stocked.

(For more easy tips and tricks to save money in the kitchen, check out Groceries On A Dime!)


Baking Supplies

  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • yeast
  • cocoa
  • salt
  • cornstarch
  • vinegar
  • food coloring
  • coconut
  • eggs


  • tea
  • coffee
  • sometimes lemonade mix



  • wheat bread
  • white bread
  • saltines
  • graham crackers
  • croutons (we make our own)



  • Cheddar
  • mozzarella
  • American
  • parmesan
  • cream cheese (occasionally)



  • Only when I can find them for less than $1.50 a box.


  • jelly
  • catsup
  • mayonnaise
  • mustard
  • salsa
  • pickles

I make most of my salad dressing, BBQ sauce, and jelly when I can find a free source of fruit.



  • vegetable oil
  • olive oil
  • shortening
  • margarine
  • cooking spray
Kitchen pantry



  • peaches
  • pears
  • pineapple


  • apples
  • oranges
  • grapefruits
  • raisins

Anything else when it’s on sale or free (strawberries, kiwi, pears, etc.)


  • white flour
  • wheat flour
  • oatmeal
  • cornmeal
  • white rice
  • popcorn
  • grits
  • cream of wheat



  • orange
  • lemon



  • chicken (whole or parts, hardly ever boneless chicken breast) (.99 or less per pound)
  • ground beef
  • ground turkey
  • pork chops
  • ground pork
  • ham
  • bacon
  • round steak

(As a general rule, I try not to pay more than $2.99 per pound for meat.)


  • dry milk
  • whole milk
  • evaporated milk
  • sweeten condensed milk



  • pre-packaged macaroni and cheese
  • spaghetti
  • macaroni

Seasonings and Flavorings

  • maple extract
  • peppermint extract
  • vanilla
    (I make my own with vanilla beans and vodka)
  • bouillon
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • spices and herbs


  • white sugar
  • brown sugar
  • powdered sugar
  • honey
  • corn syrup


  • onions
  • potatoes
  • instant mashed potatoes
  • carrots
  • frozen broccoli
  • canned green beans
  • canned and frozen corn
  • green pepper
  • mushrooms ( purchased on sale)

Miscellaneous Canned Goods

  • spaghetti sauce
  • whole tomatoes
  • diced tomatoes
  • olives
  • tomato soup
  • cream of mushroom soup
  • cream of chicken soup
  • ramen noodles
  • pork and beans
  • pumpkin
  • Tabasco sauce
  • peanut butter
  • dried beans (hubby likes beans)

Lower Your Food Bill With Food You Family Will Love!

Would you like to serve food that will lower your grocery bill and your family will love to eat?

Click here to get the Dining On A Dime Cookbook, with tasty recipes and great tips to make your life easier and save you money!