Thursday, June 2, 2011

Our kitchen staples

We started thinking about what the bare-minimum requirements of the things we cook at home. It turns out our list of essentials was longer than we thought. We try to keep these items stocked up so we're prepared for almost any meal. In any event, you may find this list helpful if you don't know what you should be buying or how much you should have in stock.
  • Cans (2 or 3 of each)
    • Diced Tomatoes (most versatile format)
    • Beans (kidney, black, chickpeas, mixed)
    • Gravy (Turkey, brown)
    • Plain Tomato sauce
    • tomato paste
    • pizza sauce
    • cream of mushroom soup
    • tuna, chicken or turkey
  • Dry Pasta (2 large bags of each)
    • Spaghetti
    • Elbow
    • Rigatoni/fusilli
  • Meat (if you're a carnivore)
    • Ground Beef - buy in 3lb trays and divide into 12 small bags and freeze
    • Fast fry steak (2)
    • Bone-in Chicken thighs (2-3lb)
    • Bone-in Chicken breasts (2)
    • Pork tenderloin or roast
    • Ham (about 1kg)
  • Frozen vegetables (1 bag each)
    • green beans
    • corn
    • peas
  • Pizza dough
  • Rice - Buy the biggest cheapest bag you can find.
  • Flour
    • 10kg bag of white
    • 2.5kg bag of whole wheat
  • Sugar
    • 10kg bag of white
    • 1kg bag of brown
  • Oatmeal - 2.5lb bag of quick oats
  • Cooking oil - vegetable/canola - buy large bottles for best value
  • Olive oil - nothing too fancy
  • Shortening - 1 box
  • Corn starch - 1 box
  • Baking powder and baking soda
  • Bouillon or broth- chicken, and beef
  • Soy Sauce
  • Salt (table and sea), black pepper
  • Dry Spices (from dollar store)
    • Italian seasoning
    • Oregano
    • Thyme
    • Basil
    • Cinnamon
    • Lemon Pepper Salt
    • Red Pepper flakes
  • Fruit
    • 4 apples
    • 2 oranges
    • 2 lemons
  • Vegetables
    • 2-3 carrots
    • 1 crown of broccoli
    • 1 green pepper
    • 1 red/yellow/orange pepper
    • 2 baking potatoes
    • 4 medium new/yellow/red potatoes (your preference)
    • 1 cooking onion or 3 shallots
    • 1-3 bulb of garlic
    • 3 vine tomatoes or 5 roma or 2 hothouse
    • 1 yam or sweet potato
  • Cheese
    • 1 block of Pizza Mozzerella
    • 1 block of cheddar (mild or medium)
    • Parmesan or Romano
  • Margarine- 3lb
  • Milk - 1L
  • Coffee Cream or Half & Half - 1L
  • Eggs (for baking only)
  • Coffee - 1kg whole bean whatever is on sale
  • Tea - Tetley 144 or 216 bags
Beyond that we have: cereals, bread, deli meat, pasta and rice side-dish, inexpensive soups.crackers, bread crumbs, snacks and of course condiments: mustard, ketchup, bbq sauce, and hot sauce.

It looks like a lot but really it isn't. It wouldn't last us more than a week in the event of a zombie outbreak, something to consider.


  1. Do you guys plan ahead for your meals or just get a variety of items and make up dinner as the week goes on? I'm asking because the veggies, while good staples to make up a meal on the fly, would not last very long.

  2. We plan meals ahead at least a week or two in advance so we do almost always use up what we have. If it looks like a carrot or some broccoli isn't going to make it into a dinner then we'll just have veggies and dip as a snack. Half a pepper or onion and we'll pull out a bag of pizza dough and make a pizza. Potatoes left over become fries or hashbrowns.

    Lunch or snacks are a great opportunity to use up leftovers