How To Stock Your Fridge, Freezer, and Pantry
I looked at the calendar today and wondered HOW we could be almost halfway through the month of September?! School is back in session, full of its practices, events, and hectic schedules. And in the country, families are starting to gear up for harvest. This time of year, I love to take an inventory of essential ingredients I try to keep on hand in my kitchen in order to be able to whip up various go-to meals, no matter what the next few months may throw at me. Below I will break down my Kitchen Staples: How To Stock Your Fridge, Freezer, and Pantry (including a handy printable list at the bottom).
Kitchen Staples: Freezer
Living in the country, where the nearest grocery store is at least 15 minutes away, your freezer quickly becomes one of your favorite kitchen appliances.
People think its crazy that my family has 4 freezers in our house: one chest freezer, one full upright, and two attached to our refrigerators.
But having this space allows us to store so much food, especially #1 on my freezer must haves…
We raise our own beef at the farm and in turn are able to keep a yearly supply of various beef cuts on hand.
Steaks, roasts, and ground beef are all great items to keep on hand.
They can be easily turned into a last minute Stir Fry, Slow Cooked Pot Roast, or beef casserole (like this Taco Pasta).
Along with our half beef, we try to keep a steady supply of pork on hand.
Pork loin and chops, ground pork, and pork roasts that can be slow cooked into this delicious Dr. Pepper BBQ Pork.
And you can’t forget about the breakfast sausage and bacon for Breakfast Burrito Casserole.
Or ham, that can be made into one of my favorites, Cheesy Ham and Broccoli Soup.
Even though in general, my family eats less chicken, it is a great staple to keep in the freezer.
Chicken thighs and breasts are wonderful in a variety of recipes like this Chicken Stuffing Bake.
And we always have the convenience (and kid-friendly) item of frozen chicken strips at the ready. They are an essential ingredient in my Chicken Parm Casserole.
I may have grown up in the land locked Midwest, but my love for seafood is strong.
Frozen shrimp is my seafood go-to. I always try to have on hand both, raw (peeled and deveined) shrimp and the cooked pre-breaded kind to use in my Cajun Shrimp Po Boys.
Frozen Fruits and Vegetables
Summer and its fresh garden produce can only last so long, before winter starts blowing in from the North.
That’s why fruits and veggies are a necessary staple ingredient to keep in the freezer.
Fruit to whirl up a Simple Strawberry Smoothie.
Or bags of frozen mixed veggies for Beef Soup.
We are also stocked piled with garden fresh sweet corn that was picked and frozen last month.
Kitchen Staples: Fridge
The fridge is a great place to keep a variety of condiments: soy sauce, hot sauce, salad dressing etc.
As well as staple ingredients necessary for making your favorite baked goods: milk, eggs, and BUTTER!
If you didn’t have that, how would you be able to make Peanut Butter Snickers Cookies?
Kitchen Staples: Pantry
Now the pantry is where the meat and potatoes of your kitchen storage happens.
And talking about potatoes….
Potatoes are a necessary staple of the pantry. So many ways to be used and a favorite side dish of mine.
These Crispy Herb Potatoes are divine served beside a grilled steak!
If there is one item on this list, I can not survive without, it’s Spaghetti Sauce.
I use it in various pasta dishes, as a dipping sauce for Stromboli, and a basis for homemade pizzas.
Mexican food is a go to for my gang. It’s a quick and simple fix, so always having tortillas on hand is a must.
Plus they are the “crust” on one of my favorite quick and simple meals. Tortilla Pizzas!
Boxes and boxes of pasta line our pantry shelves.
Lasagna noodles, macaroni, spaghetti, penne, fettuccine, rigatoni, and farfalle,
AKA… “Bowtie”… which is the star of the show in this Creamy Pasta Primavera.
Kitchen Staples: Printable
Below is a comprehensive list of essential ingredients to stock your fridge, freezer, and pantry. Ensuring you have everything necessary to whip up a quick homemade meal.
Or fresh baked cookies.
That’s important too!
Kitchen Staples: How To Stock Your Fridge, Freezer, and Pantry
- Beef (roasts, steaks, ground beef)
- Pork (loin, roasts, chops, ground pork)
- Bacon, Ham, Sausage
- Chicken (breasts, thighs, breaded strips)
- Seafood (raw and cooked shrimp, salmon)
- Frozen Bread/Rolls
- Pie Crusts
- Frozen Potatoes (hashbrowns, fries, etc)
- Frozen Fruit
- Frozen Vegetables
- Shredded Cheese
- Ice Cream
- Pre-Cooked Meat (Cooked ground beef, meatballs, cooked chicken breasts)
- Condiments (soy sauce, hot sauce, salad dressing)
- Fruit (apples, oranges, etc)
- Spices (salt, pepper, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, cinnamon)
- Vanilla Extract
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda
- Oils (olive, vegetable, baking spray, etc)
- All-Purpose Flour
- Sugars (white, brown, powdered)
- Active Dry Yeast
- Nuts (pecans, peanuts, walnuts, etc)
- Chocolate Chips
- Peanut Butter
- Tomato Sauce and Tomato Paste
- Spaghetti Sauce
- Ketchup/BBQ Sauce/Mustard
- Canned Soups (tomato, cream of chicken, cream of mushroom, etc)
- Baked Beans
- Broth (beef, chicken, vegetable)
- Various Pasta Shapes and Sizes
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