Stocking Your Pantry

— Written By and last updated by Emily Capps

Having a well-stocked kitchen makes meal planning easier. Use this basic foods checklist for some ideas to help stock your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer for simple meals. Personalize the list with foods you frequently use. This will also help if you must Shelter in Place in the coming days or weeks.

In the Pantry

Breakfast & Cereals

  • Cereal (consider whole grain varieties)
  • Oatmeal
  • Pancake mix

Canned, Jarred, & Pouched Foods

  • Fruits and vegetables (choose options without added sugar or salt)
  • Meat, poultry, & seafood (fish, chicken, or other meats)
  • Beans (pinto, black, garbanzo)
  • Soups (look for lower sodium varieties)
  • Nut butter (peanut, almond)
  • Dried fruit
  • Sauces (tomato, spaghetti, pizza)
  • Salsa
  • Broth or stock (chicken, beef or vegetable)

Grains, Pasta & Sides

  • Bread (consider whole grain varieties)
  • Tortillas or taco shells
  • Pasta (consider whole grain varieties)
  • Rice (include some whole grain rice, such as brown rice)
  • Oats (old fashioned or rolled, quick, or steel cut)

Produce

  • Onions
  • Potatoes

Snacks

  • Crackers (consider whole grain varieties)
  • Popcorn
  • Nuts (almonds, walnuts, etc.)

Baking & Cooking Supplies

  • Instant nonfat dry milk
  • Flour (consider whole grain)
  • Sugar (white granulated, brown)
  • Seasonings & spices (salt, black pepper, garlic, minced onion)
  • Oil for cooking (such as olive, canola, vegetable)
  • Vinegar

Condiments & Salad Dressings

  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Mayonnaise (choose a lower fat option)
  • Salad dressing

In the Refrigerator

  • Milk (fat-free or low-fat)
  • Cheese (block, shredded, sliced, or string and consider lower fat options)
  • Yogurt (fat-free or low-fat and choose options with fewer or no added sugars)
  • Eggs
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Butter or margarine

In the Freezer

  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Meat & seafood (chicken breast, ground beef/turkey, pork loin chops, salmon, shrimp)
  • 100% fruit juice concentrate
  • Waffles (consider whole-grain varieties)
  • Breads (consider whole-grain varieties)

Source:  University of Nebraska-Lincoln Food website