Help Stock My Pantry To Save Money And Make Healthy Meals?

A fully stocked pantry is a happy kitchen. We love “Reader Questions” at Canadian Budget Binder and sometimes ask our fans on Facebook for their input.  When we put together our shopping list for the week we aim to purchase the staples that will help us build healthy, flavourful meals. The most important part is making sure we stick to our grocery budget so we plan our meals around flyer specials of the week. There are so many meals you can create as long as you have the staples in your pantry. If you ever thought which is better store bought or homemade  while considering cost it’s almost always homemade in our books.

So, today’s question comes from Nicola Don.

Question: What staples should you have in your pantry at all times?

FREE Tool: I’ve even made a handy Canadian Budget Binder Pantry List for you as well! Just click save and print.

I opted to use a lifeline and asked my Facebook  community of savers what they could come up with to help Nicola and for others starting a pantry stock-up. I always like to encourage people to limit eating out and eat at home  for budgeting and health reasons. Eating out all of the time does no good for the waistline or the pocket-book. One of the reasons people fail to eat at home is because they don’t stock the very items that are essential to making a wonderful, tasty meal.

We prefer in the CBB home to keep our pantry well stocked as it helps cut costs although items can vary from household to household. It also eliminates or cuts down on the need to purchase processed or packaged food. It also stops us from running out to the corner store where prices are much higher. Anyone who has shopped at the corner store when they ran out of eggs , milk or sugar knows they have just been stripped of their “Money Saverstatus

I know what you’re  thinking…. “Mr.CBB it happens we run out and have no choice but to go to the corner shop”.

My answer…….

I know,  it’s what I call, prepare to put into effect the  “Neighbourhood  Pantry Support Group” (If you have neighbours)…. You never know when you will need  a cup of sugar! Having friends with benefits as your neighbours sometimes can help both parties out. Our neighbours are super friendly and amazing to us! If all else fails… see status above.

If we take the time to stock items we use on a regular basis it can take some of the guess work out of whether you have all the ingredients to try a new recipe. This pantry list may be never ending as we all have staples that are particular to our own tastes and cuisine. I want to see what families consider staples in their kitchen!

What’s missing from our list?

Pantry List from Our Facebook Fans!
  • White/Brown Rice
  • Spices  A to Z of all kinds (what’s best is what you normally use)
  • Pasta -various
  • Dry/Canned Beans
  • Peanut Butter
  • Jam/Jelly
  • Honey
  • Canned Tomatoes
  • Tomato Paste
  • White/Whole Wheat/Bread/Pastry Flour (various others)
  • Sugar/Sugar Substitutes,Brown Sugar – (various others)
  • Olives
  • Quinoa
  • Cous-cous
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Relish
  • Soy Sauce
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Vinegar (various kinds)
  • Lemon and Lime Juice
  • Bread Crumbs/ Panko (unless you make your own)
  • Garlic
  • Various Nuts and Seeds
  • Chicken/Beef Cubes, Bouillon soups,
  • Cream Soups
  • Cornmeal
  • Oatmeal
  • Crackers
  • Tabasco Sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Dried Fruits
  • Corn Starch
  • Tinned Vegetables
  • Cereal
  • Granola Bars
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Tuna
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Fresh Ginger
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Salsa
  • Shortening
  • Coffee Whitener
  • Salad Dressings
Thanks to our Facebook Fans who contributed to this pantry list. 
It's Not About How Much Money You Make It's How You Spend It

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I’m from the UK and now a recent permanent resident in Canada. I bought my first house at the age of 21 after University then my second at the age of 24. I’ve always been fascinated with personal finance, savings, learning to make money and watch it grow while combating debts along the way. Canadian Budget Binder is a place where I get to share my experiences with personal finance and learn about yours along the way. I hope you stick around and check me out on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest where I am active on all social media sites. Cheers, Mr.CBB


  1. Shelley Chenier says:

    Now I’m going to go on the computer and print it!! Loving the freezer inventory too!!

    • Thanks so do we. We filled ours out and have it taped to our freezer. We also did our pantry list and wow, the stuff we found. It’s amazing how much we Didn’t know we had in the cupboards. Cheers Shelley! Mr.CBB

  2. sjdathome says:

    Have just got to my freezer inventory in time to start on pantry. Pefect timing with my new budgetting and wanting to actually budget groceries (something I used spending alotment for). Thanks again and loved how this article was created by our little community here :)

    • It’s called working as a team towards a common goal. Sometimes we tend to forget that we are our worst enemies when it comes to justifying our spending habits. When we did our pantry list I mentioned to another fan that we found items we didn’t know we had or that was expired. We waste alot of money not being organized. Thanks for your post and I’m glad the tools help you out! Cheers Mr.CBB

  3. nickydon40 says:

    away to finish my lists chalkboard paint on Sat and thanks for all the sharing I am adding a few more things to my inventory! great job everybody

  4. I think there’s a few things I’m going to add to my cupboards after reading this! I just borrowed mustard from my neighbour not too long ago! She’s always borrowing pasta and pasta sauce from me lol. We also just bought dry erase markers (already had the board) and we’re going to try the freezer inventory.

  5. Thanks for the list :) Maybe as an add-on to this list you can collect the general shelf life time of these products for people. Between that and knowing how much they go through they will have a better idea of how much of each to get that wont have them throwing too much out :) I just found out yesterday I could freeze yeast!

    • really we can freeze yeast.. what do I do, just toss the pacakage in the freezer?

      • yup. its probably more for people who buy yeast in bulk and use on a regular basis. the stuff already has a shelf life of 8-ish months I think. I was reading – . It just seems to be *alot* cheaper to buy it in bulk then the little glass jars I have been using up until now. Ive gone through 2 jars in 2 months so thats $10 compared to buying 1lb of the stuff for around $7

        • I have 1 pkg of yeast expired in nov 2011.. you think I should toss it? Some people think it could be ok. If you know me you know I’m terrified of yeast and making bread. That is my goal this year. I want to make a loaf of olive bread… I just need to find a bread making for dummies step by step guide .. cheers Mr.CBB

  6. For spices in the cupboard, I recommend buying whole spices (peppercorns, fennel and cilantro seeds, etc.) because sometimes the recipe requires ground and other times you need whole spices. A cheap pestal and morter will turn those seeds to dust in seconds with a little elbow grease – also lets you hold on to spices a little longer, and they have more taste power.
    I have as my bare necessities:
    cinnamon, black pepper, good sea salt, fennel seeds, corriander seeds, herbs de Provance, oragano, parsley, chilli powder, birdseye chillis – whole, whole nutmeg, curry powder, allspice seeds, paprika, thyme, rosemary. If you have some other spices you use all the time that are not here, then add it in!

    • I agree with you 100%. I have to admit I have a bit of an obsession with the pestal and Morter and have collected quite a few from my travels around the world. You are right, you can mash anything in seconds! Good points Erin! Thanks for your comment. Mr.CBB

  7. Awesome article Mr. CBB!

    It’s so neat how your Facebook community banded together to help you make this! Great work everyone!

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