I often get asked what food staples I (almost) always have in my kitchen. Now everyones different, we all have different food preferences and eat in different ways but these items I keep in stock in my cupboard, fridge and freezer so that I always am able to pull together a last minute dinner, have something to put in the lunchbox when I run out of fresh bread or are running low on fresh produce. Let’s take a look….
What’s in my pantry?
Remember to put new products behind older ones so that you are using older products first (stock rotation). Mr Foost has a saying “a place for everything and everything in its place”. We do this in our cupboard. So we always know where to find things, it is easier to clean up and it’s just a quick glance when checking the shopping list. Organise things into sections. We have a breakfast section, a baking section, a nuts and seeds section, a canned section, a sauces section, a herb and spice section, a grains section and a ‘treats’ section (at the top). Think about where these things are. We have nuts and seeds at eye level (so when looking for a snack they are staring at us) and the ‘treats’ section is higher, so it is there if we feel like it but not always looking at us.
- Rolled oats
- Basmati rice
- Rice noodles (for stirfry)
- Crackers (for lunchboxes and snacks usually vita wheat and cruskits)
- Tortillas (for quesadillas)
- Wholemeal and white plain flour (because I use both)
- Baking powder (for when I run out of self raising flour)
- Nuts and seeds for snacks or to add onto porridge, into salads, stir fry and curry. Our personal household favourites are cashews, pecans and chia seeds (actually it is better to keep these fresh in the fridge if you have space)
- Peanut butter, we have a crunchy or smooth debate in our house
- Baked beans
- Canned legumes: my favs are chickpeas, lentils and blackbeans
- UHT milk or powdered milk (for when I run out of fresh)
FRUIT AND VEG
- Potatoes and/or sweet potatoes
- Bananas and apples, plus other in season fruit
- Canned veggies: Corn, diced tomatoes, peas, carrots, passata
- Canned fruit: always pineapple and often pears and apricots
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Sugar (for cooking)
- Chocolate (for when I feel like it)
- Corn chips (for nachos)
- Soy sauce
- Balsamic vinegar
- Tomato sauce
- Cinnamon and spaghetti bolognese spices (plus others but these are the two I try not to run out of)
What’s in my fridge?
The place for all the perishable goods that need to be eaten up within a shorter time period. To try and reduce wastage, I like to order my fridge. I do the same stock rotation as above. For us: top shelf is leftovers, middle shelf is dairy and eggs and bottom of the fridge is for fruits and veggies. I also have a small drawer for meat. The door is for milk, butter, condiments, open sauces, maple syrup and pickles. Store meat in a drawer or on the bottom shelf of the fridge so that it doesn’t spill onto any other food.
- Cheese, tasty, parmesan and feta
- Tofu, usually flavoured
- Vegetables, the main ones I always have are carrots, zucchini and red capsicum
- Fruits depending on what’s in season but usually strawberries
- Tomato paste (cause we love pizza)
Whats in my freezer?
I have a family of six, so we go through plenty of food, especially bread. I love the freezer, for helping reduce wastage, for keeping spare ingredients for longer (especially meat and bread), for having easy dinners like leftovers and frozen fish and for always having some fruit. Here’s what I store in my freezer:
- Raspberries and bananas (which I freeze myself for smoothies and baking) and sometimes mango and blueberries
- Frozen veg including mixed veg (to add to things like fried rice), spinach and often edamame beans
- Leftovers like spaghetti sauce and soup for quick meals
- Baking box (where I store excess things I have baked and pop straight into lunchboxes)
- Bread including raisin bread. Frozen bread can go straight into the toaster for breakfast or I make lunchbox sandwiches on frozen bread
- Frozen crumbed fish and calamari (the one where you just pop it straight in the freezer)
- Meat and/or poultry
- Pizza dough (for pizza or to make scrolls for lunchboxes) or pita (for pita pizzas)
- My veggie scraps bag for stock and often some made stock (I also sometimes use bought)
- Ice cream
Now for helping to shop less 🙂 Keep a shopping list (check out the foost one here) and a pen in your cupboard so as things run low, write it down. Then before your meal plan or head to the shops, take stock of what you have left in your fridge, freezer and cupboard.