The Essentials of a Well Stocked Pantry
In order to cook your own meals at home you need a pantry. Many people just starting out or just starting to cook from scratch don't know what foods to buy for their pantry. Having a well stocked pantry is essential to any cook. If you have the proper foods you can create just about any meal right in your own home. First I should say that I consider the pantry to include all frozen and refrigerated items as well. All of these foods are part of your food supply and needed to create meals. Here are what I consider essentials to a well stocked pantry.
Grains - This includes flours, rices, pasta, breads and more. In my pantry I have cous cous, rice, flour, cornmeal, grits, tortillas, bread, many shapes of pasta and whole wheat crackers.
Sweeteners - This includes, sugar, syrups, honey, sucanat, stevia, and any fake sugar packets you have for your coffee.
Meats - Most meat will be in your freezer or fridge, but canned is always good too. Keeping a wide assortment of types of meat include beef, chicken, pork and fish will help you have variety in your diet and keep things interesting at home.
Fruits and vegetables - I always keep a large selection of fresh produce on hand, but I also have a lot of frozen foods. I prefer fresh or frozen, because those fruits and vegetables retain more of their nutrients than canned. It is always good though to keep a selection of easy to eat canned foods in case of a power outage. Don't forget canned or dry beans in this section. These are wonderful frugal additions to any pantry.
Baking items - some of these items overlap from other areas, but it is essential to have a supply of flour, oil, eggs, salt and sugar for baking. I also like to have applesauce and chocolate chips for baking.
Dairy - milk, yogurt, cheese, coconut milk, soy milk, rice milk, evaporated milk, etc.
Condiments - ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, salad dressings, vinegar, soy sauce, etc.
This list is a good starting point for someone wanting to keep a better stocked pantry. You really need to create your own list. If you don't ever eat beans, then it doesn't make sense to buy any. You want to keep on hand what you eat and use. You should be able to get some ideas from here to make your own pantry list. Then start shopping the sales and fill your pantry for little money. Then you can cook just about anything you are interested in.