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The Well Stocked Kitchen

Updated on June 20, 2017

Keep It On Hand

These are the basics that you should have on hand at all times - not just what to buy but how much and where to store it. Restock these items every two weeks.

Most spices and seasonings are available in small, square metal tins, glass jars, and small plastic bottles - any and all of which I think of as a single unit. Buy spices in the smallest units you can find and toss whatever you haven't used after 6 months or so for the freshest flavor. the exceptions are salt and pepper, which you can buy in larger quantities because you will go through them quickly and should never run out!

Spice Rack

  • coarse salt 1 large unit, 26 ounces or more
  • coarse black pepper or peppercorns to grind 1 large unit
  • chili powder 1 unit
  • ground cumin 1 unit
  • grill seasoning 1 large unit
  • paprika 1 unit
  • smoked sweet paprika i unit
  • whole nutmeg 1 unit
  • curry paste or powder 1 unit
  • ground coriander 1 unit
  • poultry seasoning 1 unit
  • bay leaves 1 unit
  • red pepper flakes 1 unit
  • dried oregano 1 unit
  • dried thyme 1 unit
  • ground cinnamon 1 unit
  • fennel seeds 1 unit
  • ground allspice 1 unit
  • cayenne pepper 1 unit


  • milk 2 quatrs
  • heavy cream or half and half 1 quart
  • butter 1 pound unlees it's on sale, then you should buy a backup to keep in the freezer
  • eggs 1 dozen
  • parmigiano-reggiano 1 pound cut of parm
  • pecorino romano 1 large tub of freshly grated pecorino romano
  • bacon 1 pound unless it's on sale and then you should buy a backup to keep in the freezer
  • hot sauce 1 6 ounce bottle
  • dijon mustard 1 8 - 10 ounce jar
  • spicy brown mustard 1 8 - 10 ounce jar
  • capers 1 jar
  • flat leaf parsley 2 bunches washed and dried, in food storage bags
  • celery 1 bunch
  • carrots 1 pound
  • mayonnaise 1 small jar 8 ounces


  • frozen peas 2 10 ounce boxes
  • frozen corn 2 10 ounce boxes
  • frozen chopped spinach 2 10 ounce boxes
  • plain and Italian bread crumbs 1 15 ounce container each


  • white wine 2 bottles
  • red wine 2 bottles
  • dry sherry 1 bottle

Dry, Draft Free Storage Area

  • Idaho potatoes 5 pounds
  • small red, baby, Yukon Gold, or small white boiling potatoes 5 pounds
  • lemons 6
  • limes 6
  • Spanish or yellow onions 4 pound sack
  • shallots 4 large
  • peanut butter, chunky or smooth 1 jar
  • garlic 4 heads


  • chicken stock in a box 3 32 ounce cartons
  • beef stock in a box 2 32 ounce cartons
  • diced fire roasted tomatoes 2 14 ounce cans
  • diced tomatoes, regular and petite diced 1 14 ounce can each
  • crushed tomatoes 3 28 ounce cans
  • tomato paste 1 tube or small can
  • tomato sauce 2 8 ounce cans
  • chipotle chilies in adobo or dry chipotle powder 1 small can or jar
  • black beans 2 14 ounce cans
  • chickpeas/garbanzo beans 2 14 ounce cans
  • cannellini beans 2 14 ounce cans
  • long cut pastas such as spaghetti, linguine, vermicelli, angel hair, and fettuccine 4 pounds, different varieties
  • short cut pastas such as penne, ditalini, gemelli, and cavatappi 4 pounds, different varieties
  • plain couscous 2 6 ounce boxes
  • white rice 1 5 pound sack
  • all purpose flour 1 2 pound sack
  • white sugar 1 2 pound box
  • brown sugar 1 pound box
  • Italian tuna in extra virgin olive oil 2 4 ounce cans
  • tuna in water 2 6 ounce cans
  • Alaskan salmon 1 14.75 ounce can
  • worcestershire sauce 1 10 ounce bottle
  • vegetable oil 1 48 ounce bottle
  • tamari 1 bottle
  • balsamic vinegar 1 bottle
  • red wine vinegar 1 bottle
  • cider, white wine and/or rice vinegar 1 bottle
  • honey 1 small jar
  • extra virgin oil oil 2 large bottles
  • anchovy fillets 2 tins or 1 small jar
  • roasted red peppers in water 1 16 ounce jar
  • canned clams, whole baby 2 14 ounce cans


Submit a Comment

  • Rochelle Frank profile image

    Rochelle Frank 

    7 years ago from California Gold Country

    Goood list. I have most of them, but will check again just to be sure. In winter weather it's nice to know you don't really have to run to the store.

    I have a hub on a few items that are 'beyond the basics', but I am very much in favor of being prepared for a few guests. Thanks for the list.


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