Pantry essentials | my basics

When we moved out a year ago, we had pretty much all the 'kitchen essentials'. Being the organised Type-A that I am, I had been collecting kitchen items such a pans, knives, tea towel etc when they went on sale for quite some time, because I knew in the imminent future I would be moving out.

Kudos to Sam for not freaking out when I showed him the contents of my Dad's loft when we started  talking about moving out...#hoarder

When we decided to buy, I curated infinite lists on my phone for each room in the house with what we would need. Slowly they were ticked off, each list diminishing, bar one. The pantry items. This list was seriously stressing me out, because I knew it was insane to want to pack up packets and tins when it wasn't necessary, but I also knew there was no way we would be able to stock the cupboards when we initially moved in.

Thankfully, my kind mother helped us out and took us on a supermarket spree buying every single item on that list. Without this gift, we would have had a bare pantry for week, I'm sure of it.

Therefore, I thought writing a list of the pantry essentials would be useful for all of you who are planning on moving out soon, or want to get a heads up for when you eventually do. This list can work for living-on-your-own newbies as well as uni students and those of you who never have what you need when you need it!

The overview

This pantry is nowhere near how I'd like it to be, but its working for now until I can get to IKEA for some storage solutions. 

I've tried to categorise my main cupboard, and hopefully make it so whoever is putting the grocery shop away can see where to put it (I'm lookin' at you Sammy ;)

Outside of this cupboard there are things like potatoes, eggs, olive oils and bread. I always have those three on hand, but they're just too big for this main pantry cupboard. So, without further ado, lets get into the basics!

Number 1 | Baking
This may not be basics for a lot of people, but I like to know I always have these items incase the need for an emergency cookie batch arises or I realise I have no bread!
  • Plain flour
  • White caster sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • Milk and dark chocolate chips
  • Vanilla extract
With these items you can make things such as savoury and sweet breads, cupcakes, cookies, pie crusts and pastry in general. 

Number 2 | Canned goods
This is the essential part of the store cupboard for me, and probably the area I reach to the most. These are the base of the majority of meals in our house, or adages to any recipe. This area usually looks a little something like this...
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Chickpeas/Garbanzo beans
  • Sweetcorn
  • Kidney beans
  • Baked beans
  • Tuna in brine
  • Coconut milk
  • Vegetable gravy granules
  • Tinned chicken soup (not for me!)
From this area, you have the sauces for pizza, spaghetti, lasagna. You have tuna for salads and sandwiches, or fishcakes! All the beans are an excellent source of protein, especially if the bill is tight and you can't always afford hunks of meat. The coconut milk is a great substitute for dairy based products or as a sweet thickener, and goes great in soups! The canned chicken soup is for Samuel, who craves that salty goop like nobody's business!

Number 3 | Carbs
All the grains and carbohydrates that get used in cooking go in this area, so I can see at a glance what can go with what dishes when I'm meal prepping on a Sunday (would you like a whole post on meal preps?!).
  • Wholegrain pasta
  • Brown rice
  • Lasagna sheets
  • Quinoa
  • Popcorn kernels
  • Chia seeds
  • Lentils (red or black)
  • Bulgar wheat
  • Dried egg noodles
  • Natural breadcrumbs
  • Porridge oats
The majority of these are self explanatory, but the surplus of grains is because we like to mix it up! Salads are great bulked out with bulgar wheat, or even using quinoa instead of rice in burritos. The popcorn kernels are there for movie night, and the chia seeds for smoothies and as egg substitute when we don't realise our morning weekend scramble egg used them all up. I wouldn't say they are all basics, but its good to have a variety of grains to enable you to control what you're eating and not live off marinara sauce and pasta!

Number 4 | Conserves & Drinks
This area is a little whacky, but its basically all of our pots of 'stuff'. This needs a tidy, and its own storage bin, but these shelves are so awkwardly spaced its tough to know what will fit where! In this area we have;
  • Hot chocolate powder
  • Peanut butter
  • Jams
  • Marmite
  • Honey
The spreads are excellent on toast or as baking ingredients, the hot chocolate is naturally for hot cocoa and impromptu brownies and the vinegar doesn't have another home...go figure.

Number 5 | Grab n Go area
This area is split into three bins, which all get 'grabbed' for one reason or another. They are split into the following, and all get used on a regular basis:

Saucy Flavour
  • Soy sauce
  • Worcester sauce
  • Tomato puree
  • Hot sauce
  • English mustard powder
  • Salt and pepper
Herbs & Spices
  • Mixed herbs
  • Garlic granules
  • Stock cubes
  • Smoked paprika
  • Cinnamon
  • Chocolate bars
  • Energy bars
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Snack packs
I personally think all cupboards should have elements to make any food taste awesome, and therefore I focussed my initial shop heavily on those items. If we were going to be eating chicken for three days straight, I needed ways to make it taste amazing and not bore us to tears. On top of this, there are also 'basic' items in our freezer such as frozen quorn mince, margarita pizza, frozen veg and fruit.

So there you have it. My new home, empty cupboards list. What did you think?

Did I miss anything off? What couldn't you live without? Let me know in the comments below!

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