Pantry Organization -
A Basic Pantry List To Get You Started

Pantry organization is an important aspect of any kitchen, as is knowing what to put in it. Here is a basic pantry list to ensure you have a supply of all the basic food staples for your kitchen.

If you’re wondering why organizing a pantry or having a basic pantry list is so important, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you always find that you’re missing some vital (yet basic) ingredient when cooking?
  • Are you setting up a kitchen for the first time and are not sure what you need?
  • Would you rather be sure you had all the basic staples on hand so you know you can always cook something?

If you answered yes to one (or all) of these questions, then you know why a list (and good pantry organizing) is important!

Below you’ll find a list of what every productive kitchen needs. When you’re out buying these items try to look for the best quality items you can afford. Do you really want to eat low-grade food? I thought not. Of course, you should let your food budget guide you, but you may not be buying some of these items every week so occasionally you can get the good stuff!

Oh, and feel free to print this list out and take it with you if you need to.

The Basic Pantry List


Plain flour
Self-raising flour
Olive oil
Canola oil
Pasta (mixture of spaghetti, fettuccine, penne, or your own favourites)
Tomato paste
Tomato puree
White vinegar
Balsamic vinegar


Soy sauce
Tabasco sauce
Tomato sauce/ketchup
Worcestershire sauce
Hoi sin sauce

Dried Herbs

Bay leaves
Mixed herbs


Chinese 5-Spice
Curry Powder

Cooking Stock

Note: You can buy either dried stock in cube form, or liquid stock.


Canned Foods

Coconut milk
Evaporated milk
Tomatoes (chopped)

Fresh Foods

Note: obviously these would be used frequently and bought regularly


This list should give you a good basis for creating delicious yet simple meals.

It is also important to ensure that your food pantry is suitable for storing food. It should not get too hot (or cold) and definitely should not be damp. Mould (or mold) loves food, so don’t let yours be a victim!

Most of the items above come in their own packets, tins or jars so they’re OK. But potatoes, onions, garlic and ginger doesn’t so it’s important to store them properly. What I do is store these items in cotton draw string bags (most department or homeware stores stock these). Potatoes have their own bag, and the onions, garlic and ginger go in another bag. You can put them all in individual bags if you want, but since garlic and ginger is small I just put them with the onions.

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