Stock Up On Staples


Organization Tips for the Kitchen Pantry

There is nothing worse than cooking and reaching for something in your pantry that you are sure you have and coming up empty-handed.  No matter if you are a seasoned chef or starting your first apartment, it is great to have a checklist for staple items you should have on hand.

Organizing Kitchen Pantry

You may have some other items you consider staples, such as salad dressing or barbecue sauce, but those items can be made if you have these staples.


Pantry storage tips:

Get a turntable for the bottles of oils, vinegars, and such.  You can easily spin it to find what you need.  Open bags of flour and sugar invite pests plus spill and make a mess.  Use a gallon zippered plastic bag or a jar to contain them.  Bags of food staples, like rice, beans, and cornmeal are seldom used up in just one recipe.  Use food storage containers, bags, or even rubber bands to contain them.  Have extra staples?  Check out our tip for Managing Extra Staples

Bottles on Turntable –
It’s easy to find and use these bottles stored over the stove hood because of the turntable spins.
Stock up on staples


Contain Flour and Sugar –
Contain your open flour and sugar to keep them fresh, free from pests and from spilling in your pantry.
Stock up on staples


Rice in Canister –
Close opened bags with rubber bands.  Store like items, such as these rice bags, together for easy inventory.
Stock up on staples

  • Olive oil
  • Vegetable oil
  • Cooking spray
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • hite wine vinegar
  • Soy sauce
  • Honey
  • Hot sauce
  • Worcestershire
  • Cooking sherry
  • Broth or bouillon
  • Canned milk (evaporated)
  • Peanut butter
  • Tomatoes, diced
  • Tomato, paste
  • Tomato, sauce
  • Bread crumbs
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Dry beans
  • Oats
  • Cornmeal
  • Sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Powdered sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Flour
  • Cornstarch


In the Fridge:

  • Mustard
  • Ketchup
  • Lemon juice
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Eggs



Spice storage tips:  Store spices so that you can easily find them.  Use a stacking turntable, a stacker-shelf, or drawer organizer to help you find them.  Learn more about storing spices at our Spicy Ideas article.  There are a lot more spices available than this basic list but this will get you started.  You can add additional spices as recipes call for them.

Spice Turntable –
Make the most of cabinet space with a stacking-turntable for your spices.

How to downsize and organize your kitchen

Spice Cabinet –
Most often, spices are up high.  But, choosing a low kitchen cabinet can work.  Since the cook now looks down on the bottles, adding labels to the tops makes this situation very workable.

How to Organize Herbs and Spices

  • Basil
  • Bay leaves
  • Cayenne
  • Chili powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Cumin
  • Dry onion
  • Garlic powder
  • Ginger
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Pepper
  • Rosemary
  • Salt
  • Thyme
  • Vanilla extract



Lea Schneider Organizing Kitchen PantryAuthor Lea Schneider, a columnist for What’s Cooking America, is a freelance writer and organizational expert whose organizing ideas have been published in many magazines including Woman’s Day, Better Homes and Gardens Kitchen and Bath Ideas, Family Circle, Parents Magazine, as well as numerous newspapers and websites.   She is a member of the Association of Food Journalists.

Getting organized is all about living simpler and making things easier.  The bonus is it often leads to saving money.  Lea Schneider’s kitchen organizing columns tell you how to organize the many things that relate to kitchens, menus, meals, and special food events.

Check out all of Lea Schneider’s helpful home and kitchen columns at Organizing Kitchens, Pantries, Menus and Meals.




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