The secret of being prepared for any recipe is to keep a well-stocked pantry. Unless you relish the idea of living off of expensive ready meals or purchasing takeaways regularly, then a good selection of standard food staples is required. This kit of food basics creates the building blocks of many different recipes and even gives you room to adapt recipes and create new ones from scratch.

Many of these items are long life and can be kept on hand within your cupboards for long periods of time. However, others are perishable, so it is always a good idea to note down expiration dates and check whether items require refrigeration once opened or stored within a particular place. The key to keeping your cupboards well stocked is to organised item rotation by expiry date and knowing when you need to purchase more supplies.

The best way to ensure you have all of your required basics is to go through a meal plan of recipes you eat within a normal week.  Jot down all the required ingredients and cross them off as you go through the week. This is also the best way to figure out how much of each ingredient you should invest in in the beginning.

Below is a list of all items you should consider stocking in your pantry to guarantee you are adequately prepared.


Long Life Cupboard Items

  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Tinned beans – baked, kidney and white beans
  • Dried Beans – lima, lentils, black
  • Bread crumbs
  • Broth – vegetable, chicken
  • Cereal
  • Chocolate – cocoa powder, unsweetened squares, chips
  • Coffee – ground, beans, instant
  • Crackers
  • Dried fruit – raisins, apricots
  • Extracts – vanilla, lemon, almond
  • Flour – All-purpose, cake, bread
  • Gelatine
  • Powdered milk
  • Mushrooms – Tinned or dried
  • Nuts – almonds, peanuts, walnuts etc
  • Dried Pasta – spaghetti, penne, noodles
  • Rice – long grain, basmati
  • Tinned soup
  • Sugar – granulated, confectioners
  • Tea
  • Tinned meats – tuna
  • Yeast


  • Garlic
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Milk
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes


  • Table sauces – BBQ sauce, tomato ketchup, salad cream etc.
  • Chilli paste and sauce
  • Honey
  • Jam
  • Maple Syrup
  • Marmalade
  • Mustards
  • Olives
  • Soy sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce

Herbs and Spices

  • Allspice
  • Basil
  • Chili Powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Curry Powder
  • Five-spice powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Ginger
  • Mint (dried)
  • Nutmeg
  • Oregano (dried)
  • Pepper
  • Rosemary (dried)
  • Salt
  • Thyme