Pantry Essentials for a Well Stocked Kitchen

While a good shopping list is the key to a quick trip to the grocery store, a well-stocked pantry is the best way to ensure you’ll have everything you need to prepare a quick, healthy meal. My guide will help you learn how to stock a pantry with pantry staples, so you’ll always have what you need.

When Timothy and I got married, I was not a kitchen kind of wife. I grew up with a mother, grandmother, aunts, who all knew how to cook but I despised it. My cabinets were filled with quick box meals and the only spices I owned were salt and pepper. Oh, how the years have changed me.

Creating a well-stocked pantry takes time. When I first started out I just had a few essentials, things like flour and sugar. As time went on, I added spices and continued adding as I figured out what our family used the most and wanted to have on hand, just in case.

Your pantry will look different depending on your diet and nutritional needs.

Simple Steps to an Organized Well Stocked Pantry

  1. Pull everything out of your pantry

  2. Wipe down all the shelves, paint if your shelves need a little bit of a touch-up.

  3. Go through all of your dry goods, remove them from their packages and place them in jars.

  4. Label the jars.

  5. Place the jars back into the pantry.

  6. Keep it clean! This is such an important step and it is really easy to maintain if you just follow a few easy steps.
    – When you use a jar, wipe it down before putting it back in the pantry. I will even wipe the shelf space where the jar had been sitting before I return it to the shelf.
    – Once a week, dust the tops of all the jars off. This can be simply done by taking a duster across all the tops of the jars.

Storing Spices, Herbs and Seasonings in Jars

I love using clear jars in the pantry. You don’t have to have them all the same style and it may take time to collect the jars if you choose to do the pantry this way. Many of our products come in glass jars, be creative, remove the labels and use the jars to store your dry goods.

Using glass jars allows me to quickly scan the pantry, making a note of the items that I need to purchase. Glass jars also help to keep the space looking neat and tidy.

When looking for glass jars, search for ones that have a seal. This will ensure that your ingredients stay fresh longer. My jars are purchased from WalMart but you can find various sizes on Amazon as well.

They have the 67 ounce that comes in a set of four, 38 ounce that also comes in a set of four and I love this option for spice jars. Mason jars also make great storage jars. I have these that I store my coffee in and I love that you can get galvanized lids for the jars. 

How to Label Pantry Jars

Labels are important so that you know what is in your jars. If you have a small pantry, with just a few jars then this may not be important for you. I use the DYMO label maker but a paint pen, tape with a sharpie or any other form of a label would work just as well.

Note * I have since updated how I store my pantry jars.

What Spices and Herbs are Essential in the Pantry

Having a wide variety of spices and herbs on hand ensures that I can just about make anything at any point and time. We use a lot of herbs and spices to season our food since I cook from scratch.

Learning how to use spices and herbs can make a huge difference in the way that your food tastes. The list below is the herbs and spices that I currently keep on hand, on the top shelf of my pantry.

My spice jars are from Hobby Lobby but these and these are some great options as well.  I purchase all of my herbs from a local store that carries bulk. I simply go in, fill my jar with what I need and then pay for what I purchase. This helps to cut down on the amount of waste in our home.

Spices and Seasonings for the kitchen pantry

Pumpkin Spice
Ground Mustard
Xantham Gum
Onion Powder
Bay Leaf
Chili Powder
Garlic Powder
Celtic Salt
Nutritional Yeast

Baking essentials for the pantry

Depending upon your families dietary needs your pantry needs will be different than our families. I currently follow a pretty strict clean style of eating and I use several ingredients from the Trim Healthy Mama Lifestyle.

I keep a wide variety of pantry staples and the list below is what I currently keep in stock.

Baking Powder
Whey Protein
Baking Soda
Chocolate Whey Protein
Integral Collagen
White Flour
Baking Blend
Brown Rice
Masa Mix
Coconut Flour
Black Beans
Hot Cocoa
Unsweetened Coconut
Peanut Flour
Oat Fiber


Powdered Sugar
Brown Sugar
Gentle Sweet
Raw Sugar

What about can goods? Do we have those? Yes, a few, mainly it is tomato sauce. We prefer frozen vegetables so the majority of our vegetables are in the freezer. Almost everything in our home is cooked from scratch which means that we have very few boxed food items.

There is about another 6 foot of pantry space just to the left of the space with all the jars. That is where I store some of my bigger kitchen items like the blender, toaster, etc.  I will share that space in the near future but at this point, I still have a few things to finish up.

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9 thoughts on “Pantry Essentials for a Well Stocked Kitchen”

  1. Your house always inspires me to clean mine! 🙂 It’s remarkable what you’ve done with a mobile home. I use Ikea jars for things like quinoa and wild rice and soup pasta, because they’ve got a tight seal. I mostly use plastic containers in my tiny pantry (15" wide). How do you keep potatoes in an open basket like that without them sprouting? I’ve tried several kinds of containers but they sprout unless I keep them in one of the produce drawers in my fridge.

  2. Very nice looking, thank you for sharing. I assume you have another type of pantry also for things like spaghetti (does your family eat pastas?), tomato sauce, your "canned" veggies, like green beans, fruit/applesauce, so forth?

  3. Love jars and yours are beautiful. Where did you get the black handle hardware? Been looking for something similar for a few hall closets.

  4. I stumbled upon your blog via Pinterest and wanted to thank you for your pantry post. My friends think I am insane because of MY pantry… it is much like yours… I LOVE my pantry as it is the only spot in our home that I don’t have to lose-my-mind searching for anything, rearrange or declutter as everything has a place. My jars are from the dollar store and my produce ‘baskets’ are wood bins from Ikea, but all are labelled and the feel is the same as yours. I was SHOCKED to read you are in a mobile home… I’m excited to now go and read (or start reading) the rest of your blog as I’m intrigued. I’ve gone from tiny-ish living in down-town Vancouver, BC (842 square feet, including the balcony) which I LOVED to a transfer east and into an average-sized home at roughly 2300 square feet that overwhelms me. We couldn’t find anything smaller without moving significantly outside of the city. Again, thank you for your blog AND your pantry. Karri


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