Sweetums and Candy bars

Everything You Need in Your Refrigerator/Pantry

Posted on: November 28, 2012

My husband and I used to buy boxed meals ALL THE TIME. It was so easy to just brown some hamburger or chicken and add the rest

of the ingredients. I can’t tell you when I started questioning what was in those boxed meals, but I knew it wasn’t good.

The first thing we did was cut out fast food (except for pizza, we just can’t let go of that, yet). We haven’t had any fast food in about 6 months now, and the last time we did eat it, we were in a super hurry and super hungry. I can tell you now, that it is NOT worth it. We felt so sick after we ate it, we probably will never do it again.

Any Tyson chicken nuggets, McDonald’s chicken nuggets, ‘cheap’ premade hamburgers… any kind of processed meat, you are eating PINK SLIME.

Not trying to scare you, but that’s what it took for me to stop eating processed foods. So, if you’re going to make all of your meals from scratch (or smei-scratch) what do you need in your pantry?

Meat – hamburger, chicken, salmon. A variation of each.

Flour – you can make everything from cakes to breading for chicken with flour and a few spices. You can also get Bisquick to save in case you run out of something to make for pancakes, but you can also make your own Bisquick mix for a super rushed meal time.

Unsalted Butter – for cooking and baking. We really hardly ever use that fake margarine stuff. We use the butter for greasing pans, too.

Milk – well, that’s a no-brainer. But evaporated milk, dry milk, coconut milk, and condensed milk are great to have around, too.

Eggs – boiled eggs, deviled eggs (do people even eat those outside of Thanksgiving and Christmas?), cakes, meat loaf, cookies… you name it. You need eggs.

Egg subsitutes include xanthan gum and mayonnaise. You can substitute mayonnaise for the eggs and oil in a recipe (1 tablespoon of mayo – 1 large egg)

Vegetable Oil – You pretty much can’t bake or fry anything without it. I suggest sunflower oil or extra virgin olive oil.

Lemon juice – for flavor and cleaning

Cornstarch – protip: add cornstarch instead of baking powder to cakes, cookies and brownies for extra fluff!

Oatmeal – cookies, face scrubs, breakfast, energy bars, you name it!

Plain and vanilla yogurt – with plain yogurt and lemon juice, you can substitute sour cream and with vanilla yogurt, there are so many snacks you can make.

Almond bark – both chocolate and white chocolate, for melting down and creating candies, like oreo truffles and chocolate covered pretzels and strawberries

Vinegar – Well, you know me. I rave about the awesome things that vinegar can do. You can make anything from salad dressing (like balsamic) to clean your dishes with it.

Baking Soda – Same as vinegar, except you pretty much have to have it to bake. And clean.

Panko – ‘panko’ is Japanese for ‘bread crumbs’. You can add it to burger meat to make meatloaf, or even make baked chicken nuggets with it.

Food coloring – for anything from making paints to creating pretty colors for iced cookies!

Crackers – in case you don’t have panko, you can crush them up and use them as breading or substance to meatballs. This also includes graham crackers, tollhouse

Cocoa powder – you can make homemade chocolate cake from cocoa powder, as well as chocolate icing. There are tons of “sweet” recipes you can make by just having this ingredient.

Dry Active yeast – make donuts, pizza dough, your own bread with active yeast. It’s really cheap and you only need a tiny bit in most recipes.

Vanilla Extract – you add it to most everything you bake, from cookies to pumpkin pie.

An assortment of spices – Your favorite spices. Mine include:

  • Garlic Powder
  • Garlic Salt
  • All-purpose seasoning
  • Cinnamon
  • Allspice
  • Pepper
  • Lemon/pepper seasoning
  • Taco seasoning
  • Cumin
  • Cream of tartar

Chicken broth – I use chicken broth to make my homemade soup. I get broths with no MSGs or GMOs. It’s even better if you can save your own chicken broth from after making a chicken, but if that’s not an option, buy some from the store.  Some things to make with this include chicken noodle soup and chicken dumplin’s.

Beef and chicken stock – same reason as above

Pasta – every kind of pasta, including noodles.  You can make spaghetti, soup, lasagna, chicken fettuccine, etc.

Cream of mushroom and cream of chicken – adds flavor and substance to foods like casseroles.

Canned or frozen vegetables – corn, green beans, peas, carrots, tomato

Canned food – such as beans (all kinds)

Tomato puree and tomato sauce – you can make marinara sauce, pasta sauce and pizza sauce from these two.

Rice – you can make your own chicken and rice recipe, and you can also use rice to help dry out water logged devices.

Honey – great to have on well, anything. Especially biscuits.

Nuts – cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans – mainly for baking and topping

Fresh vegetables: onions, potatoes, garlic, zucchini, carrots, lettuce

Jams and Jellies – strawberry and grape jams and jellies are must haves in this house for biscuits and sandwiches (I also use grape jelly in my meat balls)

Syrups – maple, molasses (for gingerbread cookies), light corn syrup, dark corn syrup, nectar

Fresh fruits: strawberries, bananas, avocado, apples, oranges, lemons and limes.

Other items that are great for the pantry:


Coconut shavings

Chocolate and butterscotch chips

Coffee and tea

Applesauce (you can actually bake cakes with this for lower caloried snacks)

This isn’t all, and I barely have enough room in my tiny kitchen and one pantry closet, so you don’t actually have to have ALL of this at one given time, but it’s nice to be able to have anything you need at your fingertips.

To stock up, I suggest at first buying it as you need it, that way when you need it again, you have it in your pantry, but if you don’t like some of the things on this list, or rarely use it (I hardly ever use coconut shavings or quinoa), you haven’t wasted your money.


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About Me

My name is Emily, and I run the shananagans around here! Check out the About Me section for more info. Enjoy!

My name is Emily, and I run the shananagans around here! Check out the About Me section for more info. Enjoy!


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