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This list of pantry staples to keep on hand will ensure you have what you need in case of emergency.
Winter is here and that can mean finding yourself stuck indoors for a few days while waiting for a blizzard or winter storm to pass. There is nothing worse than hearing the latest forecast and not being prepared. Going out to the store only to find that there is nothing left to buy is not a good thing.
A well-stocked winter pantry can keep you from having to head out, and you will know that you have plenty of food on hand to keep your family full and happy. Read this post to learn what healthy pantry staples are must-haves!
We fill our pantry with home canned goods. Our shelves are full of canned vegetables, fruits and meats.
But you don’t need to home can if you don’t want to!
Stock up at the grocery store when your favorite foods are on sale. Even adding a few cans a week to your shopping list will help to fill pantry shelves for the winter.
Whenever you find a great deal, buy a case if you can afford it. You’ll be eating that food for a great price.
You can literally save thousands of dollars a year if you stock your winter pantry this way!
Simply stocking up on sale items your family will eat is a great way to save money.
Essential Foods for the Winter Pantry
Canned meats can offer you a variety of protein-packed dinner options, and you don’t have to worry about it being perishable.
You can choose from canned tuna, chicken, and salmon, but make sure that you buy what your family will enjoy.
From tuna casserole to chicken pot pie, there are a variety of warm filling meals that can be made with canned meats.
Keep flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cornmeal, cocoa powder, and salt on hand.
This opens up a world of possibilities of both sweet and savory baked goods that you can make.
Cookies, cakes, cornbread, loafs and biscuits are baked goods that go along with any meal. Baking up something delicious can also help keep the kitchen warm.
Baking is also a fun thing for family members to do together. It helps with meals and snacks and keeps the family occupied for awhile doing something together.
Canned Soup and Chili
Canned soups can help you to prepare a quick and easy lunch or dinner. They will warm you up and they can be quite tasty and they come in a variety of flavors.
Keeping several different types on hand can satisfy the whole family and offer a bit of variety to choose from.
Canned chili can also be quite satisfying and they come in a variety of different types featuring different beans, and spices.
Canned chili can be quickly heated up, and you can make a meal out of them by putting the chili on top of rice or a baked potato.
Rice, Beans, Lentils, Oats and Dried Pasta
Having these staples on hand will give you a lot of different meal choices. You can use oats to make oatmeal for a hot and filling breakfast or make oatmeal cookies.
You can also make this homemade granola recipe – serve over yogurt and top with berries for a healthy quick breakfast.
Dried beans can be soaked overnight and cooked on the stove or in the slow cooker the next day. They can be an excellent side dish or a main dish with some piping hot cornbread on the side.
Dried pasta can be used in casseroles, soups, stews, or served on its own with a hearty sauce. Try this recipe for Ham and Bean Crockpot Soup.
Fruit Cups, Canned Fruit and Pie Fillings
We usually freeze apple slices and apple pie fillings for winter use. However, you can home can them or buy canned fruit at the grocery store.
Having shelf-stable fruit on hand can add some variety to your diet. They are packed full of vitamins, and are a sweet treat. Add a fruit cup alongside a bowl of oatmeal, or with a soup and sandwich lunch.
It’s a well rounded and satisfying meal. If you keep some pie filling on hand you can whip up a pie or easy apple crisp for a treat after dinner.
If you don’t want to have to run out to the store for fresh vegetables having canned ones on hand is an excellent option.
Mixed vegetables can easily be added to soups or stews. Home Canned Tomato sauce can be used to make a delicious pasta sauce, so make sure that you keep a variety of canned vegetables on hand.
You can use them for side dishes or add them to the main dish to fill it out a little. Canned vegetables are a very handy and versatile winter pantry essential.
Chocolate, Coffee and Tea
Chocolate, coffee, and tea are items every pantry needs, especially if there is a chance of being stuck at home for a few days.
Whether you buy beans to grind coffee at home, stock up on Keurig pods or buy coffee by the can, coffee is a staple for your pantry.
Buy coffee when it’s on sale – unopened, it won’t go bad and you will never run out.
Keep some instant coffee on hand in case the power goes out. Your favorite type of hot tea can also warm you up on a cold winters day and provide you with a much-needed caffeine boost. Teas are sold in bags or as loose leaves, so stock up on whatever works best for you!
Chocolate is also an excellent mood booster! You can use it to bake up a sweet treat, or simply enjoy it as a snack.
These are of course not the only winter pantry essentials that you might want to keep on hand, but they are a great start.
Having these staples available to you will ensure that you can make meals for your family without having to go to the store.
Also, stock up on your family’s favorite snacks before winter hits. Keep these basic supplies and ingredients on hand to make being stuck in a storm a lot more tasty, and enjoyable.
So get started stocking with basic pantry staples for winter!
Pantry Staples List
Here’s a full comprehensive list of pantry staples you’ll need for the winter, including some items that may not have been mentioned above!
- Canned Meats
- Baking Powder
- Kosher Salt
- Cocoa Powder
- Chocolate Chips
- Peanut Butter (or other Nut Butters)
- Pecans, Almonds, Cashews, Peanuts, etc.
- Ground Cinnamon
- Spices and Herbs
- Ground Mustard
- Curry Powder
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Bay Leaves
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Vinegars (like Red Wine Vinegar and Apple Cider Vinegar)
- Canned Soup
- Canned Chili
- Condiments (some of these will need to be refrigerated)
- Soy Sauce
- Dijon Mustard
- Salad Dressing
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Tomato Sauce
- Chicken Broth, Vegetable Broth, etc.
- White Wine and Red Wine for Cooking
- Pasta (Spaghetti, Penne, anything you like!)
- Dried Berries
- Canned Fruit
- Pie Filling
- Canned Vegetables
- Green Beans
- Olive Oil
- Sesame Oil
- Canola Oil
Want to read more about pantry staples, canning and food preservation?
- Everything we have ever written about home canning.
- How I go grocery shopping without leaving my house!
- Budget Stretching Ideas for almost everything!
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originally published 2019; latest update November 2022