Tags: Family, Meals, Matters, Join, Dinner, Kitchen, Staples, Easy

Kitchen Staples for Easy Meals

Having a well-stocked kitchen can make it much easier to get dinner on the table. It also saves money and reduces last minute trips to the store. Research shows that having items on hand to make simple meals reduces the need for takeout or fast foods and usually results in healthier food choices with more fruits and vegetables and less sodium, unhealthy fats and added sugars.

Be sure to include fresh produce, meats and other perishable items when you go to the store or get your groceries delivered and plan to use those items within a couple days to a week. After that, fill in with frozen or canned items.

Although each family has their own favorite meals and on-hand staples, here are some suggestions for stocking your pantry, refrigerator and freezer with basic, versatile ingredients:

Stock Your Pantry:

  • Canned vegetables and fruit
  • Canned and dried legumes (dried beans and peas)
  • Nut butters
  • Canned tomatoes and tomato sauce
  • Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa and whole grain pasta
  • Salsa, cooking stock, barbecue sauce and other favorite condiments
  • Ready-to-eat cereal
  • Canned seafood
  • Potatoes, onions and garlic
  • Basic seasonings like salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder

Stock Your Refrigerator:

  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Various types of cheese
  • Plain yogurt
  • Milk or milk substitutes
  • All-natural deli meats
  • Bagged lettuce blends

Stock Your Freezer:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Fish fillets, shrimp and scallops
  • Ground meats
  • Plant-based burger patties
  • Steam-in-a-bag vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Ravioli and other pasta dishes
  • Breads and rolls
  • Pizza dough