Pantry Style Basics

My pantry style cooking is a combination of southern home cooking ,cooking from scratch farm food, and a dash of modern influence.

Pantry style cooking begins with staples and basics from a well-stocked pantry. Then, you add meat and produce that are featured sale items from the local grocery store. From this mix of fresh and prepackaged food, you can create some homemade happiness on a plate!

Pantry style cooking will help you to save money. Your money will be spent on basic ingredients that cost significantly less than prepackaged mixes and dough.

To be a pantry style cook, you will begin with the basic staples and items listed below. Biscuits, yeast rolls, pancakes, waffles, cornbread, cakes, cookies, and more can be made from the listed staples just by adding eggs, oil, and milk. Pantry style cooking focuses on basic ingredients that can be made into a cornucopia of flavorful foods for all occasions. Once you have the basics, just replace items as needed.

Pantry Style Basics


  • flour, 5-10 pounds
  • salt
  • pepper
  • white sugar, 5-10 pounds
  • light brown sugar, 2 pounds
  • powdered sugar, 2 pounds
  • vanilla extract
  • cornmeal, 5 pounds
  • rice, 1-5 pounds
  • beans, dried 
  • oatmeal 
  • baking soda
  • baking powder
  • cornstarch
  • yeast
  • cream of tartar
  • cocoa powder

Milk, Cheese, and Eggs

  • milk
  • butter 
  • cottage cheese, optional
  • Parmesan Romano
  • Colby Jack
  • sour cream
  • yogurt, plain
  • whipped cream
  • eggs

Canned Milk, Oils, and Packaged Food

Milk and Oils

  • evaporated milk
  • sweetened condensed milk
  • canola oil
  • regular shortening  
Note: In my opinion, regular shortening is more versatile because it works better in frosting recipes than pre creamed shortening, or soft shortening.

Cereal, Crackers, and Pasta

  • crackers, all purpose
  • crackers, saltines
  • crackers, graham
  • cereal of choice, super size or family size bags     You get more cereal for less money! 
  • lasagna noodles
  • angel hair spaghetti        I love it for a busy day because it cooks in 7-8 minutes. 
  • elbow macaroni

Vegetables and Soup

  • green beans
  • corn, whole kernel
  • peas
  • tomatoes, crushed
  • tomatoes, diced
  • tomato paste
  • black olives, jumbo or large
  • green chilies, chopped or whole
  • cream of chicken soup
  • cream of celery soup
  • cream of mushroom soup


  • tropical fruit salad
  • peaches
  • pears
  • pineapple, crushed
  • pineapple, chunks
  • fruit cocktail
  • cherry pie filling

Condiments and Miscellaneous

  • peanut butter
  • grape jam
  • pancake syrup
  • light corn syrup
  • mayonnaise, or salad dressing   The Bonham household prefers mayo. 
  • catsup    
  • mustard of choice
  • sweet pickle relish
  • soy sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • lemon juice
  • vinegar, white
  • vinegar, cider
  • flour tortillas
  • marshmallows
  • jello, strawberry, cherry, strawberry banana
  • onion soup mix
  • taco seasoning mix
  • Knorr chicken bouillon
  • Knorr beef bouillon
  • coffee or tea
  • chocolate chips, optional
  • vanilla and chocolate bark, optional

Spices and Herbs

  • allspice
  • basil
  • bay leaves
  • celery seeds
  • dill, weed or seed
  • chili powder
  • cloves
  • cinnamon
  • garlic powder
  • ginger
  • Italian seasoning
  • marjoram
  • minced dried onions
  • mustard, dry
  • nutmeg
  • onion powder
  • oregano
  • paprika
  • parsley
  • peppercorns, rainbow blend (white,pink,green, and black)
  • sage
  • thyme
I have decided to add two favorite spices - garam masala and Old Bay Seasoning to my list of spices. I find myself consistently using these two spices every week.

Garam masala works so well with pumpkin pie, berry desserts, tomato dishes, and cream cheese frosting! Old Bay Seasoning is amazing on pork ribs and steaks.