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The Food Pantry Items You Need to Stock Up On Now

No one knows how long these difficult times brought on by a wicked virus will last. It could drag on for a while, it may be over relatively quickly. Life is uncertain. Regardless, every home needs a stockpile of non-perishable shelf-stable food. It’s part of any sensible emergency preparedness plan. You need to stock up now. Today.

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Good news! It’s not too late. Even if you are self-quarantined at home, you can have all of these items delivered to your front door by Amazon or by a local grocery store in your area that offers online ordering with pick up or delivery.

MORE: 8 Ways Online Grocery Shopping Can Actually Help You Save Money

Here’s a list of the essential pantry items that need to be stocked in your cupboards and pantry. You may have some already. It’s time to check and take stock.

I am including a few Amazon links to help you to see so you can select the specific items in those categories that appeal to you. This is not an exhaustive list nor is it mandatory. This is a guideline for basic essentials that show up in most recipes. These are food items you will need for recipes that you will supplement with meat, poultry, and produce—as available and warranted.

I am also linking to recipes, my favorite recipe sites that may l be so helpful for you as you prepare quick, low-cost, delicious and nutritious meals.

Beans and Legumes (dry and or canned)

  • white beans
  • lentils
  • black beans
  • kidney beans


A bowl of food on a plate, with Bean and Rice

Recipe: Red Beans and Rice courtesy of Food Channel’s Robert Irvine (fabulous!)


The Protein in Rice and Beans. Rice and beans may seem like a simplistic meal without enough protein or nutrition. It turns out, however, that rice and bean dishes have complete proteins, are packed with carbohydrates, protein, and nutrients you may need for a vegan diet or fitness plan, and are totally delicious.

The Bean Cookbook, is a free download from The Bean Institute that will teach you everything you need to know about how to prepare and enjoy beans. Honestly, I had no idea. I’ve learned so much. Plus hundreds of really awesome recipes! FREE download.

We are a Everyday Cheapskate participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn from qualifying purchases, at no cost to you., an affiliate advertising program. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases by linking to Amazon affiliated sites.

Whole Grains and Bread

  • oatmeal, steel-cut oats
  • quinoa
  • rice
  • bread
  • tortillas


Instant Pot Steel-Cut Oats

Kale and Quinoa Salad

How to cook rice – easily and perfectly (easy lessons with pictures!)

Canned Goods


Brazilian Coconut Chickpea Curry


  • spaghetti
  • penne



Best Instant Pot. You can order today and have it within days. An Instant Pot, if that fits within your budget, will greatly simplify your meal prep and cooking going forward. There are thousands of online recipes and resources for how to get your Instant Pot up and turning out the best food you can imagine—easy, quick!


  • all-purpose flour
  • white sugar
  • brown sugar
  • baking soda
  • baking powder
  • yeast
  • dry milk

A sandwich cut in half on a plate, with Bread and Butter

Recipe: Homemade English Muffin Bread

Condiments and Sauces


20 Asian Meals on the Table in 15 Minutes (you’re going to love these!)


  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic
  • cumin
  • Italian seasoning
  • crushed red pepper
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder

Oil and Vinegar

  • olive oil
  • sesame oil
  • white vinegar
  • apple cider vinegar

There you go … a quick guide so you can move quickly to stock your cabinets and cupboards with food items you will need and use. I don’t want you ending up with a bunch of food that will spoil quickly, or that you will never use.


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  1. CFC says:

    Don’t forget about shelf stable powdered milk. If you already buy milk in those one gallon plastic milk bottles it’s easy to mix-store-serve from the plastic gallon bottles.
    Also we wear our leather gloves and spray Sniper on them when we have to leave the house. The leather stays damp while we touch high touch areas like door handles or shopping carts. We are NOT hoarding but try to leave the house about once a week for groceries at very off-hours but that’s the extent of our travels as we try to practice social distancing.

  2. Judy R says:

    Think outside the box. I had no sanitizing wipes and half a bottle of Sniper. Local stores like Walmart sold out. Went to Home Depot and they had several canisters of wipes, bottles and gallons of spray sanitizer and small travel size hand sanitizer. I bought 2 canisters of wipes, one for home and one for my truck driving hubby. We’re not hoarders. He uses disposable gloves but locals: Walmart, Dollar General,
    Dollar Tree, Big Lots, Home Depot, Harbor Freight and Sally Beauty supply were sold out. For now he’s wearing his leather work gloves.

  3. Rhonda Morrison says:

    Bacon bits and parm cheese are nice ways to add flavor. Minced onion would be good too as we have been out of onions at times. Don’t forget popcorn and some snacks for all the tv/movie watching that will be happening.

  4. jimijean says:

    Why does no one know about milk-on-the-shelf? I first came across it in Switzerland about 25 years ago but could not find it anywhere at home. However it has finally shown up. It’s in a regular box milk carton, has 6 month shelf life (but I suspect longer) and needs refrigeration after opening. Tastes like real milk, probably because it is and it’s so much better than powdered or canned. If shelf life runs out, just use it and replace. It’s really wonderful to have “on hand”. I found it last at Wal Mart in the aisle with all the baking goods.

  5. Kay Jones says:

    Well,good luck on shopping on line. I have been on Amazon, Chewy, Wal-Mart and the local stores sites to order and pick up. You can order and be told they are out of things. My online dates of delivery keep getting pushed back. My Amazon prime 2 day delivery for diapers and wipes is now 10 days out and keeps getting delayed. It is what it is, but just saying online orders aren’t really the answer to get things quickly.

    • Susan says:

      Me too, same experiences. My online grocery order was canceled. Walmart delivery did just come, one day late. I’ve gone to a couple of drive through dairies and gotten eggs, milk etc. Mote expensive ad also limited. Try restaurant supply, my neighbors and I are doing a group order and they supposedly have stuff because of restaurant closures. Good luck all!

    • Mary S. says:

      You are so right. You can go on all these online sites, but they are sold out of the same things the grocery stores are, like toilet paper & cleaning supplies. They keep saying that there is plenty in the supply chain, but I don’t know where it is, because it is not in the stores or online.

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