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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 participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, 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. Yehudit Rose says:

    Cinnamon. I use about 1/4 tsp in cereal (cold cereal and hot), tomato sauce, beef stew. When added to tomato sauce or stew, you can’t tell it’s there, but it really adds flavor.
    Dried fruits (especially apricots and cranberries), and nuts (particularly walnuts and almonds). I buy about a half pound at a time. My husband and i go through about a pound of nuts a month.

  2. Dr. S Francis says:

    I agree with a few others. Good luck shopping online. Most essentials are out of stock or are only availble for purchase in the store, Walmart and Target for example have limited shipping, but who wants to venture to a store now? If items are available, the prices are outrageous. Stay safe.

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