cabinet with cooking essentials on counter
Learning to Cook

Making a pantry list

Before getting married I never had my own home, own fridge, own pantry. So, all the cooking I’ve ever done was with ingredients available in the home. Often when cooking I would see that a certain product was missing or no longer fresh. I grew tired of missing ingredients when I went to cook. Thus was born a pantry list. This is a list of pantry staples, foods that we eat regularly.

Making a pantry list title page. Examples of my pantry lists.

Every Pantry List Will Look Different

Now, everyone’s list is going to look different because it is based on the foods that you cook the most often. For my husband and I, we started to compile a list by first sitting down and writing all the foods we enjoyed and considered staples. For example eggs, milk, cream for coffee, ground beef, veggies (lettuce and tomatoes among others), condiments (mayo, ketchup etc), spices (salt, pepper, taco seasoning), pasta etc. We took that list to the grocery store and browsed the aisles as we got everything on our list. While going through the aisles we saw other items which were not on our list but definitely important to us (like rice and bread). Those items were added to our list along the way.

There may be some special meals that you create on special occasions. These foods don’t have to be on the main pantry list. Simply add them to your shopping list when you are planning to make that dish. For me, this includes things like whole chickens and sirloin beef. 

A food pantry list example on iphone using notes

A Pantry List on the Phone

When formatting your pantry list, it is important to think of which format will work best for your lifestyle. In order to stay on the same page, we chose to use the Notes app that we shared.

There is a neat feature that I discovered – bubble checkoff lists. I put the items on this list categorized by the different sections, as they are found in the store, so that when we were in the store I could easily look up what we need to get. Once in the cart, I check the item off my list.

During the week, when something runs out, I would click on that same bubble so that I know the next time we are in the store we need to get it. My husband has access to this list thanks to the sharing feature so he can fully participate in food shopping.

Related: My Food Shopping Routine

A Pantry List Printable [Free Download]

If you prefer the pen and paper method, I have created a printable list for you 🙂

Let me know your name and where I can send you this printable:

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You could keep it on your fridge and put a circle beside or highlight the items that need to be replenished. Once bought put a checkmark or x beside that item. Then simply put a new sheet up for the following week’s grocery shopping list.

I hope this helps you get some order in the kitchen. Let me know if you have any questions about pantry lists or would like more resources for kitchen organization!

Once you have your pantry list completed, take a look at some easy meal prep ideas and the big 4 components I consider when making a meal.

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