Written by Peta Cullis

8 May 2020

Maintaining a well-stocked pantry and freezer may reduce the cost of your grocery shop and can make meal planning quick and easy. My tips for maintaining your basics are to keep an ongoing shopping list,  when you run out of a staple item add it to the list immediately;  keep your pantry clean and organised so you can see and use what you have available; check the use-by dates of products each time you use them.


  • Rice: long-grain, brown, arborio
  • Pasta: high fibre, lasagne sheets
  • Pearl cous-cous
  • Quinoa
  • Flour: corn, self-raising, plain, wholemeal
  • Freezer: Birds eye pearl cous-cous, brown rice and veggie mix

Fruit & Veggies

  • Tinned vegetables: tomato’s, corn, beetroot (No added salt)
  • Tinned fruit: peaches, pineapple (in natural juices)
  • Dried fruit: dates, raisins
  • Frozen fruit: mango, banana (for use in smoothies)
  • Frozen veggies: broccoli, peas, corn, carrots, cauliflower, beans, brussel sprouts

Herbs & Spices

  • Garlic powder
  • Coriander
  • Turmeric
  • Sweet and smoked paprika
  • Smoked paprika
  • Onion powder
  • Mixed herbs
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Chives
  • Ginger
  • Cumin
  • Cinnamon
  • Curry powder
  • Chilli
  • pepper

Meat & Alternatives

  • Tinned fish: tuna, salmon, sardines
  • Baked beans (no added salt)
  • Tinned or dried legumes/lentils: chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans
  • Peanut butter/nut spreads
  • Nuts: walnuts, almonds, cashews (unsalted)
  • Seeds: chia, pumpkin, sesame
  • Frozen fish: salmon

Other essential Pantry Items

  • Long-life milk
  • Evaporated milk
  • Coconut milk

Sauces & Flavourings

  • Soy sauce (salt reduced)
  • Tomato sauce (salt and sugar reduced)
  • Pasta sauce
  • Tomato pasta (salt reduced)
  • Liquid Stock: vegetable, chicken, beef (salt reduced)
  • Vanilla essence
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Curry paste
  • Mustard
  • Shredded coconut
  • Oyster/fish sauce
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • White vinegar


  • Extra virgin olive oil: liquid, spray
  • Spray oil
  • Canola oil
  • Peanut oil

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