Recently, my partner decided to apply for graduate school. We have had to move in with my family, as we recently completed our bachelor’s degrees in the spring, and COVID has made the pool of post-grad job opportunities very shallow. This has meant that our monthly budget has taken a dive, and I have had to reevaluate how much money I spend on food, which admittedly is usually a lot. I am treating this as a fun challenge, and working on a pantry system that is really simple, versatile, and cheap! The Alice Waters Masterclass is giving me lots of inspiration these days (if you have Masterclass, please put it on your watch list!), she uses such simple, quality ingredients, and olive oil, salt, and crushed red pepper are her go-to’s for everything, SO EASY!
I have compiled a pantry list of things to keep on hand, and a list of simple, versatile things to buy weekly that will theoretically be able to be mixed and matched into thousands of different recipes. The recipes that I will be posting in the coming months will be primarily based on ingredients just from this pantry/fridge/freezer list, but it’s important that if you try to make a similar pantry basics system, that you should fill your home with food that you and your family like to eat!
Dried beans (black and great northern are my favorites!)
Steel cut oats
Oils & Sweeteners & Baking things:
Maple syrup *
Olive oil *
Chocolate for baking
Pantry Veg & Fruit:
The above listed items are things that will last for a while in a cool, dry pantry, or maybe things that you can buy in bulk that you only have to purchase every few months. It’s always good to have a stocked pantry with things you like, so that you are never faced with the “There’s nothing in this house to eat!” dilemma. Following are more perishable goods, but each item can be applied in such a variety of ways, that you will never get bored with eating the same thing every week! Spices and sauces go a long way to change up a few ingredients.
Parmesan cheese *
Bacon or Sausage *
Chicken thighs * Or sometimes a whole chicken for use throughout the week!
Half and Half
Whole milk plain yogurt
Vinegar (balsamic, champagne, apple cider, whatever you like!)
Salmon or Shrimp *
Ground beef *
Galette dough (sweet or savory)
Homemade tomato sauce
Now I know this seems like a lot, but if you keep these things on hand, your household will have so so so many things to eat at any given time! In the coming months I will be sharing what I create out of these items, which has truly no limit! Soups, stews, pastas, salads, cakes, quiches, stir frys, tacos, biscuits, things on toast (I love things on toast), and anything else your heart desires! Stay tuned, and drop some comments on the Pudding Pie Instagram about how your pantry system works, and things you like to buy and create!
*Things marked with an asterisk are typically a little more expensive, but need to be purchased less often!
Be well, eat well-