Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My Own General Store (Dream Pantry Goal)

I can't think of a time when I didn't have an extensive pantry.  It brings me great peace of mind to know that I can run down to my pantry and make just about anything my family desires for dinner.  In a pinch, I can throw together a nice dessert to bring to a friend's house without worrying about running to the grocery store for ingredients.  

But, it wasn't until I did the "30 Days of Nothing" Challenge that I realized that I wasn't as well-stocked as I thought I was.  During those 30 Days, I kept a list of items that I wished I had in larger quantities and some items that I realized I didn't have on hand at all.  I also expanded the list to make enough for 90 Days worth of food/necessities as I also realized after reading some of your feedback that 30 Days just isn't enough of a buffer.  Now, as I slowly restock my pantry, I can do so with focus and purpose, knowing this is exactly what my family requires.  

So, without further adieu, here is my Dream Pantry List to reach my goal of having my own in-house General Store:

Baking Supplies
Flour – 3
Bread Flour
Sugar – 3
Yeast – 15 Packets
Baking Powder – 2
Baking Soda – 2
Brown Sugar – 2
Confectioner’s Sugar – 2
Corn Meal
Corn Starch
Cookie Mixes – 6 Assorted
Cake Mixes – 4 (2 Choc, 2 Yellow)
Can Icing – 4 (2 Choc, 2 White)
Specialty Cake Mix – Banana, Pumpkin Spice – 4
Brownie Mix – 2
Muffin Mix – 2
Vanilla Extract
Almond Extract
Rum Extract
Cocoa Powder
Light Corn Syrup
Food Coloring
Instant Tapioca
Evaporated Milk – 4
Condensed Milk – 4
Butter Flavored Crisco – 3
Regular Crisco – Large Container
Biscuit Mix – 3
Cooking Spray – 3
Chocolate Chips – Various 3
Marshmallows – Large & Small
Chopped Nuts – 2 Assorted
Jimmies & Sprinkles

Country Gravy Packets – 8
Brown Gravy Packets – 6
Turkey Gravy Packets – 4
Au Jus Gravy Packets – 2
Japanese Curry Mix – 2
Taco Mix Packets – 6
Chili Mix Packets – 2
Meatloaf Mix Packets – 4
Ranch Dressing Packets – 4
Salt – 2 Large Iodized, 1 Kosher
Pepper – Ground and Whole
Cinnamon – 2 Large
Cinnamon Sugar
Cloves, Whole
Cloves, Ground
Crushed Red Pepper
Caraway Seeds
Cayenne Pepper
Seasoning Salt
Garlic Powder
Italian Seasoning
Cajun Seasoning
Poultry Seasoning
Adobo Seasoning
Old Bay Seasoning
Ethiopian Berbere Seasoning
Adolph’s Tenderizer
Soy Sauce – Large
Mirin – Cooking Sake
Oyster Sauce – 2
Sesame Oil
Stir Fry Seasoning Packets – 6
Red Wine
White Wine
Marsala Wine
Cooking Sherry
Apple Cider Vinegar – 2
White Vinegar
Rice Wine Vinegar
Balsamic Vinegar
Hot Sauce
Worcestershire Sauce
Chicken Bouillon Cubes – 4
Beef Bouillon Cubes -2
Pickling Spices – 4

Mayonnaise – 2
Ketchup – 2
Yellow Mustard
Dijan Mustard
Honey Mustard
Thousand Island Dressing – 2
Italian Dressing
Ranch Dressing
Honey Mustard Dressing
BBQ Sauce – 2
Sweet Relish
Strawberry Jelly – 2
Peanut Butter – 3 Large
Pancake Syrup
Garlic – Jar, 3
Ginger - Jar
Honey – 2
Vegetable Oil – 3
Olive Oil – 2
Bread Crumbs – Seasoned & Plain
Flour Tortillas – 2

Canned Vegetables
Whole Kernel Corn – 6
Creamed Corn – 4
String Beans – 4
Green Beans – 4
Potatoes – 4
Asparagus – 2
Collard Greens – 2
Pickled Beets – 2
Sauerkraut – 6
Mushrooms – 10
Tomato Sauce – Small Cans, 8
Crushed Tomatoes – Large Cans, 6
Tomato Paste – 6
Diced Tomatoes – Large Cans, 4
Stewed Tomatoes w/Peppers – 2
Ro-Tel Tomatoes – 2
Artichoke Hearts – 2

Canned Fruit
Peaches – 4
Pears – 4
Fruit Cocktail – Individual Containers, 3
Apple Sauce – Individual Containers, 3
Mandarin Oranges – Individual Containers, 4
Cranberry Sauce – Whole & Jelled, 4
Spiced Apples – 2
Cherry Pie Filling – 2
Blueberry Pie Filling – 2
Canned Pumpkin – 4
Maraschino Cherries – 2

Canned Soup
Cream of Mushroom – 6
Cream of Chicken – 4
Cream of Celery – 2
Cheese Soup – 4
Tomato Soup – 4
Chicken Stock – Large, 4
Beef Stock – Large, 2
Chicken Stock – Can, 4
Beef Stock – Can, 4
Italian Wedding Soup – 6
Minestrone Soup – 2
New England Clam Chowder – 2
Chicken Noodle Soup (kids style) – 2

Other Canned
Marinara Sauce – 4
Alfredo Sauce
Refried Beans – 4
Black Beans – 2
Kidney Beans – 2
Baked Beans – 2
Hot Dog Chili – 2
Tuna – 10
Clams – 6
Ravioli – 6
Spaghetti-O’s – 6
Black Olives – 2
Spanish Olives

Steel Cut Oats – 2 Large
Instant Flavored Oatmeal – 2
Rice Chex
Corn Chex
Rice Crispies
Special K Strawberries – 4

Water – Small Bottles, 48
Water – Gallons, 12
Arizona Iced Tea – 12
Soda – 8 Liters
Juice – 4 Assorted
Juice Boxes – 3 Packs
Gatorade – 12
Dried Milk – 3 Boxes
Tea – 6 Assorted
Coffee – 2, Decaf & Regular
Powdered Creamer

Packaged Goods
Spaghetti – 8
Elbow Macaroni – 2
Fun Macaroni
Lasagna Noodles
Ziti Noodles
Egg Noodles – 2
Spaetzel – 2
Stuffing Mix – 4
Rice – Long Grain, Large
Rice – Instant, 2
Flavored Rice -  Cajun, Beef, Cheese – 2 Each
Lentil Soup Mix – 2
Kasha – 2
Yellow Lentils – 4
Instant Mashed Potatoes – 3
Matzo Ball Mix – 2
Lipton Chicken Soup Mix – 6
Soup Starter Mix – 3 Assorted
Ramen Noodles – 2 Packages
Pre-Cooked Bacon – 8
Dried Mushrooms – Assorted
Jello – 6 Assorted
Pudding Mix – 6 Assorted
Dream Whip Mix – 6

Saltines – 2
Ritz Crackers – 2
Fancy Assorted Crackers – 2
Graham Crackers
Pita Chips – 2
Potato Chips
Cheetos – 2
Doritos – 2
Whole Kernel Popcorn
Microwave Popcorn – 2
Asian Chips – 4
Tortilla Chips – 2
Pop Tarts – 3
Fruit Roll-ups – 2
Fruit Gummies – 4
Raisins – 2 Single Serve Packs
Cookies – 4, Fig Newtons, Oreos, etc.
Chocolate Bars – 4
Salsa – 2
Queso Dip – 2
Onion Dip – 2

Dog Food – 2 Large Bags
Dog Treats – 3 Bags
Dog Heartworm Medicine – 12 Month Supply
Bird Seed – 2 Bags

Cleaning Supplies/Paper
Toilet Paper – 3 (12) Rolls
Paper Towels – 2 (8) Rolls
Tissues – 8
Laundry Detergent – 2
Fabric Softener
Febreeze – 2
Bleach – 2
Ammonia – 2
Toilet Cleaner – 4
Windex – 3
Furniture Polish – 3
Dishwasher Detergent – 4
Dish Soap – 2
White Vinegar – 3 Large
Washing Powder
Ivory Soap – 4
Baking Soda – 4
Extra Spray Bottles – 4
Garbage Bags – 3 Boxes Tall Kitchen
Plastic Shopping Bags – Lots for lining small bathroom cans
Freezer Bags – 4
Ziplock Sandwich Bags – 4
Fold-over Sandwich Bags – 2
Aluminum Foil – 3
Plastic Wrap – 3
Wax Paper
Parchment/Baking Paper
Paper Bags
Plastic Food Storage Tubs

Personal Care
Shampoo – 4
Conditioner – 2
Baby Wash – 4
Shower Gel – 4
Deodorant – 4
Shaving Cream – 4
Razors – 4
Face Lotion – 2
Body Lotion – 3
Hair Spray – 2
Detangler – 2
Hair Dye – 4
Hair Gel
Contact Lens Solution – 4
Contact Lenses – 6 Month Supply
Hand Soap – 8
Hand Sanitizer – 4
Toothpaste – 4
Toothbrushes – 10
Q-tips – 2
Cotton Balls – 4
Petroleum Jelly – 2
Talcum Powder
Lip Balm – 10
Nail Polish Remover

Multivitamins - 4
Band-Aids – Assorted Lg & Sm
Gauze Pads
Gauze Tape
Antibiotic Ointment – 3
Alcohol – 2
Hydrogen Peroxide – 2
Benadryl/Allergy Liquid – 2
Benadryl Pills – 2
Children’s Tylenol – 2
Children’s Advil – 2
Antacid Tablets – 2
Pepto Bismol - 2
Anti-Diarrhea Pills – 2
Laxative Pills
Naproxen Sodium – XL Bottle
Ibuprophen – XL Bottle
Tylenol PM
Pseudophedrine – 2
Nyquill Liquid - 2
Dayquill Pills - 2
Chest/Cough Liquid – 2
Digital Thermometer
Latex Gloves – 1 Box
Face Masks – 1 Box
Extra Prescriptions – 2 Months would be nice!

Dry Goods/Emergency
Can Opener – 2
Sterno Canisters – 10
AAA Batteries – 4
AA Batteries – 8
C Batteries – 8
D Batteries – 8
Candles – 12 Large
Candles – Tea Lights
Fire Wood
Flashlights – 6
Radio – Wind Up
Full Canister of Propane for Grill
Propane Powered Hot Plate
Propane Canisters for Hot Plate – 8
Ice Salt – 4 Bags
Snow Shovel
Washer Fluid – Car

Cabelas General Store Sign
Whew!  What a list!  I hope that you find this list helpful in making your own list for your family.  I will be periodically updating this list as I find items that I've forgotten (and also to include freezer items).  If you think I've missed something, or if you have your own list you'd like to share, please leave me a note below!


  1. I love you. I'm printing this out because I'm having the same problem. I have a huge stash of "stuff" downstairs, but still find myself having to run out to the store to get those last few things on my ingredient list or just don't ever think to have on hand. I've seen lists of what to have on hand before, but your list is more on par with things that I actually use. Thank you for posting it!!

  2. Love this ... am going to try and get my own pantry filled to the brim like yours!!! I thank you so much for this great list!!!

  3. Awesome...if you have Android there is a free app on the market called Grocery Tracker. I use it for my pantry and it lets you set a min level you want to be at and you can email that list to yourself or use it for grocery shopping (has a place for coupons in the shopping tracker too).

  4. I noticed you have gravy packets on your list. Is there a reason you do not save in this area and make your own? Gravy is so very easy to make, and you know what is going into it, rather than the preservatives in a mix.

    1. I was thinking the same thing...beef/chicken/ham base, water, and a little corn starch and flour..season to taste makes better gravy than McCormick ever thought of. And you have complete control over what's in it nutritionally!

  5. i think this is a great idear , though id stoke more flour ,baking powder , lentils dry beans ect because i cook and bake from scratch its much cheaper and you know what your getting , but not everyone has the time to do so ,i love how you have it on those storage racks ...i soooo want the space to do this lol

    Blessings heidi

  6. I used to store a year's supply of food, before our family was diagnosed with some severe allergies, and have to eat mostly fresh food. I'm really surprised by some of your choices and amounts. How long is this supposed to last for? Do you stock up at the sales, or maintain a steady supply? I have never bought gravy mix, since gravy is so easy to make. Or taco seasoning mix. Takes less than 30 seconds to make, and no fillers. Yeast packets are very expensive, compared to a pound of yeast at about $2, and lasts forever in the freezer. Alfredo sauce from scratch tastes much better than jarred, and only required 3 ingredients. It takes 3 minutes to make sweetened condensed milk in the blender, and uses ingredients already in your pantry. And soup starter mix? Soup is the easiest thing in the world to make from scratch, and it tastes so much better than using dehydrated vegetables. Most of the rest of your list looks like less than a month's supply for my family. I bought canned goods by the case when they went on sale. I still have 2 cases of tuna at all times, one case of peanut butter, 1 case of almond butter, one case of fruit spread (jam), 2 cases of green beans, at least 12# of noodles and pasta, about 100# of rice - brown, purple, jasmine, white (for hot packs). 180# white sugar, 20# brown sugar, 20# powdered sugar, 500# white wheat, 300# whole spelt, 100# each of soy, great northern, pinto beans, 25# Real Salt, 100# oats, 100# popcorn (I used to grind it for cornmeal, too, but we found out that most of our migraines come from corn, so we have cut out all corn products), at least one case each of pineapple, mandarine oranges, pears, peaches, and applesauce. I know there is lots more in the pantry, and the freezer is doing pretty well, too. I think it is great that you are figuring out the amounts you need for your family for a period of time, but I think you are spending more on groceries than you need to, and that a lot of your choices don't sound like health-improving foods. Right now I have a basement to keep things in, but I have used storage under the bed, underneath bedside tables, in the top of closets, built shelves over doorways, kept some in the car trunk, behind the couch, you get the idea. Once I got a mortgage on a house without selling the previous house, because they counted our food storage in place of the food budget. When you figure out what you need for a year's supply, you can follow the sales, buying enough to get you just past the next sale, and soon you seldom have to buy anything that is not on sale.

    1. Jennifer,

      Take it down a notch!

      Keep in mind that every family's tastes/needs are different. We are only a family of 3 and this stockpile will easily last us 3 months. I'm not hoarding food for the end of the world, just to keep a well-stocked pantry. If I kept food in the quantities you suggest, I'd end up throwing a lot away at year's end because we simply wouldn't use it all.

      I purchase nearly everything from Aldi. I find that I can save more shopping there than hunting down sales and clipping coupons for hours on end.

    2. I agree with Jennifer! I just started making my own seasoning combos, sauces and cleaners. I also make my own croutons from bread that I make using my bread machine. Now, instead of clipping a million coupons for those things are filled with absurd chemicals and preservatives, I use basic ingredients. I think it is time we all get back to the BASICS and keep couponing as a fun hobby instead of a full time job.

    3. Jennifer, how do you keep the flour from going rancid? I keep 25# in assorted flours on hand at any given time. I don't devote an entire freezer to keeping my whole wheat fresh and would think the electricity to do so would be wasteful. I have a family of four and we have 2 fridges, and both upright and chest freezers. I look at Heather's list as what I might keep at any given time and your list as long term projections. I might also add this gentle admonishment-sometimes when we are confronted by a huge lifestyle change, ie the food allergies, we forget that not everyone now needs to think like we do or consider the same limitations. I just found this blog from a Pinterest pin, so I don't know much about the author or her life. But taking into considerations like job, lifestyle, etc may have been a better choice before blasting someone's cooking choices.

    4. How do you make the taco season I don't know much about cooking but if you don't mind sharing some of your tips I would love to hear from you couponcraz84@yahoo.com and to anyone else that can help me save money with tips could us all if you don't mind telling.

  7. LOVE this pantry!!
    I have a little surprise for you!


    Check it out! :)

  8. 1 question I've always had about keeping food on hand: Let's say you have 2 boxes of baking soda. When you run out of one box, do you buy another to replace it on your next shopping trip so you always have 2, or do you use both, and then replace both?

    1. For me, I like to always have 2 on hand, so I try to replace it as I use it (and sometimes buy extra if I see an excellent sale). Cheers!

    2. Okay, now my question is: if you replace it as you use it, why have 2 on hand? Why not just have one, and replace it as it gets low?

    3. The pantry has two purposes - to be well stocked for immediate use and to be well stocked for extended use. I have all I need at any given time, but in the face of adversity (hurricane, job loss) I have a 3 month stockpile.

      Also, it's a lot easier to keep track of having 2 baking soda boxes than it is to keep track of a single box getting "low." That is the kind of thing that will have you running out to the grocery store at the last minute when you realize that the box is lower than you thought!

  9. Good list, I have more than that on hand because we live out in the country and my hubby is in the construction business. Our two freezers and full pantries(we have one up stairs and longterm downstairs) saved us over the last three years when the economy tanked. Our goal is to have three to six months, plus one year long term. We cook almost everything from scratch, but I have the time, no more children at home etc. I think as we assess what our "frugal" means we come up with different things. I cannot garden so I have to look at the farmers market beginning in May for produce, we then dehydrate and can what we can and use what we can, but I also keep at least a case of each of the can goods we use. I recommend to all who do large amounts of canned goods to have a rotation method it will keep from finding those three year old cans in the back....I think in my house sugars would go bad as my hubby is diabetic, I make our cookie, bread and cake mixes so I have them on hand and they haven't the sugars in them. I think the best thing about your list is that it is the best one for your family and sharing it gives others a great place to start. love your blog....hugs buni

  10. A woman after my own heart!! Our oldest daughter has always made fun of our "inventory". Glad to know I am not the only person who lives this way! You are the master, though! I bow to your expertise!

  11. Fantastic list! Thank you!

  12. Great list! To me, the point of this is to think about the needs of your individual family...not to copy this exactly. Thanks for the ideas and getting my wheels turning.

  13. thanks for the great list! I can totally adapt that for my family.

  14. Great list. Instead of yeast packets I would buy it in bulk:)

  15. I just came across this again and Pinned it to my Pinterest account. :) I remember reading it when you first posted it. I love all your frugal tips! This, too, would be my dream pantry. I don't have room for all that stuff, so I can only keep about a 1-2 month supply of stuff, but I would *totally* love to have room for everything on your list. I'm going to make a copy of it and take out the things that we don't use, but you have provided a great starting point. Thanks for all you do to help us save!

  16. We are military and just moved clear across the country (again). No food is allowed in the moving trucks, so whatever I want to bring has to ride in the car with us. So, when we "start over" in a new state, I literally have to rebuild my pantry! I'm using this list to get me started. Thank you! We love the military life, but it's tough sometimes.

  17. I love the idea but how do you all have space for everything on this wonderfully detailed list?

  18. I found your blog through Pinterest a few days ago and have been browsing when I've had the time ever since! My hubby and I are leaving the military in under 50 days(HOOAH!) and headed home to Georgia so I was absolutely delighted to find you and all your sage advice!! We are blessed enough for him to have already found a job, and I'm heading back to school so I won't be working, and all your tips and tricks are going to help so much! I can't wait to get home and share this with everyone, including my mom who has just retired and joined the ranks of stay-at-home wives/moms.
    Sorry for spilling my guts, haha, clearly the main point is that you are an inspiration! Best wishes to you and your family!

  19. Love this idea and I think I will put it to use. I also love that you are not hoarding years n years of food and etc. Only what you can use in specific period of time. You are very will organized.


Compliments and Frugal Tips Only, Please!

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