Being Frugal,  Life in Maison Gezellig

Staples, revisited.

fridge shotI was looking through some old posts about groceries and grocery shopping, and I unearthed this post about what I consider to be household staples — from February of 2007.

I was really surprised to see some of the things that were a constant staple in our pantry.

I can’t even remember the last time I bought Stella D’Oro breakfast treats, although when I wrote that list, my kid was in the middle of a long phase of loving them. And over the past couple years, the price of evaporated milk (which I used to put in my coffee) has steadily crept up until it got the point where I just gave it up and switched to whole milk instead.

So, I’ve revised my list of kitchen staples. It’s pretty long, so click the jump tag to see it all.

We always have:

  • coffee for the french press
  • whole milk
  • whole-grain sandwich bread
  • sugar (always white and usually brown)
  • unbleached white flour
  • yeast
  • honey
  • an assortment of herbal and black teas
  • 3-6 different hot sauces
  • jam/fruit preserves
  • peanut butter
  • Barilla pasta (I don’t know when I became loyal to a pasta brand, but there you go)
  • butter (usually unsalted but sometimes salted too)
  • a couple different seasonal fruits and vegetables
  • oatmeal
  • medium- and/or long-grain rice
  • baking powder and baking soda
  • olive and peanut oils
  • vinegars (at least balsamic and rice plus red wine and/or cider)
  • canned tomatoes
  • dried beans
  • ketchup; yellow, brown, and Dijon mustards; mayo and Miracle Whip; pickle relish

We usually have:

  • garlic
  • half-and-half
  • 4-5 different cheeses
  • Marshmallow Fluff
  • corn tortillas and/or tostadas
  • vegetarian baked beans
  • pearl barley
  • müesli
  • Malt-O-Meal cereals
  • canned beans
  • eggs (from the Greenmarket, if I can get them)
  • ramen from Chinatown
  • soy sauce, sesame oil, and stir-fry sauce
  • maple syrup (usually fake, sometimes real)
  • cocoa powder and/or chocolate chips
  • Wasa or other flatbread
  • sour cream or crema
  • lemons and/or limes
  • yogurt
  • bananas
  • potatoes
  • lettuce (usually romaine hearts)
  • boxes of macaroni and cheese
  • olives, pickles, and/or capers
  • some sort of candy
  • pasta sauce in a jar
  • bouillon cubes
  • small pearl tapioca
  • one or more fresh herbs (usually cilantro and parsley)

We sometimes have:

  • Nutella
  • baby carrots
  • frozen vegetables (usually corn)
  • nuts
  • sugar-sweetened soda
  • non-hydrogenated shortening
  • flour tortillas
  • couscous
  • hummus
  • tahini
  • bagged salad greens
  • whole wheat flour or bread flour
  • ice cream
  • cream cheese
  • Doritos (my snack food nemesis)
  • evaporated milk

We rarely have:

  • canned soup or vegetables
  • canned tuna
  • bagels
  • cookies
  • raisins
  • juice
  • meat
  • tofu
  • beer/wine
  • bottled water
  • salad dressing
  • frozen pizza/entrees
  • anything with hydrogenated fat
  • anything with high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweetener

We definitely never have:

  • anything with anchovies or cardamom, my two biggest food allergies
  • a reduced-fat or fat-free version of a regular food
  • turnips

What are your can’t-live-without-it staples? What’s the I can’t believe you don’t have X! thing you didn’t see on my list?