Budget Etc

What I Keep Stocked in my Kitchen & Why

Disclaimer: Affiliate links may be used in this post. You can read my full disclosure here.

Inspired by my last two recipe posts, which held to the theme of ‘Chopped Challenge’ days at my house, I now present to you a post on what I keep stocked in my kitchen & why!

I try to live a frugal and budget-friendly life, so keeping a well-stocked kitchen with versatile, flavorful, & simple ingredients is a natural habit that I have picked up. I also do not enjoy going grocery shopping all the time, so keeping important, useful food on hand is a MUST! Seriously, we only do actual grocery trips once or twice a month in this household.

This is not an exhaustive list of things I keep in the kitchen, only the ones I try to ALWAYS have in stock because they can be used for so many different flavors, themes, and recipes. Whether I have several meals planned out or need to whip up something quickly, I find I am always using these ingredients.

All of these items are budget-friendly, add great flavor, and can be used with so many types of food! As a bonus I am including what kitchen equipment I think are a MUST, too!


What I Keep Stocked in my Kitchen & Why! - NovaturientSoul.com

My Rice Cooker

A rice cooker saves so much time and headaches in the kitchen. All you have to do is pop in the rice and water & let the machine do its thing while you take care of more important matters. I feel the same about a crockpot; I can throw my ingredients into it in the morning or early afternoon then dinner is ready when I get home from work. Lastly, I think a medium or large sized skillet with tall sides is a great multi-purpose tool in the kitchen whether it’s for a one pan meal, frying, or sauteing.

Dry Goods:

  • Pasta (spaghetti, shells, etc)
  • Rice

What I Keep Stocked in my Kitchen & Why! - NovaturientSoul.com

I always keep some form of these two on hand because they are a cheap item, can make a meal filling, & are very versatile.

Canned Goods:

  • Black beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Tomato Paste
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Chicken Broth

All of the above are budget friendly and can be stored for a relatively long time. Black beans are an easy protein to add to a meal while canned tomatoes & tomato paste can be used when you don’t have fresh tomatoes in the refrigerator or need to make your own sauce. When it comes to pasta sauce, I like to have spaghetti & alfredo in the pantry, just because it offers me two different flavors to throw on some pasta when I need a quick meal. Also, the chicken broth is vital for adding flavor to almost any dish.


  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower

These are the two frozen veggies I buy any time I go grocery shopping. I have found broccoli is so easy to add to almost any kind of meal when you need to up your vegetable intake. Seriously, I add it Asian-style dishes, crockpot meals, & pasta! When it comes to cauliflower, I keep it because it is another vegetable that can be added to almost any meal and it is a great alternative ingredient for typically potato or wheat-based items like hash browns or pizza crust.


  • Eggs
  • Onions
  • Whole Wheat Bread
  • Butter
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken
  • Ground Turkey
  • Sausage

When it comes to meats, I try to buy lean proteins when they are on sale, then portion and freeze for future use. Eggs are good for adding to recipes or being a lone protein while onions add amazing flavor to any dish.


  • Olive Oil
  • Soy Sauce
  • Worcestershire
  • Hot Sauce
  • Mustard
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Sea Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Chili Powder
  • Mrs. Dash
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Panko Crumbs

What I Keep Stocked in my Kitchen & Why! - NovaturientSoul.com

Okay, so we have come to my biggest list – the seasonings! I am obviously a big believer in full flavor. Most seasonings do not add calories (yay!) and can take a BLAH meal to something mouth watering. Although I have (possibly) too many herbs, spices, & mixes in my kitchen, I find these are the core of what I use.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but I think it a great base of what to keep in your kitchen so you’re always prepared for the next meal or inspired recipe! If you have an ingredient that you think is a must in the kitchen that is not listed here, let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear what is vital to your cooking!