Must Have Basics In Your Kitchen

A well stocked cabinet, shelf, or pantry is a great way to create variety with the food you have. Generally, most people have salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder in their kitchen as staples. When your budget is limited, having a variety of seasonings can bring the world of flavor and variety to your doorsteps.

A well stocked kitchen can save you money too. With the right spices and ingredients in your kitchen, you can make your own taco seasoning, spaghetti sauce, and so much more. You have to determine your budget and needs, so anything with an asterisk is what I feel is personally optional for me. I have found that the things below have allowed me to create different ethnic style cuisines from around the world. I will be sharing some of the ways to use these things to create variety, and hope they will be a blessing to you. Most items can be found at your local grocer. The international items can be found at your local grocer or ethnic store If all else fails try Amazon.

Spices and Seasoning Packet

  • Accent
  • Cumin
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Chili Powder
  • Oregano
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Crushed red peepers
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Maggi chicken bouillon
  • Thyme
  • Bay leaves
  • Taco Seasoning*

Pasta, Grains, and Legumes

  • Dried Lentils
  • Rice
  • Rolled Oats
  • Quinoa
  • Pasta: Spaghetti, elbow macaroni
  • Pinto
  • Black Beans
  • Ramen *

Baking Products

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Cornstarch
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Honey
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Bread Flour
  • Yeast
  • Vanilla Extract


  • Jamaican Blue Mountain Curry
  • Maggi Seasoning Cubes
  • Knorr Chicken Cubes
  • Fish Sauce
  • Goya Adobo All-Purpose Seasoning (Walmart)

I shop at local ethnic markets

Can Goods

  • Canned beans: black, pinto, chickpeas
  • Tomato sauce
  • Tomato Paste
  • Mixed Veggies
  • Corn
  • Cream of Chicken
  • Cream of Mushroom
  • Pizza Sauce *

Bottled Items

  • Peanut Butter
  • Tuna fish
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Low-Sodium chicken broth or stock

Oils, Vinegar, and Condiments

  • Ketchup
  • Mayonnaise
  • Hot Sauce
  • Barbeque Sauce
  • Soy Sauce
  • Oils: extra-virgin olive oil, canola, vegetable
  • Mustard
  • Relish*
  • Vinegar: Regular, Balsamic

Refrigerated Basics

  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Cheese: Sharp Cheddar, mozzarella, Parmesan
  • Minced garlic
  • Frozen vegetables: broccoli, onions, corns, bell peeper mix


  • Jamaican Blue Mountain Curry
  • Maggi Seasoning Cubes
  • Knorr Chicken Cubes
  • Fish Sauce
  • Goya Adobo All-Purpose Seasoning


  • Potatoes (russet, sweet, and red)
  • Onions (red and yellow)

Before you head to the store take stock of what you have.

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