I turned 18 in 2006. It was right at the end of the low carb/atkins craze… we were just barely out of the 90’s where canned vegetables were like real vegetables in our minds. I was raised in a family of 4 kids and my mom usually reached for hamburger helper and things of the like to feed us. She LOVES to cook, but it was expensive raising 4 kids so the fancy meals that she made were for special occasions. When I moved out on my own, I found myself having the HARDEST time cooking for myself. This was in the days before Pinterest. I’d look through my family cookbook and hope to be able to make something quickly but of course I never had any of the ingredients on hand for the meals. Because what 18 year old has can chili peppers, sour cream, and cumin just casually on hand? I never knew where to start. So when I grocery shopped, I’d settle for frozen pizzas and such or just settle for eating out and being broke because of it.
Somewhere along the way, I figured out that most of the food I enjoyed required fresh ingredients. I started experimenting with different recipes but most of them required many of the same non-perishable items to complete the dish. Once I finally figured out how to keep those staples on hand it was a COMPLETE GAME CHANGER. I hope to give my daughters these same tools before they move out and I hope you’ll find it helpful also!
The ingredients below can make you soup, chicken fried rice, spaghetti, chicken enchiladas, chili, meatloaf, mashed potatoes… basically, you will never be lost without a meal to cook if you keep these ingredients on hand!
Now that Pinterest IS a thing, you should benefit from it! Pin the list below for later! Or print it here! I hope that this list will help you feel more prepared for food and dinner prep in the future. Subscribe to the blog for easy meal ideas and more life organization tips!
(feature photo by Katie Carlson Photography from our Engagement Photography session in 2018)