Pantry Staples Every Apartment Dweller Must Have

Author: Lauren Ross


There’s a lot of planning that goes into creating a delicious weekly dinner menu. Having a well-stocked pantry is important for meal prep, because the last thing you want to do is run back out to the store because you’re short a couple of key ingredients.

By maintaining the necessities of a well-stocked pantry, you’ll have everything you need to prepare meals at home. Next time you’re at the supermarket, be sure to pick up these pantry staples if you don’t already have them. These ingredients are frequently used in recipes and typically inexpensive when purchased in bulk.

Oil, Vinegar, and Condiments

You need to have oil, vinegar and condiments, because these items are used to enhance flavors in food and often found in a variety of recipes. Here’s a list of the most common ones to have on hand in your apartment:

  • Oil: olive oil and vegetable oil (spray can and bottle)
  • Vinegar: apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, and rice vinegar
  • Ketchup
  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard
  • Soy sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Chili paste
  • Hot sauce

Herbs, Spices, and Extract:

When cooking or baking, there’s no doubt you’ll have to use some herbs, spices or extract in the recipe. The pantry should contain a selection of seasonings and extracts. Below are some of the more common ones:

*Tip: Buy seasonings in bulk at your local grocery store to save money.

  • Salt and pepper
  • Vanilla extract
  • Almond extract
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Chili powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Cumin
  • Ground ginger
  • Southwest chipotle blend – makes a perfect dry rub for meat and shellfish
  • Italian seasoning blend – ideal for pasta and other Italian-inspired cuisine

Canned Goods:

Canned goods are great to keep in the apartment for those nights when you want to whip up something quick. Here are some essential canned ingredients:

  • Beans: black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans
  • Tomatoes: crushed and paste
  • Green beans
  • Marinara sauce
  • Low-sodium broth: chicken, vegetable, or beef
  • Tuna


A safety stock of grains is good to have. Below are your pantry staple must-haves:

  • Breadcrumbs: panko or regular
  • Pasta noodles: regular, wheat, or egg
  • Rice: white, brown, long-grain
  • Granola

Baking Products:

Whether you’re making homemade cookies or creating a special marinade, be sure to have these baking basics in your apartment kitchen pantry:

  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Honey
  • Flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Cornstarch