Stocking your kitchen with (enough, but not too much), essential non-perishable, shelf stable groceries is an effective way to ensure that you do not have to return to the supermarket unnecessarily, and have ingredients on hand to create easy and nutritious meals. Non-perishables, meaning canned, dried, and long-life foods, and are easy way to complement fresh ingredients.
To effectively stock your kitchen with staple ingredients, you can use the list below. It's important to note that you do not need every ingredient described in this list, it has been designed as a guide when grocery shopping. Before you head out to the supermarket, use this list to check what you already have at home. Cross out what you do not need, and tick or add on the items you need and will actually use in the next two weeks.
The following list is broken down into pantry, fridge, and freezer staples for each food group.
These foods are usually in cans, jars or packets and can be used as the basis for many simple meals.
Canned tomates (no added salt / reduced salt)
Canned peaches, apricots, fruit salad, pineapple
Dried fruit - sultanas, apricots, dates, prunes
Breads / Cereals
Condiments / Spices / Oils
Canned baked beans
4 bean mix
(can also be frozen)
Pasta & noodles
Vita-wheats or other crackers
Extra virgin olive oil
Reduced salt stock (powder or liquid)
Curry / Stir fry bases
Reduced salt soy sauce
Reduced salt oyster sauce
Herbs - basil, oregano, thyme, coriander, cinnamon, chilli, turmeric, paprika, salt, pepper, dill, rosemary.
These foods are usually proteins, dairy and some fruits and vegetables. These may be more perishable than pantry staples, and storage time will vary.
Fruit & Vegetables
Plant based spreads
Cheese - parmesan, ricotta, feta, cheddar, block, sliced, grated
Freezer foods can generally be stored for up to 3 months. Freezing is also an efficient and effective way to utilise meal prep, as meals can be made in bulk, and in advance and be stored for long periods of time.
Fruit & Vegetables
Frozen fish fillets
Frozen meat and chicken
Home cooked meal prep such as soups, casseroles and pasta sauces, curry.
Frozen fruit and vegetables
Grated cheese and milk can be frozen.