Because we have been enjoying many more meals at home (and we think this will continue for the foreseeable future!), we thought we would share the foods we have been keeping on hand to make meal and snack prep simple and quick. Keep reading below for 12 foods we’ve learned to always keep stocked in the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer!
1. Pasta and Jarred Sauce:
Pasta is part of many of our weekly meal plans, and it’s a quick and easy meal that almost always allows for leftovers. Consider adding ground meat or vegetables to your pasta, and stir in sauce from a jar in order to keep your meal prep simple.
Rice has a long shelf life, which means it’s likely to not expire before you use it. Plus, it pairs well with many different lunch and dinner recipes. Consider mixing it into taco bowls for a Taco Tuesday!
Rainy days make us crave soup and grilled cheese no matter the season, so we always like to keep it in our pantry. If you’re looking for a challenge, try making your own soup from scratch!
4. Prepackaged Snacks:
If you have kids, think about dedicating a shelf (or a few!) to snacks your kids can reach and enjoy on their own. Prepackaged snacks work wonderfully for kids because they’re already portioned, which means there’s not a need for them (or you!) to portion out the proper serving size. They’re also helpful for adults too, especially now when multiple snacks throughout the day has become part of the norm.
5. Boxed Baking Mixes:
Baking has become one of our go-to hobbies while at home, and sometimes it’s just as fun to whip together a boxed mix as it is to create a recipe from scratch. We love having a box mix for cake or cupcakes, brownies, muffins, or cookies on hand for a fun treat that’s also serves as an activity.
Refrigerator and Freezer:
We mentioned in this post that we have been baking bread often, so we’ve found it’s helpful to keep yeast on hand. Yeast does keep for a while, so you won’t need to worry about it expiring. Plus, you will always be ready to bake your next bread recipe!
2. Sliced Fruit:
There are preferred ways to store your fruit, and it’s best to only cut up what you plan to eat in order for it to keep and not spoil. But, if you know you will be eating your fruit quickly, keep it prepped in your refrigerator, so it’s ready for you to grab and go!
3. Cut Vegetables:
The same notes about fruit we mentioned above are also true about vegetables. But, we all do feel more encouraged to snack and cook with vegetables that are washed and cut in advance. One great trick for vegetables is mini carrots! Most are snack sized already, and they’re also already washed.
4. Salad Mix:
If you’re looking for a new option for lunch, consider adding prepackaged salad mixed to your refrigerator. Some even have dressing and other ingredients, like nuts, cheese, or dried fruit, included, so your salad will be ready to serve and enjoy in minutes.
We like to keep meat, like ground beef and chicken, on hand. You will want to make sure to defrost it in advance, which does involve thinking ahead, but meat does keep longer overall if it’s frozen.
We like to enjoy pizza on the weekends, but it’s fun to do an impromptu pizza night during the week too! As a result, we always keep a pizza or two in the freezer that we can heat in the oven with a moment’s notice. You can still add toppings to frozen pizza too, so don’t be afraid to add those ingredients to your shopping list.
7. English Muffins or Bread:
If you’re not planning to bake bread or you would prefer to keep other ready made options available, consider storing your bread in the freezer where it will stay fresh longer. As a note, English muffins are wonderful for breakfast paired with eggs, plus you can also make sandwiches with them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. And, they’re the perfect base for English muffin pizzas – a favorite among kids and adults alike!
Let us know how you are stocking your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer on Facebook!