6 Items You Should Always Have in Your Pantry

Keeping non-perishable items in your pantry is always a good idea as you never know when you’ll need to make a last-minute meal. Plus, should inclement weather hit, making it too dangerous to drive or walk to the grocery store, when you have a variety of dry and canned goods on hand, it can spare you from making a trip that risks your safety. 

Food products like rice, beans, pasta, and canned foods are known to have a very long shelf life, well past their expiration date if they are kept somewhere that doesn’t allow them to rust or experience damage in any other way. As fruitsandveggies.org notes, steel cans are the safest form of packaging when stocking up.

These items are truly essential to have in your pantry at all times.



Pasta is something that everyone should keep a good supply of. Not only does it last for one to two years past the expiration date, but it’s an incredibly versatile ingredient that can be turned into many types of dishes. Pasta is also well-loved by most, even the pickiest kids, making it the perfect go-to when you don't have much else to make. Just adding a little garlic and butter can make it tasty.




Much like pasta, rice is a food that can be used in numerous recipes and last for a long time. You can do a lot more with it than just add salt and butter, you might even mix in a little mango pepper jelly for a spicy kick. It’s also a very filling grain, which means in an emergency, when you don't have much else, it can still satisfy. A large bag can provide many meals or feed a large group of people, making it a true must-have staple for your pantry. 


Canned Vegetables


While a can of green beans might not be as exciting as something like, it’s definitely a good item to keep on hand. Vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet, and keeping a stash in your pantry means that you’ll always be able to add it to a meal at the last minute.


Canned Fruit


Similar to vegetables, fruit provides many key nutrients to support the body's health. When you buy fresh fruit, it often doesn't last long in your produce bins, but a canned version can last for years, providing a significantly longer period to use it.


Dried Beans


Dried beans are important to any diet and can be a great source of antioxidants, folate, and reduce the risk of certain diseases. Buying them dried in bags allows you to make a hearty meal at a moment’s notice and keep them for months or even years in your pantry before use. While canned beans are a good choice, too, the one-pound or larger bags are often the same price or cheaper.


Tomato Sauce


Tomato sauce is another versatile item, and when it's canned, it will last for about two years in your pantry. If you've followed our advice by stocking up on pasta, it's the perfect complement for an easy meal.

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