February 29, 2016

The 25 Pantry Essentials You Need for Scratch Cooking

Does your pantry contain all of the basics for scratch cooking? There are 25 ingredients that you need in your pantry at all times to cook from scratch.

More and more people are reclaiming the lost art of cooking from scratch in an effort to save money and avoid the trend toward processed food. A good pantry should have everything you need to whip together a pie, a loaf of bread, a casserole, or a batch of biscuits with no trip to the store required.

This is a list from my book, The Pantry Primer, of the things you need to go with your whole foods to turn them into delicious meals, so you won’t find things like canned goods, flours,  grains, meats, or veggies. These ingredients are the supporting actors to the starring roles. If you like to think ahead, be sure to acquire these items in multiples – you should never run out of them. Many of these basics can be purchased in large quantities. One of my favorite destinations for pantry basics is Amazon, where I purchase yeast, aluminum-free baking soda, and other building blocks of a scratch pantry. I have also acquired 50-pound bags of organic sugar at Bulk Barn for a reduced price.

What basics do you need for scratch cooking?

To build your stockpile, look through your cupboards and see what you use the most. Every kitchen will be different but below are my most-used items – the ones that I search out and buy in bulk.  Links are for high-quality versions of these items, as opposed to store brands that could come from more questionable sources. Feel free to select whatever version you prefer of the items – just be sure to load up and get prepped! :)

Baking Items


  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Shortening
  • Butter
  • Lard (we get this locally rendered)



  • Salt
  • White vinegar
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Black pepper
  • Herbs and spices
  • Cornstarch (please consider organic for all corn products)
  • Lemon Juice

Want to learn more? Check out my book, The Pantry Primer

Lots of us like to have hard copies of information that we’ve found helpful.  Because of this, I’ve written about our journey to build a one year food supply and put it all in one handy primer, available on Amazon.

The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half-Price Budget

the pantry primer

Are there any pantry basics I’ve missed?

This list is of the things that you need to turn your other stored food into a delicious meal.  Are there any basics in your cupboards that you use all the time? Please share them in the comments section!


Daisy Luther

Please feel free to share any information from this site in part or in full, leaving all links intact, giving credit to the author and including a link to this website and the following bio. Daisy Luther is a single mom who lives in a small village in the mountains of Northern California, where she homeschools her youngest daughter and raises veggies, chickens, and a motley assortment of dogs and cats.   She is a best-selling author who has written several books, including The Organic Canner,  The Pantry Primer: A Prepper's Guide to Whole Food on a Half-Price Budget, and The Prepper's Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource.  Daisy is a prolific blogger who has been widely republished throughout alternative media. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy uses her background in alternative journalism to provide a unique perspective on health, self-reliance, personal liberty, and preparedness. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest,  and Twitter,.

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