What You Need for a Well-Stocked Pantry

Here’s everything you need to make sure that your pantry (and fridge) is fully stocked. Plus, we gave you the shelf life of all these must-have items.

10 Obvious Must-Haves:

1. Flour - can store up to a year in your pantry.
2. Baking Powder - store up to 18 months in your pantry.
3. Baking Soda - keep in your pantry for up to 2 years.
4. Salt - store forever in your pantry. (pro tip: store sea salt too!)
5. Ground Pepper - lasts 3-4 years in the pantry.
6. White Sugar - can last up to 2 years in your pantry.
7. Olive Oil - will last a year unopened and up to 4 months opened.
8. Vegetable Oil - store in your pantry 2 years unopened and 1 year opened.
9. Cornstarch - lasts forever when stored in the pantry.
10. Brown Sugar - will last forever in the pantry, but is best within 2 years.

10 Spices You Need on Hand:

1. Allspice - store in your pantry for 3-4 years.
2. Garlic Powder - keep in the pantry for 3-4 years.
3. Onion Powder - will last 3-4 years in your pantry.
4. Oregano - store in your pantry for 1-3 years.
5. Paprika - lasts for 2-3 years in the pantry.
6. Basil - store in your pantry for 2-3 years.
7. Cinnamon - will keep in the pantry for 3-4 years.
8. Dill Weed - store in the pantry for 1-3 years.
9. Ginger - keep in the pantry 3-4 years.
10. Chili Powder - store in your pantry for 3-4 years.

10 Canned/Jarred Goods Your Pantry Needs:

1. Canned Black Beans - lasts in your pantry for 2 years.
2. Canned Refried Beans - keeps for 2 years in the pantry.
3. Canned Chopped Tomatoes - store a year in your pantry.
4. Tomato Sauce - store up to a year in the pantry.
5. Tomato Paste - lasts in your pantry for up to a year.
6. Jelly - unopened, jelly lasts 6-9 months past the “best by” date, opened it lasts about 1 year in the fridge.
7. Peanut Butter - smooth and crunchy lasts for up to 1 year past the “best by” date.
8. Cream of Chicken Soup - will last 2-5 years in the pantry.
9. Tomato Pasta Sauce - unopened, pasta sauce lasts for one year past the printed date, or 10 days after opening in the fridge.
10. Maple Syrup - lasts up to 2 years unopened in the fridge and up to a year opened in the fridge.

15 Other Things You Need:

1. Chicken & Vegetable Broth - store in your pantry unopened for a year, or open in the fridge for up to 5 days.
2. Soy Sauce - store forever in your pantry, or up to 3 years in your fridge.
3. White Vinegar - store indefinitely in your pantry.
4. Honey - keep in your pantry forever.
5. Salsa - unopened can last 12-18 months in the pantry, or 1 month opened in the fridge.
6. Coconut Oil - lasts for up to 2 years in the pantry.
7. Worcestershire Sauce - store for up to 3 years in the pantry.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar - store forever in the pantry.
9. Pasta - keep in your pantry for up to a year.
10. Ramen Noodles - store in your pantry for up to 10 years after the expiration date.
11. Brown Rice - store 3-6 months in the pantry.
12. White Rice - will last forever in your pantry!
13. Cooking Spray - keeps for up to 2 years in the pantry.
14. Coconut Milk - store in the pantry for up to a year.
15. Powdered Sugar - will last for up to 18 months in the pantry.

A photo posted by Cat Jerome (@cat.jerome) on

10 Refrigerator Must-Haves:

1. Hot Sauce - store in your fridge for up to 5 years.
2. Ketchup - store up to 6 months (opened) in your fridge.
3. Mustard - keep a year unopened in your pantry or up to 8 months opened in your fridge.
4. Mayonnaise - lasts unopened a year in the pantry, or up to 3 months in the fridge.
5. Milk (duh) - store in your fridge for about one week after the “sell-by” date.
6. Yeast - keep in your fridge for up to a year.
7. Butter - lasts for 1 month in the fridge past printed date and up to 9 months in the freezer.
8. Orange Juice - unopened orange juice will last 1-2 weeks past its expiration date, opened orange juice about 2-3 days past expiration date.
9. Lemons & Limes - lasts 1-2 months in the fridge.
10. Eggs - lasts 3 weeks after purchase when stored in the fridge.

A photo posted by Justjoelene (@lovejoi) on

Tim Tendick - Aug 15, 2018
I'm curious what sources this information came from. I'm not an expert in food spoilage or degradation of edibles, etc., but my profession does require significant understanding around the development of health care related consensus guidelines, expert panel recommendations, treatment algorithms, etc. Does responsibility for determining grocery expiration's and such lie with a single, say, governmental organization? I would like to know more about this if anyone can guide me where to look. I have to admit having pushed the limit past the expiration's provided here, in some cases, well beyond. I do try using good sense, though. Milk won't stay good forever even if I don't let it sit out like so many people I know do. I wonder if the expiration times given here are much shorter than they actually are? Pharmaceutical manufacturers notoriously assign exp dates to medicines that are grossly premature. The US Navy did a study years ago with a large supply of medications that had been stored away for nearly two decades. Most if not all the "out of date" medication had retained potency and hadn't degraded into something harmful or foul. Three environmental variables that can greatly impact shelf life for medication are temperature, moisture level and light, particularly sun light.
Susan Taylor - Jun 21, 2017
Only thing I don't have is allspice!
John Long - Mar 29, 2017
Only missed two items. Coconut milk and yeast.
Mary Ignal - Jan 19, 2017
Thanks a lot. I've added several items to my grocery list and will pass this on.
stephanie porter - Jan 19, 2017
Thank you some things I knew but most I didn't
Jacque Brown - Jan 18, 2017
THANK YOU!!! Great job giving us a lot of useful information!!!
Laurence Peery - Jan 18, 2017
Great job Kitchen Crew!
Now, I want you to take this list and go down to Wal-Mart, COSTCO, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and your fav supermarket and buy one of each and let us know what the totals were for each. Then take the sets, mix 'em up, and donate them to a worthy charity.
Rebekah Villanueva - Jan 18, 2017
I've never had all of this information in all of my 59 years. Thank you for compiling this list. I've already shared it on Pinterest.