Knowing how to stock the pantry for the holidays can both make your holiday season more stress-free as well as save you money.
As you are preparing for the busiest time of year, thinking about stocking your pantry for the holiday season might be an afterthought. However, with just a little amount of planning and thinking ahead you can save time and money as you will not have to make a last-minute run to the grocery store.
I will walk you through items you will want to have in your holiday pantry as well as how to customize it for your needs and holiday recipes.
To make things even easier for you, I have created this downloadable printable holiday pantry checklist.
Take stock of your pantry
The first thing about stocking your pantry for the holidays is to just have a look at what is in your pantry now. That way you can easily identify foods that need restocking.
It is also a good idea to check the expiration dates on pantry items to see if anything might not be good anymore. Just having these foods on your radar, you might be able to snag them while they are on sale. And who knows? Maybe you will be hit by some baking inspiration. With a well-stocked pantry, you can whip up recipes in no time.
In this post, I will mention some products that we personally love and use.
Here are some basics with mostly a very long shelf-life:
- Flours: make sure you have all-purpose flour, bread flour, whole wheat flour, gluten-free flour, or your preferred flours for all your pie crusts
- Sugars: while I like to have both white and brown sugar in our pantry, I also always have maple syrup handy
- Other dry goods: rolled oats, corn starch, or potato starch (think thickeners for your gravy)
- Salt: this salt has a great taste and has been my favorite
- Spices: this definitely includes ground cinnamon, vanilla extract, nutmeg, cloves, chili powder, and pumpkin pie spice blend
- Cacao: it is a good idea to have cacao powder (sometimes called cocoa powder) and chocolate chips
- Dried milk: even though we love getting raw milk from a local dairy, it is always good to have some dried milk or coconut milk in your pantry should you ever run low
- Leavening agent: I certainly love sourdough baking but you might want to stock your pantry with dried yeast, baking powder, and baking soda
- Nuts and seeds: everyone is different so check what kind of nuts and seeds you like to bake and cook with. However, walnuts, pecans, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are just a few examples
- Oils: make sure you have enough olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, your preferred vegetable oil, or even tallow or lard.
These are some other items you want to stock in your pantry for the holidays:
- Canned foods: these can include mushroom soups, other soups, cranberry sauce, tomato paste, pasta sauce, green beans, and maybe even soft drinks
- Stocks: even though I like making my own bone broths, it is a great time saver to use beef or chicken bouillon, ready-made broth and stocks, or even bouillon cubes and poultry seasoning
Other Pantry Staples:
These are some good items to have on hand:
- Parchment paper: this is great for all your holiday baking or your leftover turkey sandwiches
- Plastic wrap: while I prefer using beeswax wraps, there are times when I need and use plastic wrap
- Aluminum foil: this is good to have especially if you are reheating foods in your oven, for example, your make-ahead Thanksgiving stuffing
- Paper goods: I don’t use paper plates or paper napkins often but you might take advantage of holiday sales if and when they come up
More Ideas Beyond Stocking your Pantry for the Holidays:
Even though this post is really about how to stock your pantry, you can think of other foods, too:
- Depending on the space in your refrigerator and freezer, you might like to stock up on foods such as cream cheese, sour cream, heavy cream, and unsalted butter.
- You can also think about produce such as sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, onions, and so on.
How to use the Holiday Pantry Checklist
Here’s how to stock up your pantry for the holidays the easy way:
- Once you print out the free holiday pantry checklist, you will see a page for your own recipes. You can print this page as many times as you need for your planning. So think about your family favorites or new recipes you would like to try out.
- Write down any ingredients that you will need to buy or that go beyond your basic pantry staples.
- Now you can create your own shopping list.
- You can also think about how you entertain: will you need items such as crackers and roasted nuts?
- Write down any other food items that don’t necessarily have a long shelf life and that you keep in your refrigerator or freezer.
- If you are trying to save money, you can check flyers (in your junk mail) for any great deals that are coming up.
My Favorite Places to Shop to Stock My Pantry for the Holidays
These are just some of my favorite stores and places to shop for pantry staples where I often find great deals:
- Trader Joe’s
- Aldi (unfortunately, I don’t have one near us)
- King Arthur Baking Company
Planning for the Holidays:
I hope that I could get your mind thinking ahead. More often than not, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to how to stock your pantry. The most important thing is to use a guide like this and customize your pantry list for your own needs. Hopefully, you can even perfect it next season.
I definitely wish you a stress-free and Happy Holiday Season!