Organize Your Pantry

What’s in YOUR Pantry?

A well-stocked pantry is important, especially if you bake or cook often. The last thing you want to do is run to the store or knock on your neighbor’s door because you’re out of an essential ingredient. Organizing your pantry and keeping it well stocked also makes cooking faster and more budget friendly.

But what exactly should be included in your pantry?

Of course, it depends on the types of food you typically make and which items you use most often. However, there are certain ingredients that many home cooks would consider essential. Here’s a quick rundown of a few categories to consider:



  • Flour (all purpose, whole wheat, bread, pastry)
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Cream of tartar
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Baking chips (chocolate, white, butterscotch), baking bars (chocolate, white)
  • Evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk
  • Extracts (vanilla, almond, butter, mint, and others)


  • Granulated sugar
  • Powdered sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Maple syrup
  • Honey

Rice, Grains & Pastas:

  • Long-grain white rice
  • Brown rice
  • Quick-cooking, instant, or ready-made rice
  • Quinoa, couscous, and other grains
  • Bread crumbs (plain, panko, seasoned & plain)
  • Macaroni, spaghetti, egg noodles, and more

Quick-to-Make Mixes:

Stock up on Rada Cutlery’s shelf-stable Quick Mixes to help make your life a little easier. Perfect when you need a last-minute idea for drop-in guests. Or those nights you get home late from work and need dinner fast. We have mixes for:

Obviously, this pantry idea list could be exhaustive. You can compile your own checklist of things like canned goods and spices that you find yourself using regularly.

How to Organize a Pantry

This is clearly determined by the space you have available. Do you have just one cupboard for pantry items? Or do you have a whole room or an entire section of your basement for storing food? There’s no right or wrong way to do it; the important thing is to figure out what works best FOR YOU.

Containers for food storage.

Just as there’s no right or wrong way to organize your pantry, there’s not just one way to store food. Keep in mind that glass jars allow you to see clearly what’s inside. So that means you can easily determine when you’re running low and need to stock up.

However, you don’t need to invest in pricy canisters if that’s not in the budget. All you need are durable containers with tight-fitting lids. Items like flour, bread crumbs, or dry pancake mix shouldn’t be left in a cardboard box or bag unless the contents can be protected from moisture and bugs.

If you like everything neatly labeled or the storage containers you’re using aren’t clear enough to see through, by all means mark your containers. Use temporary removeable labels or write directly on containers with permanent marker; just do what keeps you AND your pantry running smoothly.

Hopefully you’ll find the process of setting up a well-stocked pantry makes for:

  1. Better organization
  2. Good vibes and less stress
  3. Sensational cooking and baking adventures

We made cookies a while back that were PACKED with all kinds of ingredients from our pantry. And, of course, that makes for an explosion of flavor. The yummy recipe is listed below.


What to Keep, When to Toss it & How to Bring it Back to Life

Baking Chocolate If yours has white film on it, it’s still safe to use and the flavor won’t be affected.
Baking Powder Stir ½ tsp. into 1 C. hot water. If it foams, it’s still fresh enough to use.
Baking Soda Add a pinch of it to 1 tsp. vinegar. If it fizzes, it’s still good.
Honey If it has crystalized, microwave it or put container in warm water.
Olive Oil Once it goes bad, it will smell rancid; that’s your sign to pitch it.
Nuts If they don’t smell “quite right,” toss ’em out. Freeze for longest shelf life.
Self-Rising Flour For best results, replace every six months.
Spices They don’t go bad; if they no longer smell vibrant, add a bit extra to your recipe.
Vanilla Beans Rehydrate dried out ones by submerging in warm water for 10 minutes.
Vinegar It’s OK if it turns cloudy; the vinegar can still be used.
Whole-Grain Flour If it smells “off,” get rid of it. Store in the freezer to keep it fresh longer.

Chocolate-Chipotle Oatmeal Cookies

INGREDIENTS (makes 4 dozen)

2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 T. ground cinnamon
1¾  C. finely ground quick oats
½ C. finely crushed cinnamon graham crackers
¾ C. flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. chipotle chili powder
¼ tsp. salt
½ C. butter, softened
¼ C. granulated sugar
1 C. brown sugar
1 egg
¾ tsp. cinnamon extract
½ tsp. vanilla extract
½ C. cinnamon baking chips
¼ C. mini semisweet chocolate chips
1 (1.55 oz.) milk chocolate candy bar, grated
½ oz. unsweetened baking chocolate, finely chopped
Turbinado sugar


Preheat oven to 350° and line baking pans with parchment paper. Whisk together the cocoa powder, ground cinnamon, oats, cracker crumbs, flour, baking soda, chipotle powder, and salt. Set everything aside.

In a big mixing bowl, beat together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until creamy. Add the egg, cinnamon extract, and vanilla extract and beat well. Slowly beat in the set-aside flour mixture until combined. Stir in the cinnamon chips, chocolate chips, and grated and chopped chocolates. Shape the dough into 1¼ʺ balls and roll in turbinado sugar; arrange on prepped baking pans, about 2ʺ apart.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown then sprinkle with turbinado sugar for extra crunch if you’d like. Let cool several minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. These freeze well.

You May Also Like

How to Cook for 2 People | One-Skillet Meal for 2

How to Cook for 2 People | One-Skillet Meal for 2

If you’re tired of making more food than you need and then eating leftovers all, week, here’s the solution. This delicious recipe–scaled for 2 people–uses just one skillet. Quick and simple cleanup.

Did You Know?

Rada Cutlery offers unique fundraising opportunities. Learn more

I’m looking to buy kitchen products for myself or as gifts.

I need to raise money for my group, club, school, or church.

I want to earn a profit for myself, selling products I believe in.

Discover Businesses in your area that sell Rada products.