Keeping an essential list of pantry goods was key to keeping my grocery shopping easy and cheap, my meals simple, and food waste minimized. I keep a pretty minimalist pantry considering that’s the only way it will all fit (my pantry is teeny tiny) and because most meals we have used pretty much the same ingredients. Most or all of my zero waste pantry items can be purchased in bulk where I live so keep that in mind when I say “Zero Waste” Pantry.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. This helps me with the costs associated with this blog.
So, first things first, when I bring my items home from the store, they are in my reusable cloth produce bags. Check out my post 5 Steps to Bulk Shopping for a more detailed look at how I shop and if you don’t have bulk check out my article No Bulk, No Problem. I then transfer them into glass storage jars to keep them fresh. That allows me to visually see what I have and what I need to replace or fill up. Another bonus to zero waste shopping, right?! Another key component to a zero waste pantry is stocking up on items that have longer shelf lives. This allows me to stock up on a larger amount reducing my need to travel to the store as often.
So what’s in my pantry?
Grains are the base for many meals in our household. We love stir-fried veggies, Indian food, and a good bowl of pasta. Quinoa is also great for making veggie “meats”.
Baking is such an important part of my life that I gave it its own category on my shopping list. Everything from cupcakes, pancakes, bread, pies, and more come out of my kitchen quite regularly. And of course, baking soda is used in many natural cleaning recipes throughout my house.
Beans are so versatile. They can be used in about any dish – even dessert! I use lentils in a lot of dishes as a meat substitute like chili and pasta sauce.
Nuts and Seeds
Oils and Vinegar
Again, very minimalist. But it works more for me and my family. Use this as a guideline, add or subtract items, or just use it as inspiration.