These pantry staples are cheap and will last you a long time

Do you have the following in your kitchen?

Photo via Pexels. (Pexels.)

When you hear about stocking up on essentials, we’re often hearing about people hoarding toilet paper.

But there are some other grocery store items that you should take note of -- items that will help get you through this time of social distancing, lockdowns and self-quarantine.

Make sure you have the following:


We all know that a box of pasta (it doesn’t matter if it’s spaghetti or penne) is always pretty cheap at the grocery store, and its shelf life is pretty long, too. Just boil some noodles, mix them with your favorite sauce (even if it’s from a jar, we’re not judging) and you’ve got a hearty dinner ready for your family in minutes.

Three recipes you should make:

Pasta and broccoli from Skinny Taste

Adult mac and cheese from Bon Appétit

Fettuccine alfredo from Modern Honey

Rice and grains

Rice can last in your pantry for months and it’s super filling, so this is a great item to always have on hand. Other grains such as quinoa, oats and farro can be used for delicious meals, as well.

Three recipes you should make:

Chicken fried rice from Natasha’s Kitchen

Mediterranean quinoa bowl from Pinch of Yum

Fiesta bowl with brown rice from Trader Joe’s

Frozen veggies

Freezing anything is a great way to ensure that it doesn’t go bad, but keeping your veggies frozen is also a smart tactic to keep a healthy and balanced diet in check, as well.

Worried about your meat going bad, or even bread? You can freeze those, too.

Three recipes you should make:

Frozen veggie stir-fry from All Recipes

One-pot chicken and veggie skillet from Pillsbury

Frozen vegetable soup from Bites of Wellness


You might not have made a packet of ramen noodles in quite some time, but anyone who has been a broke college student knows how much bang you get for your buck when it comes to ramen. These are inexpensive, quite filling and have a pretty long shelf life.

Three recipes you should make:

Vegetarian ramen from A Couple Cooks

Chicken ramen from Fox and Briar

Mongolian beef ramen from Delish

Canned meat

Look, the thought of surviving on Spam doesn’t sound too appealing, but other canned meats, like tuna, are pretty good when made correctly. Tuna salad is always delicious on some toast, and tuna noodle casserole might be a dish harkening back to the ’50s, but it’s comfort food at its best.

Three recipes you should make:

Tune noodle casserole from Epicurious

Avocado tuna salad from Dinner at the Zoo

Spam fried rice from D*mn Delcious

Peanut butter

Spread it on some bread with a little bit of jelly and you’ve got yourself a classic sandwich that you probably haven’t had since you were in school. In addition to the nostalgia, jars of peanut butter are pretty cheap at the grocery store, it has a decent shelf life and it’s a fantastic source of protein.

Three recipes you should make:

Peanut butter energy bites from Tasty

Peanut butter cookies from Cafe Delites

Shrimp pad thai with peanut sauce from Creme de la Crumb


Eggs will usually last you four to five weeks while stored in the refrigerator, and they’re such a versatile product that can be used in so many ways. Poached, scrambled, hard-boiled or you could even use them for some baked goods -- the sky is the limit.

Three recipes you should make:

Mushroom zucchini frittata from Taste of Home

Country-style scrambled eggs from Taste of Home

Avocado toast with a sunny-side egg from Skinny Taste

About the Author:

Jack is a Digital Content Editor with a degree in creative writing and French from Western Michigan University. He specializes in writing about movies, food and the latest TV shows.