Refrigerator and Freezer Staples


There’s obvious overlap here, between the pantry and the fridge, because many items need to be put in the refrigerator after you open them. So we’re not counting those things here; we’ll give you some tips on what to keep on hand from the cold sections of the market.

Of course your personal likes and dislikes influence what you keep on hand, and that of your family, if you have one.

To begin with, it’s hard to plan a week in advance, but if you can only shop once a week, you pretty much have to. Choose some dinners for the week, allow for using up leftovers, and make up your list.

Certain things I try to keep on hand because they pop up in so many recipes that you can wing it if you haven’t planned in advance. Browse through Cooking Dude, find something yummy, and maybe between the pantry, fridge, and freezer you’ll have the ingredients.

In addition to the stuff that comes over from the pantry after it’s opened, like mayo and mustard, there are some things that I try to keep on hand. You’ll need a pad of paper in the kitchen so you can make a note on the shopping list when something’s running low.

heavy cream
shredded Mexican cheese
cheese for snacks
horseradish sauce
seafood sauce
green onions
fresh cilantro
fresh produce, depending on season
Kalamata olives
green stuffed olives
container storing bacon grease

Just use this as a starter; you’ll develop your own list as you cook more and discover what your and your family’s likes and dislikes are. The important thing is to remember to make a note when you’re running out of something. If you do need something you don’t have for a recipe you want to make, like buttermilk, check with our disaster recovery page to see if there’s a substitute you can get by with.

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