- Garlic Powder (not Garlic Salt- as I like a LOT of garlic in my dishes and using Garlic Salt can make a dish too salty)
- Onion Powder
- Dried Basil (perfect for Italian Cooking)
- Oregano (ditto)
- Cajun Seasoning (such as Slap yo Mamma or Tony Chacheres-use like salt)
Now for other items. I always keep rice (different varieties, but mainly long grain), a variety of noodles, all-purpose flour, sugar (white, powdered, and brown), baking powder, baking soda, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, powdered buttermilk, bread, milk, canned veggies (any variety the family likes), plus many more.
Now, buy meat when it is on sale. If you think you will use it, buy it and freeze it. I usually wait until the price gets reduced. As long as you freeze it by the day of sale, you should be ok. We recently switched to ground turkey from ground beef to try and be healthier. Ironically, we have found it to be WAY cheaper than the ground beef offered at our stores. I usually buy 3 lbs for $5. I also try to keep some type of pork on hand, some type of stew meat, and I ALWAYS have frozen chicken. I usually buy the already frozen boneless chicken. This way I do not have to separate it after purchase to freeze it. Plus it is easier to grab one at a time instead of defrosting more than you need. I have also found it cheaper at times too to purchase them this way. Also, buy in bulk if it is cheaper. You can separate it when you get home and seal it is individual bags for later use.
Now, with these main staples, you have tons of different options for meals. Of course I did not add everything I keep in stock, but it is a start for anyone looking to keep a base.
I might start posting recipes on here too. Cooking is my passion. So if it makes me happy, why not share the love. :)