Essential Pantry Staples to Have on Hand

(Family Features) Keeping a well-stocked pantry ensures you can pull together a quality meal on a moment's notice or when unexpected circumstances keep you from making it to the store. In many homes, the pantry is filled with mismatched odds and ends that may not fit together, but you can shop smart to gather basic ingredients you need for a wide range of recipes.

Spices: A robust spice rack lets you customize all the other ingredients for dishes as simple or complex as you like. As you're building a spice collection, start with basics like salt, pepper and garlic powder. Also add some of your favorite dried herbs like basil, thyme and ginger then build the rest of your supply around your favorite foods so you can easily create familiar dishes with what you have on hand.

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