Okay, the alarms are set, the backpacks are packed, the homeschool curriculum is settled (If you homeschool). It’s getting to be that time of the year. The first real proof for me that fall is on the way is when everyone is in full back to school mode! The mornings are cooler, the days are starting to slowly grow shorter, we crave comfort foods.
I’ve shared a couple of my favorite cozy recipes with you already, but let’s backtrack just a bit today and talk about what types of things you want to stock your pantry with in the fall! Being somewhat prepared makes it all just that much more fun! (Or is that just me?!)
What to stock up on for fall:
Cooler days call for comforting, warm and delicious foods! There’s magic in a rainy fall day spent watching movies and smelling yummy food cooking with little to no effort on your part! But the magic is diminished when you have to make a big grocery list in order to put together that wonderful meal. So here are some things you want to make sure you have on hand to help:
Crockpot liners. The next worst thing to forgetting half the ingredients you need for a slow cooker meal is having to scrub burnt food off of your crockpot with a full belly after dinner! I love liners! I just throw the bag away and wipe out condensation from the bottom of the slow cooker bowl and I’m good to go!
Stock/broth or bouillon cubes (in both chicken and beef). I personally prefer to use bouillon cubes that are individually wrapped. These last quite a while, and I use as little or as much as I like! I find with using broth or stock most of the container goes to waste because I usually only need a cup or so unless I’m making soup.
Spices. You need to season your food! Stock up on extras of your favorite, most used seasonings! Thyme, Italian, cayenne, and assorted baking spices are a must in my kitchen, especially in the fall!
Pasta. So many of my favorite comfort food recipes include pasta, and it’s also often used as a lunch for the kids.
Cornstarch. This is perfect for gravy, thickening stews, and even in some jam recipes. This is also an ingredient in many science experiments for the kids. I always go through this quicker than I think!
Frozen Veggies. Of course, get seasonal veggies fresh, and if you can process your own vegetables, that’s even better! But I like to keep extras of all of our favorite veggies on hand so I can have them with lunches and dinners, and to add into meals easily!
Canned Beans. Chili and many other assorted soups call for beans. I always try to make sure I have a couple extra cans for unplanned dinners!
Extra sauces. I have one kid who loves bbq, and one who loves ketchup, everyone in the house loves A1, and many other sauces go into or with assorted comfort foods (especially on football weekends!). I keep extras of all of our favorites in the house so that we’re always ready for comfort (and fun!).
Pumpkin. If you personally know me, you knew this one was coming! Ha! We love all things pumpkin- rolls, cookies and of course pie! So many great things call for pumpkin, I always have a can or two ready for when my sweet tooth hits!
Cocoa. I like to keep some melting wafers and the biggest can of cocoa powder that I can find, because… chocolate. It’s kind of important. 😉
Pie Crust. Confession- I don’t make my own crust! I like to cut premade crust to add a homemade touch, but I let Pillsbury to the mixing and rolling with this! You can freeze the pre-made crusts and thaw them out before you need them! You know what that means, right? Pie on demand!!! ❤
Flour. While I don’t hand make my pie crust, I do make almost everything else right at home, so I keep big bags of flour on hand. This is especially essential if you like to make your own bread!
Sugars. I start stocking up for some of my Christmas baking right now too. Anything that won’t go bad before December, I like to start buying in September. Skipping out on the super busy stores in December is well worth the small amount of effort spent planning ahead now. Brown sugar, powder sugar, granulated sugar, I even buy molasses now to save me the trouble of empty shelves later.
Eggs. While they are perishable, they have a longer shelf life. If you like to bake during the fall months too, it’s worth buying a larger pack of eggs to have ready, just don’t go overboard.
Cream cheese. Same idea as the eggs. This will last a little while in the fridge, but don’t overdo stocking up, unless you are planning a baking extravaganza. While we’re on this topic, the same goes for butter!
Evaporated and condensed milk. You will often run into needing one of these two, and you will rarely remember that you do need them until you are going through the ingredient list. While there are ways to make your own, it’s nice to have these on hand, ready to go in the first place!
Honey. We go through honey really quickly here! It’s a good sweetener, it’s nice in tea when the inevitable cold sets in, or just for cereals in the morning, it’s always a good idea to have at least one extra bottle of honey waiting for you to need it.
Oats. Between breakfast, cookies, and even filler for meatloaf, you’ll be needing some oats on hand! I like to buy mine from sams club, and I end up needing to buy only once a year. This is good to have all through the year! No-bake cookies!!!!!
Cooking spray. One of those things you won’t always think about needing… until you need it! With all that baking and cooking that’s about to go down, do your self a favor and stock up on a couple cans!
Oil. Vegetable oil, whatever oils you like to cook with. Make sure it’s in the pantry ready to go when you are!
Coffee/tea. Especially on that first week of school when you’re trying to get back on a schedule, stock up on the coffee! It’s also really comforting to sip a warm drink on a cold morning. And of course, we’re entering the cold and flu season.
Hot cocoa mix. I don’t know about your children, but mine think that hot cocoa is a food group! They also feel like they can’t do school unless they’ve had their morning, “coffee.” The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, that’s for sure!
Dry milk/dry creamer. Even with my love for lists and, obviously, my love for stocking up and getting better deals on groceries, I still run out important things now and then. Dry milk is also the base of a few different hot cocoa mix recipes just in case I run out of that too. The day rolls around now and then when I’m half-dead and I realize I never picked up more creamer. Save a mom, have dry creamer on hand if only for emergencies!
Marshmallows. I start stocking up on these when we have bonfires. Some of my favorite Christmas recipes call for them (church windows!) and the kids love them in their hot cocoa! It’s not the end of the world when you run out of this- but life is a little sweeter when you have marshmallows on hand!!!
Here’s to a cozy cooking season!