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How to Stock Your First College Apartment Pantry


How to Stock Your First College Apartment Pantry

While living on your own for the first time is an exciting adventure, it comes with new responsibility and challenges. From paying bills to grocery shopping, there are bound to be a lot of firsts on your plate. However, grocery shopping can be a fun way to explore your individual tastes and expand your cooking capabilities – who knows, you may even be the next Rachel Ray! For the best selection of local, organic foods, head to New Leaf Market Co-op – shop on Saturdays for a student-exclusive savings of 5% with valid student ID. 

This is a guest blog post by Dakota Sproule, a Local Expert for RentTally.com—a website that helps connect renters with apartments in Tallahassee that fit their lifestyle and budget.

9 Items You Should Always Keep in Your Kitchen Pantry

Whether you’re a natural in the kitchen or you’re still learning the ropes, there are a few items you’re going to want to stock your FSU apartment’s kitchen pantry with:

  • Cooking Spray: There’s nothing like baking mouth-watering cupcakes only to find out they’re stuck to the pan – oh no! Cooking spray will prevent items from sticking and it’ll make the cleaning process a whole lot easier.
  • Cooking Oils: There are a variety of cooking oils out there, but the most commonly used are vegetable oil and extra-virgin olive oil. Vegetable oil, which has little to no taste, is mostly used for frying and baking, while olive oil, which has a distinct, robust flavor, is best when used for marinating, frying, as a dip for bread, or even salad dressing. Once you’ve figured out your cooking style, start adding other oils to your cooking routine, such as peanut, canola, palm, corn, coconut, sesame, flaxseed, and grapeseed.
  • Seasonings: Add some flavor to your life with a variety of herbs and spices. Aside from the obvious pepper and salt, you’ll want to stock your shelves with the essentials like basil, oregano, garlic salt, cinnamon, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, thyme, and taco seasoning.  
  • Baking Must-Haves: If you love a delicious treat now and again, you’ll want to invest in some basic baking ingredients. No baker can live without flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda/powder, vanilla extract and Crisco. Don’t love baking? These ingredients can also be used in a variety of other ways such as flour for breading chicken and Crisco for frying and greasing pans.
  • Condiments: You don’t realize just how valuable condiments are until your fridge is bare and you’re forced to eat a plain salad or ketchup-less burger. Think mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, soy sauce, BBQ sauce, salad dressing, relish, hot sauce, and vinegar.
  • Syrups, Jams and Nut Butters: Don’t forget about your favorite syrups, jams and nut butters, including maple syrup, peanut or almond butter, grape or strawberry jam, and honey!
  • Canned and Dry Goods: Grab yourself a selection of non-perishable canned and dry goods like beans, veggies, soup, tomato sauce, chicken broth, nuts and tuna fish. These items have a much longer shelf life than most foods, which is great for emergencies and cost savings if you’re worried about expiration dates.
  • Bottled Water: It’s always a good idea to have bottled water on-hand in the event of an emergency or power outage.    
  • Cooking and Storage Supplies: Aside from food, you’ll want to also arm yourself with cooking and storage supplies like aluminum foil, plastic wrap, wax paper and Ziploc bags.

Now that you have your list it’s time to head to New Leaf to stock up on all the essentials. If you have a new roommate consider taking your first grocery store trip together. Cooking a meal and hosting a dinner party is a great way to break the ice and meet new neighbors!


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