Homemade Kitchen Pantry Staples

a room filled with lots of jars and a ladder

By Christina

Homemade kitchen pantry staples

Ready to save money, create a variety of meals, and kick the chemicals out of your kitchen? All you need is basic food ingredients a fearless sense of adventure and faith in yourself.

In this blog post, I’m sharing my homemade recipes for items you likely buy from the store but don’t realize are cheaper and easier to create from scratch. Here are a few of my favorites.

a room filled with lots of jars and a ladder

Never miss a post!

Get your dose of tips, advice and lessons learned at my expense. Grab a cup of coffee, get cosy and let’s do this! 

When to make your homemade pantry staples

Sunday is usually my day of rest and weekly prep setup. And since most mom-and-pop stores are closed in my country, I find it super easy to have extra time on my hands to create the homemade items I need. 

Choose a day of the week that works for you. Maybe Monday is the day when you can get things organized. Or perhaps it’s Wednesday, it all depends on what works for you!

I am no professional! But I know homemade tastes good! 

Most of what I know I’ve learned by doing research online, religiously following Martha Stewart, experimenting, and of course failing miserably.

But I love to cook, and when you have the staples all set up, knocking out those simple tasks helps you feel motivated to do more.

Or at least I do. 

Having the staples and food that I know is good is empowering to me. Now I am not talking about getting seriously into the homesteader life, aka making your own butter.

I don’t have time for a butter-churning afternoon.

Though I will admit that after a museum tour of the history of Normandy dairies, I felt inspired to make my own butter, but that faded when I remembered the effort.

Somethings you need to just buy.

But then there are other things worth making not because they are ridiculously easy to make but are way healthier for you.

You control the salt, and the sugar, and you keep out all the BAD stuff they put in to keep things cheap. 


bread on white ceramic plate

Never miss a post!

Get your dose of tips, advice and lessons learned at my expense. Grab a cup of coffee, get cosy and let’s do this! 

my favorite homemade pantry staples

My favorite homemade kitchen pantry staples. 

Pancake mix.

Have you ever looked at the ingredient list on a pancake package mix? Some things are obvious-flour. Other things I’m sorry I don’t understand.

Back in my “I’m semi-vegan” days I created my own pancake mix. Once I did I realized how much better they were and how much I loved them.

Mind you I did not grow up on pancakes, my mother is from France and pancakes here are desert.

Yes, you read that right dessert.

And since she and I don’t have a raging sweet tooth we never had pancakes.  This means, don’t be surprised if you find I have little sugar in the mix. Alright, here we go! 

Pancake mix! 

 4 cups of all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons of baking powder

1 teaspoon of salt-I omit this because I buy salted butter instead of nonsalted. 

3-4 tablespoons of fine sugar -sometimes I omit this and at agave syrup to my wet ingredients. 


Store in a dry, cool place and in an airtight container. 


To make:

1 cup of pancake mix

1 large egg

½ cup of milk

2 tablespoons melted butter 

Vanilla Extract

I have been lucky to find the pods and all-natural vanilla extract in the store, but I have witnessed the price of this item slowly increasing. Which is why I’ve started making my own. 

You can use bourbon or vodka, depending on how you like it. 


Use a bottle you can close tightly. (jar, or some kind of coke bottle with a cork-like cap)

16 oz of your choice alcohol (bourbon or vodka) or other 80% proof, 40% alcohol, liquor. 

8-12  vanilla bean pods. (if you have four bottles split the beans up four ways, in this example you’d need 16)


Open up the vanilla bean, and release the seeds! You can scrape them out or leave them inside the bean. Place the cut-open beans inside the bottle. Next, you will cover the beans with the alcohol. Allow to settle for 4-8 weeks out of sunlight. *tip every once in a while shake the liquid. Watch it turn colours! Science! 

Ideally, you want to wait 6-12 months before you start using the vanilla extract, trust me the flavor far more bloomed. But you can use the liquid within 2-3 months. 


Homemade Vanilla Creamer

2 Cups of Milk-I use whole milk

⅓ brown sugar-you can use ⅔ white sugar or even ⅔ brown sugar. I like a little less. 

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 teaspoons of Vanilla Extract


Place all ingredients in a heavy-bottom saucepan. Warm up the mixture but don’t allow it to simmer or boil. Cook for approximately three hours.

It will thicken! If it doesn’t seem thick as it cooks, don’t worry it will thicken as it cools. 

Creamer will keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks and 3 months in the freezer. 




DIY instant oatmeal cups

14 oz glass jars with lids

5 cups of old-fashioned rolled oats -or cut-instant oats.

½ cup of brown sugar or vanilla sugar

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Pinch of salt


Optional additions

⅓ Dried fruit: cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, whatever you like. 

¼ Nuts: pecans, hazelnuts, chestnuts, whatever you like

4 tablespoons chocolate chips-I mean why wouldn’t you? 


If you don’t have a mini food processor then use instant cut oats. 

If you have the processor, pulse the oats until they are sort of like cornmeal. This texture helps the oatmeal become more creamy and more instant


Combine your desired ingredients with the oats in a large bowl. 

divide the mixture into ½ cup portions for each glass jar. (makes about 8 jars) add your desired optional ingredients. 

Seal the jar and place it in your pantry for later use. 


When ready, add ½ cup of boiling water to your jar. Stir to combine, and let sit covered for 5-6 minutes. 


Can be stored for up to 3 months. 




Seasoned Rice mix

3 cups of rice long grain or whatever is your favorite- I use brown rice. Make sure to adjust your cooking time to the type of rice you use. 

2 tablespoons of chicken or beef bouillon powder. I use two large bouillon cubes broken up. 

2 tablespoons dried onions (optional)

1 tsp dried garlic or garlic powder (optional)

mason jars-gather the sizes that you will need to create recipes for the size of your family. 1 cup of rice can feed two people.


Herbs: really it is up to you the type of mix you want to make

1 tablespoon dried thyme

-create your own Italian seasoning– see below (mix together and keep in an airtight container) add 2 tablespoons to your rice dry mix. 


The mix is versatile. You can create any combination your little heart desires. This is just to get you started! Store in individual jars, and make sure you label what they are! Sever with your favorite chicken, beef, or fish recipes. 


Rice is cooked 2:1. So if you’re cooking 1 cup of rice, then add 2 cups of water. Again adjust the cooking time according to the type of rice you are using. 





Homemade Italian seasoning-

 Italian seasoning-

2  tablespoons dried oregano

2 tablespoons dried basil

2 tablespoons dried parsley

1 tablespoon rosemary

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon chill flakes

1 tablespoon garlic powder, or flakes.

Directions: mix together and keep in an airtight container


Now that you’re done here, get ready to make those homemade pantry staples. Take plenty of pics and be sure to show me what you did! I can’t wait to see what you create. 

Ready to Live a More Simple Life?

Sign up and get your dose of Christina’s secret tips, advice, and hard learned-lessons. Grab a cup of coffee, get cosy and let’s do this!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hi, I’m Christina

how i'm managing my anxiety

I’m the coffee-addicted creative behind Christina Q. Writes. As a full-time writer and lover of history, I share insights into my crazy wonderful life.  Christina Q. Writes is where I share tips and advice to help you live simply and in the moment, and do it your way. Don’t be afraid to laugh at my mistakes!