Meals might not seem like part of homeschooling, but it’s all part of the package of making life happen. And I have lists to make it easier.

Master Grocery List

I used to try to make a grocery list at the same time I menu planned – sometimes the magic synergy happened and sometimes it was pulling teeth. I needed to pick dinners to fit the amount of time and energy available for the days of the week, work that week’s grocery store specials, match up recipes from my various collections, double check I had all the ingredients I needed, and write it all down adequately enough so at 5pm each day I knew what I was supposed to do.


After baby #3, I decided this method was simply madness, and I had other projects I could do if I wanted to coordinate details. I decided what would be in my fridge, freezer, and pantry; I decided that I wanted to be able to buy any meat that was on sale at the store and know I could do something with it that didn’t require any extra or special ingredients. Then I decided to simply throw away all my recipes that didn’t match up with this new philosophy.

I used to try to make a grocery list at the same time I menu planned - sometimes the magic synergy happened and sometimes it was pulling teeth. No more. Now I have a mastery grocery list.

This is what I came up with as my master pantry list:

  • bell peppers
  • cabbage & lettuce
  • carrots
  • cilantro and/or parsley (fresh or dry)
  • garlic & onions
  • potatoes
  • vegetables & fruit (seasonal)
  • zucchini
  • basil
  • cinnamon, ground
  • dill
  • ground mustard
  • garlic powder
  • ginger
  • oregano
  • paprika
  • peppercorns or ground pepper
  • thyme
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • beans, black
  • beans, chickpea
  • beans, pinto
  • beans, split pea
  • beans, white
  • cornmeal
  • cornstarch
  • dried cranberries
  • flour, whole wheat
  • flour, white
  • oats, rolled
  • pasta
  • popcorn
  • raisins
  • rice, brown
  • salt, garlic and/or seasoning
  • salt, sea
  • sugar, brown
  • sugar, powdered
  • sugar, white
  • tortillas
  • walnuts and/or almonds
  • yeast
  • extract, almond
  • extract, lemon
  • extract, vanilla
  • honey
  • jam
  • ketchup
  • lemon juice
  • lime juice
  • mayonnaise
  • molasses
  • mustard, dijon and/or grainy
  • oil, canola or coconut
  • oil, olive, extra virgin
  • oil, sesame
  • peanut butter
  • salsa
  • soy sauce
  • vinegar, apple cider
  • vinegar, balsamic
  • vinegar, red wine
  • vinegar, white
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • olives, canned
  • pickles, whole
  • pineapple, canned
  • salmon, canned or packaged
  • tomato paste
  • tomatoes, crushed and/or sauce
  • tomatoes, diced
  • tuna, canned
  • butter
  • half-and-half
  • cheese, cheddar
  • cheese, mozzarella
  • cheese, Parmesan
  • cream cheese
  • eggs
  • milk
  • sour cream (or sub. yogurt)
  • yogurt, plain (or sub. sour cream)
  • meat, whatever is on sale
  • broccoli, frozen
  • green beans, frozen
  • orange juice concentrate
  • peas, frozen

The great thing about having a basic list like this is that even when I forget my list, what I buy as I do my route through the grocery store is pretty automatic, and I know I will use these items I frequently buy, so even if I end up buying an extra, it’s ok.

This menu plan template and master pantry resource will help streamline your kitchen.


  1. Hi Mysty, i’ so glad your blog, my name is angela barbara ( I bought your e-book many years ago for your simplyfied dinners I’m still using it. the only thing is the grocery list that came with it my grand child tore it!! i’m wondering if you can send me that grocery list only? I would greatly appreciated!
    PS I got your e-book when i was able to paid for it, not to be a member.
    Thanks Angel

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