Here's a list of all the items I regularly keep on hand for making meals. It seems like alot of spices (they are expensive) but spices are essential for bold flavors. I bought mine one at a time, as I needed them. Grow your own herbs if your apartment gets enough sun! I was lucky to have fresh basil for most of the summer.
I really hope this gives new cooks some direction on their next shopping trip. I know a list like this would have helped me two years ago, when I first started out.
Experienced cooks: feel free to append or correct my list!
cold cut lunch slices of choice
whatever else is in season
canned finely diced tomatoes
canned chopped tomatoes
8 oz. cans of Tomato sauce
Swanson Natural Goodness Chicken Broth
Swanson Beef Broth
beans (pinto and/or kidney)
sweet and condensed milk
red wine vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
cheese: cheddar, mozzarella and Parmesan
bread crumbs (or GF corn crumbs)
high heat frying oil-- like peanut or sesame
long grain white rice
cream of tartar
flour(s) of choice + (Xanthan gum!!)
sweet basil (dried leaves)
oregano (dried leaves)
Cayenne red pepper (ground or flakes)
ground black pepper
*DelMonte canned veggies are GF. McCormick spices are GF.