I've been asked what ingredients I always keep on hand in my kitchen. I actually walked around my kitchen, opened every door, and tried to imagine which of the items I couldn't live without. Here's my list of 40 ingredients I keep on hand at all times for creating dinners on the fly.
Packs of Taco Seasoning
Boxes of Chicken Stock
Several varieties of "Cream of" soups. Mainly "Cream of Mushroom"
Cans of Whole tomatoes
Small cans of Tomato Sauce
Cans of red Enchilada Sauce
Cans of Refried Beans
Cans of Chopped Green Chilies
Dry pasta (Spaghetti, Ziti, Lasagna)
Bag of Red Potatoes
Monterey Cheese (block-I shred as I need it)
Container of Grated Parmesan Cheese
Chicken (Leg Quarters and Split Breasts, bought in bulk and separated into Ziploc bags)
Ground Turkey (bought in bulk, separated into Ziploc bags)
Chopped fresh parsley (frozen in Ziploc bags)
Chopped fresh Green Onions (frozen in Ziploc bags)
Chopped onions (Bagged in 1 cup increments and then put in one gallon sized bag)
Bags of Frozen vegetables
Bag of Frozen Shrimp
Bag of Frozen Tilapia filets (Fish)
Does my list look anything like yours?