Domesticity 101 – Pantry Essentials

Domesticity 101 - Herbs & Spices

Today we are starting a new series on our blog thanks to a suggestions from an avid reader and dear friend, Kristin.

She suggested we start a “how-to guide” to the basics of cooking.

That got me thinking.

Here it is: Domesticity 101.

A guide to all the essentials and basics around the house and kitchen to help you out.

I am not an expert, just another woman trying to figure life out and make it the day-to-day tasks as simple as possible – and that’s what I will be sharing here.

We are kicking off the series with Pantry Essentials.  This week it’s Herbs & Spices, next week is Oils, Sauces & Marinades, followed by Baking…with many more ideas brewing!

Do you have a question that you want answered?

If so, please leave a comment or email me and ask the question and I will try and answer it.


Pantry Essentials: Herbs & Spices

Herbs & Spices

Firstly, I have to admit that these ingredients are all here because Captain America is the king of herbs and spices.  He knows just the right combination of herbs and spices to make any dish delicious.  He has taught me so much about seasonings since we have been married, and now I am a total convert.

There are a lot of herbs and spices in our pantry, but all of them are used all the time.  They are reasonably inexpensive based on the usage and well worth the initial purchase price for the taste enhancement they bring to your recipes.

There are various ways of buying them cheaper: buying in bulk at Costco or Sam’s Club offers many of the basics at much cheaper prices, if you have a space big enough to store them.  Most regular grocery stores have the others and they are often on sale, so wait for a sale and stock up then!

Here is the list:


Garlic Salt,

Sea Salt (in a grinder as it makes larger chunks which works better in certain recipes)

Regular table salt

Onion Salt

Celery Salt

Herbs & Spices


Chopped Chives

Bay Leaves



Oregano Leaves

Italian Seasoning

Parsley Flakes


Herbs & Spices


Chili Powder

Ground Cumin

Cayenne Pepper


Smoked Paprika

Crushed Red Pepper/Red Pepper Flakes

Ground Coriander

Herbs & Spices


Ground Mustard Powder

Ground Black Pepper

Herbs & Spices

Secret Ingredients:

Good Seasons Italian All Natural Salad Dressing & Recipe Mix – we use this as a key ingredient in our Italian Balsamic Dressing

Gourmet Garden Fresh Herbs – I use these ALL the time.  I have a selection of them in the fridge.  I really like them as it is a great way of having fresh herbs in the fridge without having to buy large bunches as most recipes only require a small amount.  They last around 2 months after opening and taste just as good as fresh herbs.

Herbs & Spices

Gourmet Garden Herbs
I really hope this helps you all, and don’t forget to leave a comment or email me if you have a question you want answering!

7 thoughts on “Domesticity 101 – Pantry Essentials

  1. Alison Kelly says:

    Most of the herbs you have mentioned grow really well in pots – either on a windowsill or by the kitchen door – and the plants are usually quite inexpensive. Then you don’t have to worry about keeping them fresh.


  2. Michelle Gallina says:

    Ruth, you may want to add to this post somewhere because it’s the BEST tip I received years ago when I was learning to cook. Go to the bulk bins in Whole Foods (or even WinCo if one is near you) to replenish your herbs! You can get the plastic empty containers at WinCo or any craft store (Hobby Lobby, Michaels) and label them. Then fill/refill the containers quickly and easily. I have saved a ton of money not buying in bulk at Costco (because the herbs eventually loose their taste after a year or two) and I go through my herbs so quickly.

    As an example of the savings, I went to Raley’s to buy Cardamom for a recipe I was making that afternoon. I bought a little packet for $3.50 to put into a container. I used it in my recipe and needed more ‘on hand’. Went to Whole Foods to buy Cardamom and I spent $1.07 which refilled my jar! Italian seasoning refill (again from bulk bin) was 17 cents!!! Even the cashier was amazed…actually saving at Whole Foods???

    Thanks for your lovely posts! xo


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