30 Things I Keep in My Refrigerator, Plus 3 Things I Don’t

Here is a list of basic items I often keep in my refrigerator for those times when I need a quick breakfast of eggs or a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch. These foods help me put together fast meals, ensure that I usually have proper dips and toppings for things like salad or chicken fingers, and even help me make stir fry. Your own list may be different depending on dietary needs or personal preference. Feel free to print this list for your shopping trip.

  1. Milk
  2. Eggs
  3. Shredded cheese
  4. String cheese or block cheese cut into cubes for easy snacking
  5. Sliced cheese for sandwiches
  6. Lunch meat (I prefer preservative-free lunch meats.)
  7. 100% fruit juice
  8. Stick butter (salted and unsalted)
  9. Vegetable oil spread/margarine
  10. Leaf lettuce and/or spinach for salads and sandwich toppings
  11. Heavy whipping cream (for making homemade whipped cream)
  12. Ketchup
  13. Mustard
  14. Mayonnaise
  15. Dill pickle spears
  16. Dill pickle chips for hamburgers
  17. Sweet relish
  18. Honey mustard (for chicken nuggets or chicken fingers)
  19. Worcestershire sauce
  20. Ranch salad dressing
  21. Italian salad dressing
  22. Grated Parmesan cheese
  23. Shredded Parmesan cheese (a good salad topping or goes well on roasted veggies)
  24. Jelly or jam (I prefer low-sugar or all-fruit varieties)
  25. Tartar sauce
  26. Steak sauce
  27. Hot sauce (For use on eggs or in certain recipes such as Sticky Chicken Wings)
  28. Soy sauce
  29. Barbecue sauce
  30. Cocktail sauce for shrimp

Also, here are a few things I never keep in my fridge:

  1. Uncut tomatoes. The cold air negatively affects the texture and flavor of tomatoes, so keep them on the counter unless you’ve already sliced into them.
  2. High fructose corn syrup-based pancake syrup. The bottle states it does not need refrigeration. However, if you are using 100% pure maple syrup — the real thing — you will need to refrigerate it after opening.
  3. Vinegar. It’s acidic enough it will keep on the pantry shelf.

What sorts of ingredients are always in your fridge? Let us know in the comments.

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