Taking stock of your fridge’s contents and your pantry shelves can go along way to making creative, delicious food for yourself and your family without running to the store every time you want to get dinner on the table. Fruits and vegetables are best bought once or twice a week, with the most seasonal (which also means more local and less expensive) varieties going into your shopping basket first. Off-season frozen fruits and vegetables make great substitutes (raspberries in December, green beans in February) but in my personal experience, with the exception of very few things, I avoid most produce when canned (you’ll see exceptions to this rule in the lists below).
The following list is my suggestion for what to have handy if you want good variety in your cooking arsenal. Not all things will appeal to you, not all will be available to you, but it does cover the basics and gives you a sound starting point.