Two eggs and a glass of milk on a grey napkin on a wooden surface (with logo overlay)

Refrigerator and Freezer Staples + FREE Checklist

There are some food items that should always be in your refrigerator and freezer to make meals quick and easy. Get your FREE checklist of refrigerator and freezer staples.

Last week we talked about the staple foods for a well-stocked pantry. Now let’s discuss those refrigerator and freezer staples. Since most of the cold foods are ones that don’t keep as long as pantry items, the list is smaller.

Similar to the pantry checklist, this list assumes you are starting with an empty refrigerator, or just getting started cooking. This list doesn’t cover everything but does have most of the basics. These are the items that I automatically purchase as soon as I am low or out because they are used so often.

Or, this is a great list for when you move. Sometimes we can take those pantry items with us, but it’s difficult to move cold foods. Use the refrigerator and freezer staples checklist to stock up again once you get in your new home.

Originally Published On: May 3, 2018

Last Updated On: June 15, 2021

List of Refrigerator and Freezer Staples


  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Jam
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Sour Cream
  • Condiments (ketchup, mustard, etc.)
  • Cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan, feta, etc.)


  • Frozen Fruit
  • Frozen Vegetables
  • Meat, Poultry, Fish

Get the Free Checklist

Get Your FREE Refrigerator/Freezer Staples Checklist here: 

Sometimes I make the mistake of thinking I have these items when I don’t, then get in trouble when it comes to making a meal. I will say I am the worst at making sure I have enough sour cream, for whatever reason, I just always assume it’s in there.

Just like with the pantry items, you want to make sure that you are storing your food properly and in airtight containers. There are a lot of options out there that are made of plastic, but we are trying to really cut down on the amount of plastic and waste that comes into the house. I’ve been using glass jars for storage for a few months now, and it works just as well. A few of the containers are ones I purchased if I need a specific size, but most of the jars I use are cleaned out from sauces and other foods that come in glass.

Obviously, since it’s made of glass, it can break easier, but it’s much more environmentally friendly and will last a lot longer as well. Please consider helping our beautiful Earth and the oceans by opting for glass containers over plastic.

46 thoughts on “Refrigerator and Freezer Staples + FREE Checklist”

  1. I do a bunch of freezing. Always good to know what can be kept in the refrigerator or the freezer. I try to always use glass.

  2. I am trying to switch to using/buying glass containers over plastic as well. I’ve been hearing so many bad things about plastic lately. Like you shouldn’t heat things up in plastic in the microwave and plastic water bottles left in the sun or hot car you shouldn’t drink…

    1. Yes! I refuse plastic if something is hot. I’m slowly stocking up my glass containers. I have a lot of jars now that I’ve saved, but still need more leftover container-style glass.

    1. I love having checklists! Especially, as you said, when you need to know if you have something in the house. Then you aren’t spending money on something you have or missing something you don’t.

  3. The ones on your list are like the basic fundamental fridge essentials and we always make sure we have those stocked! Things go haywire when we dont 😀

  4. Neely Moldovan

    I love this! Super helpful. I feel like sometimes we are missing basic staples this is good to have on hand to check off!

  5. The current lockdown situation requires us all to stock essential food items. Apart from the items mentioned in the list above, we also ensure we have a good stock of peanut butter. It’s a healthy and delicious snack that all three of us in the house love!

  6. Melanie williams

    The checklist is actually really helpful. the amount of time we go to the shops and forget the basics is crazy x

    1. I know, it happens to me, too! That’s why I like having checklists. These are things I assume are in the house and run into issues when they aren’t!

    1. We love smoothies here, and it’s a great way to get a lot of fruits and veggies in. That’s exactly why we keep frozen ones on hand, they are cheaper and work better for a smoothie.

  7. LOL oh, I am glad you cannot see our refrigerator, Stephanie! It contains like 20,000 partial bottles of random hot sauces and marinades, too! – all “essential” to my dear husband, of course! I just wish he would sometimes finish some off and NOT replace them too soon! 🙂

    1. Hah, well if you consider them essential, then they are for you! I would definitely have a hard time with so many half-used bottles, though!

  8. I always shop with a shopping list so I won’t forget much needed items. But sometimes, like everyone else, I drop the ball and it irks me. I love your standard items checklist because it would always be pinned to the fridge as a reminder. Love the idea.

  9. I’m in the middle of a pantry re-organization. I either don’t have something I need or else have too much of it. Lol.

    1. Hah, I’ve been there before! Reorganizing my entire kitchen, pantry included, is still on my list of things to do in the next couple of weeks.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *