16 Foods You Should Have in Your Kitchen By the Time You're 25

You're an adult, so it's time to eat like one (most days, at least!).


Photo by: RightOne ©Christopher Stokey

RightOne, Christopher Stokey

By Rachel Trujillo

1. Eggs

Eggs are incredible. They can be eaten alone (in an almost infinite amount of ways) and they can be used for a variety of cooking needs. You never want to be caught mid-baking or early in the morning without a full carton in your fridge.

2. Butter

Again, butter is used for just about everything. You need it to spread on your toast, to cook your chicken, to put in your sauce, to toss with your noodles, etc. (The list could go on forever!) This item is an absolute must for your culinary journey into adulthood — you’ll look like a broke college student again without it.

3. Milk (or a Dairy Substitute)

Milk can be a pain to buy, I know. Whenever you need it, you never have it, and when you have it, you never use it. We recommend buying the smaller half gallons to save a little money.

4. Pasta Sauce

Whether you’re a real adult and made this stuff from scratch or you’re still working with the jarred version, pasta sauce is a must. Once you reach your mid-twenties, you don’t want to be relying on takeout and fast food when you don’t have the motivation to cook. With a can of sauce on hand (and some noodles in the pantry), you always have a go-to meal.

5. Dijon Mustard

Remember how you hated this stuff as a kid? Well you’re an adult now, which means you have a refined pallet and you can handle spicy Dijon mustard. (RIGHT?)


Photo by: Grafner ©Grafner

Grafner, Grafner

6. Ketchup

Look, we know that condiments can sometimes be expensive. But you just have to bite the bullet on this one. It’s no longer acceptable to use leftover McDonald’s ketchup packets anymore. You’re an adult, you deserve the bottle.

7. Grapes

While grapes aren’t the most-versatile fruits, these little bites make for great snacks, and they can keep you from reaching for the chips. They are great to munch on between meals and — as long as you are near a grocery store — are available all year.

8. Apples

To keep yourself from falling back on that carb-loaded bagel or sugar-filled cereal in the morning (those are great, but not for every day), keep a few apples on hand at all times. They are great for breakfast or a mid-day snack.

Shot of an open fridge with healthy food products


Shot of an open fridge with healthy food products

Photo by: Ljupco/iStock


9. Salad Greens

It might not have all the accoutrements that your local salad shop has, but your kitchen can become a domain for a healthy lunch. And the first step? Keeping some salad greens on hand at all times.

10. Tomatoes

The process of buying vegetables can be a stressful one. What do you buy? What do you do with all of it when you get home? Will the vegetables go bad by the time you get around to them? Well, if you keep at least one tomato on you at all times, you have a toast topping, a great salad or an ingredient for your own pasta sauce. Buy the tomato! You’ll use it, we promise!

11. Mushrooms

Not only are these little fungi delicious on eggs and steak, but mushrooms have a lot of health benefits to them as well. And you’re adult now, so it’s time to start worrying about these things!

12. Deli Meat

A simple sandwich with some deli meat might bring you back to childhood, but packing your own lunch for work actually makes you a mature adult. You’ll save money and you’ll probably have more energy than if you would have gotten that burrito you were craving.

13. Chicken

Not having anything for dinner should never be an excuse to not cook. Real adults know that having some kind of meat in the fridge can easily translate into a protein-packed meal. Sure, it might not be the most-exciting thing you’ve ever had, but thinking of food as fuel isn’t always a bad thing.

Ripe French camembert cheese and a slice

Fresh French camembert

Ripe French camembert cheese and a slice

Photo by: Picture Partners ©Copyright: (C) Picture Partners

Picture Partners, Copyright: (C) Picture Partners

14. Cheese

Throwing together a chic cheese plate will make you feel fancy (and mature). Remember those grapes I mentioned? Pair those with your fromage of choice and you are ready for house guests.

15. Greek Yogurt

Those little sugary yogurts are a thing of the past. You’re an adult now, and a healthy (and equally delicious) Greek yogurt is something that can really upgrade your meals. Whether you like it straight up for breakfast or choose to use it as a substitute for sour cream, keeping it around is the right choice.

16. Salsa

If you’re looking to add some extra spunk to your meal, salsa is an easy addition. Throw this stuff on your eggs or a potato and add some flavor to an otherwise lackluster meal.

Photo: iStock

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