Party-Ready Pantry Basics & Menu for the Week

I love just “winging it” in the summer, because you never know when a backyard party will happen or when a get-together is at your own house…in an hour! But even the most impromptu parties are less stressful with a little planning.

april menu

Some things that I love having on hand all the time, and usually keep stocked in the summer and why:

Canned Beans

  • Make a quick hummus
  • make a bean salad
  • chili
  • baked beans
  • process for refried beans for taco dip

Fun pasta shapes

  • pasta salad- (what did you think I would say?!)

Scallion & Parsely

  • Fresh Herbs, are great to any summer salad, but scallion and parsely are so universally easy to keep and use in so many recipes.  I think they are really neutral too, where no one really has a strong feeling against either one!

Frozen Lemonade Concentrate

  • I have used it a ton this summer already in pitcher-style alcohol drinks for parties!
  • My kids also, love this and it is way more affordable and less waste than juice boxes.
  • There is a super yummy recipe for lemonade-ice-box pie in a pinch.  Not super healthy, but super easy and well…delicious.

Corn Chips

  • For dips- What dip doesn’t want a corn-chip
  • For thickening my taco soup

S’mores makings

  • Yup.

Other On-Hand Items

  • Paper plates & plastic cup. I will explain this with one word: kids.  Lots and lots of kids. I am an earth friendly kind of gal…but I am also Me-friendly, which means I do love to minimize the washing or piling up of dishes and cups by seemingly millions of kids in my kitchen all summer!
  • Seltzer. I love to offer non-alcoholic drinks for the adults, and everyone loves seltzer.  Also, if I make a punch or Sangria, I use seltzer, not soda, as a mixer because it is less sweet and no sugar added.

Do I always have those things on hand? No.

But do I want to? Yes!

In my ideal world, it all goes to plan, but the reality is that well…that is just not the reality!

In that line of thinking, I will share with you my weekly menu for the week.  Do I always stick to this plan? Nope.  But just planning for it, makes it atleast an available option and it helps make me ready, or atleast somewhat prepared for another crazy week ahead! I get lots of ideas from

Menu Plan July 19-25

  • Order pizza (post beach!)
  • Leftover grill food from the weekend, salad
  • Breakfast for dinner (French Toast Sticks and eggs)
  • Crockpot fajitas
  • Chicken done Double Peppered! (Trying this- I think it will be YUM!)
  • Chicken Slaw Salad & MacNCheese for the kids! (exception to the 2 dinner thing!)

How I Menu Plan
Being a “Mean Mom” Makes For Healthier Kids: Meal Planning
5 Great Chicken Recipes to Get Out of a Dinner Rut
H.A.G. Recipe Archives

As always you can check out my link-ups with for more menu plan ideas too!

Do you have any go-to pantry item that you can’t live without during the summer?  Tell me in the comments- I would love to know!