Rachael Ray's 'Staple' Grocery List Is Exhaustingly Long

"There's food at home" — the dreaded words no one wants to hear when all you want is takeout. But the advice is well-meaning and intended to save you money. But according to the Department of Labor, 2022 inflation has caused a 13.1% rise in grocery prices versus 7.6% for restaurants (via Modern Farmer). However, KTLA75 emphasizes that the disparity is because fast-food restaurants haven't raised their prices, also pointing out that eating at home is healthier than "cheaper fast food."

If you're looking to get dinner on the table without spending a ton of time in the kitchen, though, no one has home cooking down to a timed science quite like Rachael Ray. The Food Network icon is known for getting dinner done in 30 minutes or less. And while her timing is impeccable, health is also top of mind. In 2007, Ray started nonprofit Yum-o! to teach kids and families "how to make affordable, healthy meals so they can develop healthier relationships with food." These meals can be made with items found in the pantry, per Ray's website.

So, what exactly does the celebrity chef have in her pantry? Fair warning: The list is exhaustingly long.

Rachael Ray keeps things spicy

In an image posted on the "Rachael Ray Show" website, a typical list for a week's worth of food in her household spans three handwritten pages. You'll find items that are to be expected, such as olive oil, chicken stock, and pasta. But the list under the "baking goods and spices" category runs particularly long. This is because spices have a limited shelf life and require frequent replenishing. Six months, to be exact, according to Rachael Ray, who suggests buying spices in the smallest quantity possible. Anything over that six month mark "should be thrown out," she adds.

The National Library of Medicine cites "ample evidence that spices and herbs possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory ... and glucose- and cholesterol-lowering activities." And those are properties you'd want to maximize on while the spices are in their prime. To stretch your budget, know that whole spices stay fresher longer than the ground varieties (per Healthline). That's good news for Ray, who likes to use grated nutmeg in her food.