Stocking the pantry - what are the bare essentials?

My husband and I just bought our first home. The kitchen is fairly small and we want to keep the pantry to the essentials to (a) eliminate waste and (b) save space. We've never stocked a kitchen from scratch before. What do you consider your essentials? Also, the basement is large and dry so we could put a pantry down there for large/dry/canned items if needed.

 

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