Store Cupboard Essentials

Written by: UPSU


Whether you are leaving home for the first time or a returning student, you may be stuck for what to put on your shopping list that won't be too expensive. Rest assured; we are here to let you know our top food picks to keep in the cupboard that can spruce up any meal! 


1) Chopped Tomatoes 

Everyone should have at least one tin of chopped tomatoes in their cupboard. They can be used as the base ingredient for many different dishes such as Spaghetti Bolognese, a pasta sauce, or even a curry! 

(Top tip: Look in the World Food aisle of your local supermarket or in Asian supermarkets for these - they are often cheaper!) 

2) Stock Cubes 

Adding stock cubes to rice, pasta and sauces will quickly give any dish a boost; with so many different options including beef, lamb, chicken, vegetable, fish and more, these will take your meals from a 6 to a 10! 


3) Salt and pepper 

These seasonings are so versatile and can be used in virtually any meal - perfect for if you don’t want to buy any extra herbs or spices. 


4) Baked Beans 

Baked beans are another staple for your kitchen cupboard; you can have them for beans on toast, as a side to a meal, or even to bulk out a chilli or curry.  

5) Pesto 

Pesto is great to use for a quick lunch or snack when mixed with pasta (Please note that this does contain nuts).  


6) Pasta 

Pasta is a staple, low-cost food that can be used for snacks, lunches and dinners. You can pair pasta with so many different food items to create verstatile meals on a budget.

7) Rice 

Rice is another ingredient that can bulk out main meals or be used as a side dish. Try cooking some rice and mixing with cooked egg and soy sauce - you will then have homemade egg fried rice.


8) Onions and Garlic 

Onions and garlic can turn pretty much anything into a tasty meal. Whether you’re making a simple curry or a pasta sauce, they’re the base of pretty much everything you cook in a pan!  

(Tip: You can buy chopped onion that is frozen and even chopped up garlic in jars for little cost! It saves time, money and the food will last a lot longer). 


9) Mixed dried herbs 

Using a variety of mixed dried herbs is the secret to cooking yummy food on the cheap. It’s all about choosing the herbs you like most: we recommend mixed herbs and an Italian seasoning to get you started!  


10) Tomato Puree 

A tube of tomato puree will cost you around 60p and is perfect for pairing with a tin of chopped tomatoes if you’re making a pasta sauce.