I know I bang on about kitchen staples a lot, and how having a well-stocked pantry not only gives you the option to swap and change your meal plans around but also means you can whip up a meal on the fly in no time.
None of these cupboard staples are expensive but could end up helping you cut your weekly spend in half.
I buy all these items once or twice every three months or so. This means that they are always well stocked, and I have the versatility to change our meals around if and when needed, or, just bulk them up a little.
There’s no need to have all these in your kitchen before you start to cook for yourself. Buy one or two a week to find out what you and your family like, and see what works.
As you all know, I’m not a great cook, but having these items in helps me make easy and cheap food for the whole family on a daily basis.
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These ingredients are low cost but the most versatile. You don’t need fancy containers to keep them in, just cheap cable ties or clips from Poundland will do.
00 flour or bread flour
Oils and Sauces
Being a mum of two, our taste buds aren’t exactly out there. The kids love plain food, and as someone who grew up from a poor background, I like simple food, but these oils and sauces can really make even the most boring dinners shine.
For example, I make a simple slow cooked Bolognese for the kids and add some simple Worcestershire sauce for the adults.
Again, none of these items will break the bank and most don’t even need to go in the fridge when opened.
Also, no need to buy top quality, own brands are just as good. Sticking to what you can afford is far more important!
Herbs & Spices
Now, being pretty thrifty, I’m all about dry spices. It may be true in some insistences that fresh is best, but to me, I don’t think it makes that much of a difference.
Again, if you’re a chef, then that’s different, but in my very limited cooking career, with two fussy kids and a hungry husband, they really aren’t going to care.
There’s quite a few here, and I sue them differently depending on what kind of cuisine I cook.
Salt & Pepper
All Mixed Spice
These have a small shelf life but can be used in almost every recipe, so are easy to use up if the date goes.
Fat-Free Plain Yogurt
These have such a long shelf life that you won’t have to worry if you don’t use them from one month to the next.
Great way to add nutrition or bulk to meals.
Mixed carrots, peas and sweetcorn
Frozen fruit like Strawberries, Pineapples, and Blueberries
Yep, there is quite a bit here, but remember there is nothing inferior about chucking in a can of tinned tomatoes or using frozen fruit and vegetables.
Food like frozen sweetcorn are picked at their best and unless they’re picked from your garden, you won’t find a tastier or healthier sweetcorn than a frozen one.
Having these ingredients will help you to make a lot more exciting yet cheap meals the whole family will love, without the waste factor.