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Do you find yourself finally deciding which meal you fancy cooking only to discover you don’t have one of the basic ingredients? Keeping your kitchen stocked with staple items means you can always whip up a home cooked meal when needed.
It’s also great to have your basics stocked up for emergency preparedness – you never know when shopping might become a challenge due to shortages, bad weather, illness, or yup, you guessed it, a global pandemic!
These basic pantry staple ingredients are versatile, long-lasting and usually inexpensive, so you can stock up your pantry on a budget. You don’t need to rush out and get everything in one go, adding a couple of items with each shop can help build up your supplies over time.
Not everyone will have the same list as we all have our preferred go-to ingredients, but here’s a basic list of popular pantry staples to use as a guide.
Store Cupboard Essentials List
Dry goods form the basis of your staple supplies. They last a long time and are super versatile; you can use them for so many different meals. They are usually cheap to buy (bulk buy for better bargains) and you can store them in airtight containers like these to help them last longer.
Make sure to keep these ingredients out of direct sunlight, in a dry and cool environment.
- Flour: Strong bread flour, self raising, plain, cornflour
- Baking powder
- Bicarbonate of soda
- Dry beans
- Cocoa Powder
- Dried fruit
- Powdered milk
Vinegar, oils and sauces
For cooking with and flavouring, having some oils to hand is useful.
- Olive oil – for frying, baking or finishing
- Vegetable oil – for baking, frying and sautéing
- Malt Vinegar
- Balsamic vinegar – for dressing and flavour
- Cider vinegar – for pickles
- Rice vinegar – for flavour
- Red wine vinegar – for sauces, marinades and dressing
- Soy sauce
These are great for convenience; for when you’re short on time, or when fresh foods aren’t readily available. They have long expiry dates and tend to be inexpensive, so make a good addition to your store cupboard essentials.
- Tinned tomatoes
- Tomato puree
- Cocunut milk
- Tinned beans
- Soup – for when you don’t have the time or inclination to make from scratch.
- Canned meats – corned beef, spam, chicken, ham
- Tinned fruit
Herbs, spices and sweeteners
Dried herbs, spices and sweeteners can last a good length of time if stored well and are great for adding some flavour and making your meals more interesting. Which spices you stock up on will vary based on personal taste but here’s some most commonly used.
- Salt – a seasoning not a spice but used in most recipes
- Cayenne Pepper
- Golden Syrup
- Maple Syrup
- Vanilla Essence
For the fridge
Whilst we’re mainly talking about preparing and keeping well stocked store cupboards, if you can keep your refrigerator stocked with some pantry staples, you’ll easily be able to whip up a huge range of meals whenever you need. Here’s some basics to cover most recipes needing fresh ingredients.
- Plain Yoghurt
- Fresh Veg
For the freezer
A lot of foods can be frozen, but always check first! Keeping some frozen fruit and vegetables means in the absence of fresh you can still add some vegetable goodness to your cooking.
- Fruits – berries are a good choice
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