Stocking the Cupboard – Checklist

Stocking the Cupboard – Checklist

Wondering how to plan your meals on a budget? This strategic shopping advice from Nutrition student Lucie will help keep your cupboards stocked with all the essentials. 

When I first moved to university, I was slightly worried about what to actually buy in a supermarket. I’d walk in and there’d be so much choice. Aisles upon aisles loaded with an array of different foods and attractive colourful packaging. I was swamped on what to choose. Especially when I had a set budget each week to do my food shop with! So I thought by devising a brief “check list” of what I’ve learnt to buy over the years, it would be a handy resource to prevent any Fresher’s week flurries when it comes to making a food list for the first time. Also I hope this list can help inspire other students on what to buy when doing the weekly food stock-up, as well as allowing for the opportunity to create delicious meals every night of the week within a set budget.

A great site to determine where you’d like to shop for the cheapest produce is I calculated the full price of this shop and the average from all stores came to £30. However, note that the first shop is usually the most expensive, as essentials such as olive oil etc are a little more pricier. But remember, those pricier items are an investment for any kitchen, as they’ll save money in the long run! Without the investment foods, those that can be bought on a weekly basis come to an average of £15. Using these ingredients you could make a load of different meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, as they’re so versatile.

Feel free to adjust the list to whatever your food preferences. It’s just a template to help you know what to look for when you go shopping, so you don’t freak out and load your basket entirely with Kit-Kats! Do look for offers, but it’s best to plan out what you’d like to make each week. This will help you have an idea what you’re looking for exactly when you go shopping.

Cupboard Essentials

  • Salt and Pepper
  • Chilli powder
  • Garlic Paste
  • Stock cubes
  • Olive oil
  • Pasta*
  • Rice*
  • Tinned Chopped tomatoes
  • Tinned Kidney/Cannellini beans
  • Eggs
  • Honey
  • Peanut butter
  • Soy sauce
  • Plain flour
  • Tortilla wraps*
  • Bread*
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Bananas
  • Tinned tuna
  • Rolled Oats
  • Tea

Fridge Essentials

  • Greek yoghurt
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Milk
  • Chicken breasts
  • Spinach
  • Red/ yellow peppers
  • Butter

* Both white and wholegrain variations are an excellent source of energy as they’re great carbohydrates. However, for a nutritional boost, go for the wholegrain option as it is packed with more fibre. This will help keep you feeling fuller for longer!

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