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Store Cupboard Essentials

Since trying to reduce our food costs, we have become acutely aware at how expensive shop bought jar sauces are and have since started to make most things from scratch. The only things I now buy are stir fry sauce, curry sauce or paste and lasagne white sauce, purely because I haven't found a recipe that tastes good enough!
I keep a lot of essentials in my cupboards and here is a list of most of these, I'm sure I've missed a few things out but I'll add them if I come across more:

Cupboard Essentials: Herbs & Spices:
Cornflour Basil
Gravy Granules Oregano
Veg Stock Cubes Sage
Chicken Stock Cubes Thyme
Beef Stock Cubes Rosemary
Worcester Sauce Mixed Herbs
Soy Sauce Mint
Tomato Puree Garlic (Chopped, Bulb or Granules)
Olive Oil Cumin
Vegetable Oil Ground Coriander
Low Calorie Spray Mild Chilli Powder
Pasta Paprika
Long Grain Rice Smoked Paprika
Basmati Rice Bay Leaves
Passata Cinnamon
Tinned Tomatoes Ground Ginger
Mixed Spice
Baking Essentials: Pepper
Self Raising Flour Salt
Plain Flour
Caster Sugar Breadmaker Essentials:
Eggs Strong Flour
Margarine Dried Yeast for Breadmakers
Butter Skimmed Milk Powder
Icing Sugar Table Salt
Cocoa Butter
Vanilla Flavouring Sugar (Granulated or Caster)
Cake Cases
Popcorn Kernels
Porridge Oats
Golden Syrup
Sultanas or Raisins
Baking Powder

These things are not everyday essentials and are my own for what I cook, but if you are on a very tight budget I would say the bare essentials are as follows:

Tight Budget Everyday Essentials: Tight Budget Baking Essentials:
Mixed Herbs Self Raising Flour
Salt Plain Flour
Pepper Margarine
Garlic (Chopped, Bulb or Granules) Eggs
Gravy Granules Caster Sugar
Veg Stock Cubes Vanilla Flavouring
Cornflour Cake Cases & Muffin Tin
Olive Oil Or Sandwich Cake Tins
Pasta Baking Powder

I make cakes rather than buying them, and I sometimes make my own bread. I have to admit I don't find making my own bread cheaper but if I've not got any in the freezer or it's the end of the month and I'm strapped for cash then I've got the basics in the cupboard.



  1. I don't think you need a recipe for Lasagne sauce, I just melt a dab of butter, mix in enough plain flour to bring it into a soft ball, then mix in milk to the amount needed depending on layers/dish size. For a 4 person dish, I add a cup of cheese to the sauce in addition to cheese on top. Laverly stuff! Nice blog though :)

  2. Great thanks for the tip! I'll try that out next time I make lasagne!


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