A well-stocked store cupboard is essential for any home-cook. Keep stocked up on the basics and it’s easy to cook a meal for the whole family even when you think you’ve not got any food in. Here are 10 of the most useful store cupboard ingredients you need and they all cost well under £1 each!
Pasta Tesco Everyday Value Spaghetti 500g 24p
Pasta is cheap, filling and a favourite for all the family. It’s also incredibly versatile. Tomato and basil sauce, pesto, carbonara, bacon and cheese – the toppings for pasta are endless so you’ll be able to find something to please even the fussiest of eaters. Pasta’s also a great vehicle for disguising veg if you’ve got kids who aren’t keen on their greens. Chop it up small and mix it in, and they’ll be well on the way to their 5-a-day.
TIP: Always season the water with salt when you’re cooking pasta. Most of the salt will be thrown out with the water, but it will make sure your pasta isn’t bland.
Rice Tesco Everyday Value Long Grain Rice 1kg 40p Quick to cook, healthy and cheap, rice is a store cupboard must-have for every family. Chicken in white wine sauce, chilli con carne and ratatouille are just some of the easy dishes you can make to go with rice.
TIP: Rinse thoroughly before cooking and use the absorption method to get perfect, fluffy rice. This means using the same amount of water (cup for cup) as rice. Bring to the boil and then simmer until all the water has gone.
Mixed herbs Tesco Everyday Value Mixed Herbs 18g 19p
Mixed herbs can be added to loads of different dishes including spaghetti bolognese, chicken casserole, vegetable soup – they also work well sprinkled on cheese on toast.
TIP: Mixed herbs include thyme, oregano and basil so tend to work well with Italian dishes.
Curry powder Tesco Everyday Value Medium Curry Powder 50g 52p
If you can’t be bothered grinding spices with a pestle and mortar every time you want to add a curry kick to a dish, then ready-made curry powder could be the answer.
TIP: When using curry powder, make sure you add it while you’re frying off the onion. This will make sure all the flavours are fully released.
Chopped tomatoes Tesco Everyday Value Chopped Tomatoes 400g 31p
Tomatoes count towards your 5-a-day and are a great base for loads of dishes including bolognese, chilli con carne and some curries (generally the healthier ones!).
TIP: To make a delicious homemade tomato pasta sauce, simple fry off an onion, a bit of garlic and tip in a tin of chopped tomatoes. Add a big pinch mixed herbs and simmer until it reduces to a sauce-like consistency. Easy peasy!
Tinned tuna Tesco Everyday Value Tuna Chunks In Brine
Tuna makes a great sandwich filling for lunch or picnics, but it also works well in pasta bakes or served with jacket potatoes – a sure hit with the kids. It’s a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids which reduce the chance of heart disease.
TIP: Add fat-free tzatziki to your tuna rather than mayonnaise for a healthier alternative.
Flour Everyday Value Plain or Self-Raising Flour 1.5kg – 52p
Baking with the kids and great fun and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Butter, self-raising flour, sugar and eggs are all you need to knock up a batch of fairy cakes. Plain flour is really useful in the kitchen for thickening sauces.
TIP: Stir in a spoonful of plain flour while you’re browning meat. It will help thicken the sauce without producing lumps.
Baked beans Tesco Everyday Value Baked Beans In Tomato Sauce 420g 26p
There’s nothing quite like beans on toast when you want a quick dinner for the kids or you’re after a snack for yourself. But there’s so much more you can do with beans. Add them into shepherd’s pie next time you make one. It’ll make a whole extra portion for next to nothing, and will make the meal even more filling for growing kids.
TIP: Add a spoonful of curry powder to your beans to give them an extra kick.
Sweetcorn Tesco Everyday Value Sweetcorn 325g – 35p
Tinned vegetables are really useful to have in your store cupboard. Fresh vegetables are a great source of vitamins for the whole family, but how often have you ended up throwing away a soft carrot or a yellowing bit of broccoli? Canned vegetables count towards your 5-a-day too, and have a shelf-life of months, rather than days.
TIP: Add sweetcorn or peas to rice when you serve it to the kids. It’ll become a firm favourite in no time.
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Oats Tesco Everyday Value Oats 1kg – 75p
Porridge is a fabulous, cheap and easy breakfast for the whole family. And it needn’t get boring, just add different toppings to keep the kids interested. Honey, fresh fruit, raisins, cinnamon, the list goes on. Plus, oats are a slow-release carbohydrate, so they’ll stay fuller for longer.
TIP: Mix oats with sugar, butter and flour and you’ve got yourself a delicious crumble topping.
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