We know that cooking wholesome meals at home, from scratch, is good for us, but sometimes you go to the cupboard, and well it is bare and calling for a take-away seems like the easiest option.
Easy yes, healthy no and cost-effective, definitely not.
By simply stocking up on the essentials once a month, you will find it so much easier to keep on track with meal planning and making.
These are the basic staple for many casseroles, sauces, soups and stews so stock up on this true all-rounder.
Pulses and beans
Chickpeas, red kidney beans and lentils are packed with fibre and protein and can be used in curries, casseroles, for dips and in salads. You can also use them to make homemade baked beans that taste amazing but come with less sugar and salt than supermarket versions.
We know fresh is great but don’t be without a stash of tinned tuna, salmon and sardines. Once washed, these can all be added to pasta, rice, salads and so much more. You may also want to add anchovies to that list as they pack a real flavour punch.
This is a one stop wonder for everyone. Pasta can be used for bakes, packed lunches, a tasty tea or a chunky addition to soup. Buy in bulk and add in whole grains too.
We love whole grain rice because it is full of fibre as well as slow-release energy. Not just as a side for curries, this pantry staple can be mixed into salads, eaten with pulled pork or mixed with hard-boiled eggs and kippers and you have a fast, tasty, healthy supper in seconds.
This little wonder food is full of protein and has become really popular recently, for good reason. It is has traditionally been eaten with spicy tagines but also goes well with a stodgy stew. Add some dried apricots and raisins and you a salad base that really can’t be beaten.
Just like pasta, these budget basics can be used across the board and add bulk and texture to soups, stir-fries and veggie curries.
This kitchen multi-tasker is great on toast and stirs right into porridge but it can add a little something special to marinades, sauces and your cake baking. You can also mix with mustard to create the most delicious meat dishes.
No kitchen can be without a bottle of decent olive oil.
Forget the fish and chip shop, red, white, cider and balsamic vinegars can really bring your meals alive. Salad dressings, marinades and rich sauces can all be enhances with vinegar and the flavours you can create are out of this world.
AND THE REST
We all have different tastes and budgets but some of the other basics to keep in your kitchen cupboards include:
Herbs and spices – a decent collection will last for ages so don’t scrimp on flavours
Salt and pepper
Tomato purée (add a flavour punch to lots of different dishes)
Plain, self-raising and bread flour plus dried yeast
Sugar (white and brown)
Baking powder and bicarbonate of soda
Condiments such as tomato ketchup, brown sauce, mayonnaise and Tabasco are a must for many.
Team Pure Beauty