Growing up with little money our mum was a hero when it came to making meals out of just what we had in the cupboard. We had no car and limited money so we couldn’t get to the supermarket each week like most families.
With a smart affordably well stocked kitchen you can put together a full healthy meal without having to go to the shops to pick up new ingredients each time. Below I’ve put together a list of all the best things to have stocked and ready in your kitchen so you can make a healthy meal at any time. This is also going to save you a fortune on your food bills! Lots of things on this list you will only need to buy once and they will last for years.
Store cupboard Essentials
cans of chopped tomatoes
Used in lots of recipes, very handy for putting together some quick sauces.
cans of kidney beans
Great to add to sauces and dishes to add texture, fibre and protein.
can of chickpeas – Brilliant source of protein. Add to salads and curries or you can turn it into home made hummus.
cans of chickpeas
Brilliant source of protein. Add to salads and curries or you can turn it into home made hummus.
cans of Tuna
Brilliant and cheap source of protein. Can be used in sandwiches, wraps etc.
cans of fruit
A great way of keeping fruit that does not go off. Great for adding to smoothies or yogurt to create a healthy snack.
Easy to grab and boil together with a sauce for a quick meal.
Quick and easy source of carbs to add to stir fries.
Very quick and easy to make, just add boiling water and come back in 5 minutes and it’s ready. A brilliant healthy source of carbs.
Great to have in the cupboard. Can be used to make porridge, sprinkle into yogurts and used in lots of healthy recipes.
Good for adding to sauces and recipes, Just add boiling water.
Sauces, pastes and oils
Can be added to tomato sauces to thicken and add richness.
Low fat mayonnaise
flavour with herbs to create cold pasta sauces. Also works well with tuna in sandwiches.
Add a few drops for instant heat.
Add to stir-fries and noodles. Also works great for adding flavour to rice dishes.
Great for cooking and adding to salads.
Great for making salad dressings or adding a kick of sweetness to tomato sauces.
Good quality curry paste
Great to have in the cupboard. An easy way to make a quick healthy curry. Can also be rubbed into meat for a great instant marinade.
Dried herbs and spices
Dried herbs and spices are great because unlike fresh herbs they last pretty much forever. Use these to add flavour to any of your food. Here’s some staples to get you started.
Salt and black pepper
staple for seasoning most dishes.
sprinkle these into sauces and soups to add a quick kick.
Mixed italian herbs
Great fast flavour for sauces
Sprinkled over porridge and sauces to add healthy sweetness.
A warmer and spicier alternative to black pepper
Great to add to curries and tomato sauces
Adds great flavour and colour. sprinkle on home-made chips and wedges.
These staples will make sure there’s always something in your fridge if you need to whip up a quick healthy meal.
Fresh washed salad
Good to go when you fancy.
A muscle building staple
Greek style yogurt
Can be used as a healthy alternative to cream in lots of recipes.
When you need to give something that extra kick.
A great source of healthy fat.
A little bacon can add tons of flavour to lots of recipes.
The freezer is your best friend when it comes to saving money on your food bills. By buying frozen meat and vegetables in bulk you can save lots of money. And you don’t need to worry about anything going off and getting wasted.
Great healthy greens. These can be cooked perfect from frozen in under 5 minutes.
Frozen mixed vegetables
Always make sure you have a bag of mixed frozen vegetables. A great way to get the benefits of lots of vegetables with a massive money saving over buying individually fresh.
Frozen broccoli is perfect. You can even cook this from frozen in the microwave in under 5 minutes.
Always have bread on demand when you need it without having to worry about it going off. No need to defrost you can put frozen slices directly into the toaster for perfect toast.
Buy in bulk at your local butcher and freeze for huge savings. If buying chicken breasts pre frozen make sure you check that they are class A with no added water. Ingredients should be chicken breast and nothing else.
Fish is much cheaper frozen and still cooks well baked in the oven.
Minced lean beef
Great to have in the freezer on demand. You can even create little healthy burgers and cook them from frozen when you fancy one.
Frozen chopped onions
Run out of onions? A quick handful of frozen chopped onions in a pan works great if you need to add onion to your recipe.
Frozen garlic cubes
Blend up a large batch of skinned garlic bulbs and a little olive oil. Divide up into an ice cube tray. Throw in the pan frozen when cooking.