Last week, my lovely friend Kat forwarded me the most adorable email. It was from a colleague of hers who was perplexed because he seemed to spend a lot of time and money in the supermarket and yet never actually seem to have anything to eat.
This is a really common problem, and used to happen to me all the time before I was taught how to stock my kitchen.
I think it’s partly the fact that, try as I might, I sometimes couldn’t avoid doing the shopping whilst hungry, with the inevitable result that I would get home and realise that I had just bought fifty pounds worth of cheese, a four-pack of loo-roll and very little else.
However, you can save yourself huge amounts of time, money and excess trips to the shops by simply ensuring that you have a well-stocked range of basics. It will involve some initial expense and effort, but I promise you that you will save an absolute fortune in time and money by always having the basic ingredients to numerous recipes to hand. It will cut down your takeaway bill substantially, and will mean that the only ingredients you will need to buy weekly are your fresh things.
Below, I have listed every basic item for the cupboard, the spice-rack, and the freezer.
I recommend doing a ‘fridge’ shop (fresh meat, vegetables, fruit, eggs etc) once a week, and the freezer and storecupboard can just be checked against the list and filled up once every couple of months.
Please note: I am aware that everyone’s tastes and eating habits are different, and that what works for me may not work for you. However, this is intended as a good basic guide to what you should try to keep in the house to enable you to cook what you want to, when you want it, with a minimum of extra effort and fuss. As you get into the swing of things, you will definitely find that you adapt it to suit your tastes and habits.
In addition, this list can be equally useful when you are moving into a new home – you can use it as a checklist to ensure that your new kitchen is properly stocked.
I’ve tried to put a note against each item to give a bit more detail, and I really hope this helps. This list has been compiled by me as a result of over half a decade of trial and error, and I hope that it saves you having to do the same yourself!
Now that you have the best-stocked kitchen known to man, you should only have to buy your fresh stuff – eggs, meats, fish, vegetables, butter, cream, cheese, milk and bakery stuff – on a weekly basis.
You can rest easy knowing that everything else you need, you have at home. Yay, look at you, you Domestic Goddess!
See you tomorrow!