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Building up store cupboard

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
17 replies 2.7K views
johnjay_3johnjay_3 Forumite
11 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
Hello everyone

I am moving back to the UK in a few weeks and having been an avid reader of this forum for quite sometime thought I'd ask your advice.

I am going to be on quite a strict budget to feed a family of 2 adults and 3 children. I need to build a store cupboard from scratch and would welcome any suggestions of what I should buy.

I should be able to scrape together a fairly decent amount of money for my first shop. This will be my store cupboard shop with a week or 2's groceries and then I will have to cut back quite a bit.

So, what's in your store cupboard that you couldn't be without?

Appologies if this is repeated in another thread, please feel free to move if required or direct me to another thread.

Thank you


  • no.1swimmumno.1swimmum Forumite
    1.5K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Hi, let me extend you an early welcome back to the UK.
    I like to cook but time is limited but I always have and could not live with out plain and self raising flour, caster sugar for baking, eggs, pasta, tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, green lentils (make a cheap cottage pie base with tomatoes, mixed veg) , hotdogs (can be used in pasta sauce, my kids love it), vegetable stock, powdered milk, jelly and tinned fruit - for an easy dessert.
    I have always shopped at the large supermarkets but in the last 6 months I have started shopping at Lidl it is a lot cheaper than the larger supermarkets and for example the same brand caster sugar is 40p a pack cheaper there. Hope this is helpful
  • elf06elf06 Forumite
    1.5K posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Hi - my advice would be similar to no.1swimmum! I would suggest four of various kinds (sr, plain and strong white), tinned toms,pasta, herbs, red lentils, oats, cocoa powder (i make micro choc puds which are v cheap and also use a teaspoon in bol and chilli), veg stock cubes.
    If things are going to be tight try making your own bread etc and it will go a lot further.
    Also a must is butter, milk, eggs......
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  • PrimrosePrimrose Forumite
    9.5K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts I've been Money Tipped!
    I wouldn't be without:
    Dry pasta (various varieties). Lon grained rice. Red lentils. Tinned tomatoes. Various tins of beans (for soups & making mixed bean salads with leftofter ham, chicken, tinned tuna etc.) Stock cubes (chicken & oxo). Large jar of cooking oil. Plain flour. Selection of herbs & seasonings. Tomato ketchup.
  • viv0147viv0147 Forumite
    1.7K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Photogenic I've been Money Tipped!
    Hi for the last three Sundays I go shopping in Tesco at 3pm and the reductions are brilliant I can buy a loaf of bread for in-between 15p and 40p the fruit and veg really big reductions and meats etc not always but I normally have a few bargains and I occasionally strike gold the week before last I spent £7.96 and had food to the value of £25.56 my freezer is full now Lol
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  • edited 2 January 2010 at 12:06PM
    OlliebeakOlliebeak Forumite
    3.2K posts
    edited 2 January 2010 at 12:06PM
    Buy a couple of dried herbs/spices in your first shop and then add maybe one or two a month until you have a good assortment - start with Dried Mixed Herbs and perhaps a Mild/Medium Chilli Powder as those will be useful in so many things.

    If your family will use it in teas/coffees/cereals, make sure that you keep some Longlife Milk in the cupboard AND some dried milk - these can save you a small fortune mid-week as they'll stop you 'popping to the supermarket' when you run out of fresh. It's those 'quick trips for milk and/or bread' that can absolutely ruin your budget.

    Don't be scared of using SmartPrice/Value/Basics ranges of things - I always buy potatoes (£1.36 for 10lbs), carrots (84p for 4lbs), onions (88p for 4lbs), root veg packs (£1.36 for carrots/onion/parsnips/swede) this way.
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  • slummymummyof3slummymummyof3 Forumite
    2K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Try shopping in Aldi or Lidl as it is significantly cheaper than the big supermarkets. You will have a 'store' cupboard that is far fuller
  • thriftlady_2thriftlady_2 Forumite
    9.1K posts
    I've been Money Tipped!
    This is my basic list at the moment.

    Baking supplies
    Flour-plain, self-raising and bread (wholemeal and white)
    baking powder, bicarb, yeast
    cocoa, coconut, sunflower seeds
    walnuts, almonds
    sultanas, dried apricots, raisins
    caster sugar, demerara, soft brown sugar
    golden syrup, black treacle

    Dry goods
    oatcakes, popcorn kernels
    long grain rice

    dried pulses-chick peas, mung beans (for sprouting), kidney beans, haricot beans, red lentils, green lentils

    Tins and cartons- tomatoes, tomato puree, passata, tuna, mackerel, baked beans
    UHT milk and dried milk for yogurt making (not essential-can use fresh milk)

    Sauces and flavourings
    Worcester, soy, mayo, honey, mustard (dijon, English), marmite, ketchup
    jams, jellies, chutneys, pickles (all hm)
    wine vinegar, olive oil, sunflower oil,
    large selection of spices and herbs
    sherry, vermouth

    tea, ground coffee

    eggs, milk, butter, lard, yogurt (hm), bacon, ham, cheddar, parmesan

    pittas, hm loaves and rolls
    breadcrumbs -from hm bread
    berries (home picked/grown+ blueberries)
    peas, sweetcorn
    Whole chickens, mince, sausages,
    hm chicken stock, whatever fish I've bought for the week
  • edited 2 January 2010 at 12:06PM
    LadyhawkLadyhawk Forumite
    2.1K posts
    edited 2 January 2010 at 12:06PM
    Just wondering why people are buying caster sugar?

    There is a premium for it though it is very easy to make your own. Just put the amount you need in a coffee grinder/ liquidiser/ food processor for about 20 secs and there you have it...

    Oh and my essentials are:
    Cake flour
    Self raising flour
    mixed herbs
    Oxo cubes (I know HM stock is nicer...)
    granulated sugar
    Spiral pasta
    Lasagne sheets
    jam ( made a bumper load of strawberry jam over the summer... I was given 7kg of strawbs at once!)
    tinned tomatoes
    tomato sauce
    rice (I prefer basmati)
    tinned sweetcorn
    tinned MSC tuna (I won't eat it unless it is MSC certified as coming from well managed fisheries)
    Mrs Balls Chutney
    curry spice
    Rapeseed oil
    Olive oil
    Balsamic vinegar
    White wine vinegar
    Sun dried tomatoes (I turned 3kg of tomatoes that I was given at the same time as the strawbs into oven dried toms)

    Good luck with the move!
    Man plans and God laughs...
    Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry. But by demonstrating that all people cry, laugh, eat, worry and die, it introduces the idea that if we try to understand each other, we may even become friends.
  • blend it for a little longer and you can make your own iceing sugar as well!
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  • OlliebeakOlliebeak Forumite
    3.2K posts
    I've got a blender but not everybody has - especially if just starting out again.

    I have found that for many types of cake, granulated gives very good results. I often use it for basic Victoria Sandwich Cakes and scones - though if I'm doing something for a present, I always use caster sugar and butter (if it's just for us, I use Sunflower Margarine).
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