It’s great to have fresh ingredients, but there are some things you just need to have in your kitchen. Store cupboard staples are the cornerstone of smart cooking. Why? Because you can do so much with them!

But it’s often hard to know which items you’ll actually use and won’t get lost at the back of the cupboard, never to be seen again. This is where our Meal Packs app comes in. With the help of our chefs, we’ve crafted a smart list of staple store cupboard ingredients to make midweek cooking a breeze. You’ll find all the staples you’ll ever need to cook up your meals on the Meal Packs app. So, how can you make sure you’re really making the most of those ingredients?

1. Simplify Your Cooking

A well-stocked store cupboard means less stress over deciding what to buy every week. We designed the Meal Packs app so you don’t have to worry about that choice! All our Meal Packs are based on the same list of staples that you’ll use time and time again, so you won’t have to go rushing out to get loads of fancy ingredients for every new Pack. This makes your weekly shop – and your cooking – a whole lot simpler. Just add a few fresh ingredients to your shopping basket each week. 

2. Spend Less on Your Weekly Shop

Having a few key staples will bring down the cost of your meals too. Sorted Meal Packs are super cost-effective because they rely on set store cupboard basics that’ll constantly be used across the Packs recipes. That also means less waste – you won’t be left with lots of sad half bags of different grains, because we favour just the one to make it easier for you to manage. Buy ‘em up in larger bags too! They’re cheaper and will last much longer. Plus, you’ll never need to chuck that last little bit away – simply combine with your next bag. 

3. Refill When You Need To

Nobody wants to be running out of those essentials! The shopping list on the Meal Packs app will remind you what staples you’ll need for the Packs you’ve chosen, so you know what to add to your shopping list. Then it’s up to you how you refill. We are all about reducing food and packaging waste, and refill centres are a great way to combat this! And it doesn’t have to be expensive: buying in bulk helps bring your costs down, as well as your consumption of single-use plastic. Refilling bottles of oil will save you splurging on that pricey glass or fancy plastic packaging too. Win win!

4. Store Your Staples Wisely

Lots of staples come in tins, which are fairly easy to store. But if you’re topping up from refill centres, make sure you’re storing your staples in a smart way to lengthen their life. Pop them in airtight jars and Tupperware to ensure they last as long as possible. Store your staples in the right place – a lot of them belong in the store cupboard, but things like mustard and mayo need to be kept in the fridge once opened. 

5. Organise Organise Organise!

Organisation is key to managing your store cupboard. First of all, keep your staples in one place so they’re easy to access when you’re in a rush to cook that midweek meal. Label them up so you know the difference between your salt and your sugar – nobody wants to be seasoning pasta water with sugar! Finally, keep an eye on your ingredients so you know when to top up. And when you do buy new stock, put it at the back and move your older stuff forward to avoid losing old tins in the darkest depths of your cupboards. 

6. Feeling Lazy?

There are days when dragging yourself out of the house and all the way to the shops just seems impossible. We’ve all been there! But with just a few store cupboard staples you won’t need to even leave the house. Whip up a stir-fry with your soy sauce and sesame oil, or make a quick but delicious pasta sauce with tomato puree and herbs. Dinner sorted. 

7. Chuck ‘Em in Everything

The great thing about store cupboard essentials is that they’re so versatile you can use them in loads of other dishes too. So once you’ve cooked all the meals in your Pack, you’ll still have ingredients for the rest of your week’s cooking. Those basics are super nutritious too – you can cook a variety of other healthy meals with them. And because the store cupboard ingredients are common to all the Meal Packs, you can always check back in your library and cook up your fave meal from a Pack you’ve already tried – you’ve probably got half the ingredients already!

8. Upgrade Your Basics

Once you’ve got your absolute basics sorted, you’re free to get a bit more creative with your staples. There are a few hero products we love for extending your store cupboard – whether you use ’em once a week or once a month, they’re great for taking your midweek meals to new places without much effort. Here are our top 4:

  • Gochujang Paste – love that sweet and spicy umami taste? Get yourself some Korean gochujang and rub it on meats, blend it in mayos and add it to stews for new levels of flavour. You could even try whipping up a cheat’s kimchi with leftover raw cabbage.
  • Garam Masala – if you don’t know where to start with all the incredible Indian spices out there, garam masala might be the one for you. This spice mix can vary depending on where you buy it, but it’s always great for transforming curries, dhals and warming soups.
  • Tomato Ketchup – it may sound silly, but hear us out here. Tomato ketchup is pretty much the perfect combo of sweetness, acidity and salt – all your basic seasonings in one! Use it to hack your way to flavour in sauces – it’s particularly good in sweet ‘n’ sour chicken.
  • Anchovies – a great way of adding natural depth and saltiness to your food. Blend into dressings, stuff into meats before roasting or toss through pasta with plenty of Parmesan, fresh tomatoes and basil for an easy midweek meal.

We are big fans of making midweek cooking super simple as well as delicious, and using a set list of staples is one of the key ways to make sure it’s easy and affordable! Check out the ‘Staples’ tab in the Meal Packs app settings to view the full list. 

Want more smart cooking tips?

Sign up to the Meal Packs app today!