8 cheap and basic student kitchen cupboard essentials

Going off to Uni is daunting in many ways and cooking for yourself is just one of them: Here’s our guide to what’s best for your budget cupboard.

Salt and pepper

A must for making even the blandest of meals taste a bit better.


Oil will always come in handy whether you’re just frying an egg or concocting a delicious marinade. Olive oil is the one you’ll most regularly want to use but sunflower oil is a good cheaper choice, especially for both baking and frying.

Herbs and spices

Spices making boring (read: Cheap) food a lot more interesting for little extra cost. grab things such as Paprika, Cumin, Ground Coriander and Garlic Powder to make spicy fries or cajun chicken recipe. Also pick up some herbs like Basil for pasta and oregano to turn make that plain margherita pizza just a bit more interesting.


Tuna’s a great cupboard essential as not only is it a healthy and great source of protein but it’ll last in tins for AGES as opposed to fresh/raw meat. You can also just add tuna in to pretty much anything from pizza (yes, really) to pasta.


Talking of which, Pasta is another must for the cupboard. It’ll also last forever so you don’t need to worry about it going off. Easy and quick to cook, Pasta can be eaten alone, just with some butter and cheese, sauce, meat and fish, or really whatever you want.


Potatoes can accompany pretty much any meal and are very versatile: Boil them, turn them to potato salad, make fries, mash them, bake them or fry them: You’ll never be hungry if you’ve got potatoes in the cupboards.


Buy them in bulk in tins and stack ’em high: Soup will last for a while can be warming up your belly in minutes when there’s nothing else left to eat.

Preserves and table sauces

From your jams to your curds, your tomato ketchup to your HP, a good selection of sauces and preserves will help to make the bland interesting and you will happily stay in your cupboard for ages without spoiling.

> 13 easy ways to make your food last longer

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