Student Eats: 7 student kitchen staples

Food shopping when you’re not used to it can be such a daunting experience. Suddenly you’re the one making decisions about what goes into your basket and you’re the one paying for it at the checkout. Unless you’re in catered accommodation, you become the master of your own health after the ‘food shop’ at the beginning of each term your parents do for you is used up – or gone off – which is a scary prospect.

I know that food shopping in general is very individual, everyone has different likes, dislikes and dietary requirements, but there are some kitchen staples that should make it into your basket at least a few times a term, or sit ready for use in your fridge/freezer/cupboards. Sure having the ability to buy and eat a whole chocolate cake is the sign of true power, but it’s (probably) not going to sustain you for long. 

My kitchen staples are probably incredibly obvious, and will probably cause you all to roll your eyes and go ‘awh Fii, I knew that!’, but believe me when I say that the minute you step foot in a supermarket with the mission to buy a weeks worth of food, it will be slightly overwhelming. Especially when you start taking notice of how much food costs. 

1: Frozen mixed vegetables (and fruit)

The bad thing about fresh fruit and veg is that it goes off. Frozen food has a much longer shelf life and is a damned sight cheaper in the long run. Plus you don’t have to worry so much about used by dates and whether or not you’re going to be able to use up the produce before it goes mouldy, or  about paying premium prices for out of season fruit. 

2: Pasta!

The student staple. Two of my flatmates in first year bought an obscene amount of pasta between them into the flat – and it served them well. It’s a great source of energy, easy to cook, and you can make pasta dishes really interesting with the most random of ingredients. 

3: Eggs  (or substitutes)

Eggs are wonderful, wonderful things, you can do a ridiculous amount with them for quick fix meals, or more elaborate things for more elaborate recipes. Also cake. If eggs are out of your dietary requirements, then egg substitutes are your friend here, though if you’re in that boat you probably know a lot more about it than myself, so just keep doing you in that respect. 

4: Rolled Oats

I wasn’t a porridge eater before uni. Which is just one use for oats, but they’re also great for flapjacks, crumbles, granola, oatcakes, and a whole host of other things. Definitely a good thing to keep in your kitchen. Also a great source of slow-release energy, and can have virtually any flavour added to it.

5: Mixed Herbs/Spices

These little pots are amazing. If you’re not sure you’re going to like the individual flavours of spices you’ve not tried before, then mixed is the way to go without wasting money, in my opinion. You can add them to anything to season, or change up flavours. If I’m cooking homemade chips or wedges, I will always, always reach for the mixed herbs, something I’ve picked up from my dad, but it makes for tasty fried or baked potatoes. 

6: Spreadables!

Butter/margarine/jam. Because they’re relatively long life products and should be in your fridge. 

7: Bread

Whether it’s a loaf, bagels, rolls or wraps, you should have bread somewhere in your kitchen if your diet permits it.

So, those are my uni kitchen staples. I have some others such as tea, coconut oil, and honey, but they’re more lifestyle choices than ultimate necessities for many people. And this is by no means a list of things you have to buy or must enjoy, just things that I find are always in my kitchen as a little starting point. ^^

What about you, though? Is there anything you’d add to the list, or change? If you’ve been through the whole ‘shopping for food yourself for the first time’ experience, what was it like for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


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16 responses to “Student Eats: 7 student kitchen staples”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I definitely agree with the herbs! My parents bought me a heap of them for Christmas (I'm basically a 50s housewife when it comes to cooking) and they have made my life and food *so* much better. Even just adding some chives to a plate of oven chips makes them so much better haha!I'd also suggest splurging on things like sauces (soy, chilli etc), vinegars (malt, wine) and some oils (I go for olive oil and sesame) at the beginning. They bump up the cost of your first food shop BUT you don't need to restock them as much as other food stuffs and they add a *lot* of extra added flavour to simple food. Great post as always!Chantel xo

    • Fii Cridland says:

      Yes! My dad added a bunch to my trolley in september and honestly they were the best thing in there. He's slowly sending me more recipes to use with them!Sauces and cooking oils are my #8! But for fear of making the list too long I stopped at 7 l o l. And I completely agree with their usefulness :DTy hun – happy film watching ;)xo

  2. libys11 says:

    aahhh i agree.. these are definite must haves!! 😀 Animated Confessions

    • Fii Cridland says:

      I feel a lot better when I know they're in my kitchen! You can make so many meals from just these 7 things too!Fii x

  3. Alina Bostan says:

    Great tips not just for students but for everyone! I love having my freezer stocked with fruit & veg, it takes the worry out of things going to waste xBeauty with charm | REALASH Giveaway

    • Fii Cridland says:

      My biggest worry when I food shop is used by dates and things going off – wasting food is so bad, so the frozen stuff is so much easier! Fii x

  4. Annabel B says:

    Frozen fruit for me is a total life saver. Especially Lidi's bag which are twice the size of most supermarket ones!Annabel ♥Mascara & Maltesers

    • Fii Cridland says:

      Oh I didn't know that! Lidl is a bit of a trek for me, so I generally just stick to tesco and sainsbury's most of the time, but I might just have to make an exception for the fruit. :)Fii x

  5. Unknown says:

    Ahah I agree with everything you listed! Such good memories :)———

  6. Aibina Yeshkeyeva says:

    Great post! 🙂

  7. Mariel Parton says:

    haha I love this post..I can definitely relate and agree to your list..pasta is such a life saver <3

  8. Danielle says:

    Haha such a great post (:And everything you've mentioned is definitely a must have.Followed you, hope you'd like to follow

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