food · university

Student Storecupboard Essentials

My first student lifestyle post since A level results, so if you got accepted into university last week, congratulations! If you didn’t get the grades you hoped for, or had to go through clearing, or decided on a gap year that’s okay and life has funny ways of getting you exactly where you’re supposed to be!

So, I’m back today with another student food post, this time in the form of foods I think you should always have in your store cupboard. Having a good base for your store cupboard (which you may be able to convince your parents to buy before you go) means your weekly shop will just consist of fresh foods and the occasional top up. Ultimately this means your food shop costs can stay down which is always a winner as then there’s more money for fun …. or saving if you’re sensible.


Pasta, it’s a student right of passage

Dried rice, the best advice I ever got for cooking it is to just leave it alone whilst it cooks

Rice pouches, for quick and easy lunches or for specific meals such as Mexican. They’re often on a deal for a pound each.

Noodles, as stir fry is one of the quickest meals ever (see my easy satay sauce recipe) 

Lentils – dhal is such a quick and tasty meal and they can also be added to other meals for some plant protein. I also like the pouches of pre-cooked lentils.

Quinoa – if you like to believe you’re fancy like I do quinoa is a great grain for salads and an alternative for rice (see my one pot quinoa chilli)


Tinned tomatoes, these from Aldi cost 29p. Compare this to a jar of Dolmio or equivalent and save yourself some money. A tomato pasta sauce is so easy to make and can be frozen for later. It also reduces your sugar and salt intake.

Baked Beans, again a student right of passage

Pulses, chickpeas & kidney beans – great for bulking up meals and turning your Bolognese into a chilli

Coconut Milk, another one for if you like to think you’re fancy. Thai Green Curry is the easiest meal ever if you buy the pre done paste. Also good for pasta sauces.

Soup, a solid lunchtime choice. Buy a flask and take it to uni in the colder months to save money.

Meals, Heinz do tins of Mexican beans, Lentil curry and other options like tagine. They’re great for lunches such as on jacket potatoes. The Mexican beans are also great for chillies as they are in a sauce (Tesco also do an own brand version).


Snack Bars, who doesn’t love a snack? Useful for popping in your bag for in-between lectures or at the library.

Popcorn, buying and making your own popcorn and portioning for the week can save you money and is a nice healthy snack (before you cover it in sugar) that’s naturally gluten/dairy free.

Crisps, because Pom Bears are life.


Peanut Butter, not just good on toast but also good for making satay sauce or putting in porridge. It’s also a healthy fat which means you can eat it out of the jar 🙂

Marmite, good on toast, pasta, on roast potatoes (trust me).  Also a good source of B12.

Tea, regular tea, fruity tea, whatever tea takes your fancy, you’ll need it to get through assignments and morning lectures

Hot chocolate, hot chocolate Nesquik became by go-to comfort drink in the colder months.

Stock Cubes, adds flavour to just about anything when cooking for one you only need half a cube at most so they last ages.

Gravy, I’ve never really been one for Sunday dinners but at uni I find myself eating them quite often, or sausage and mash, as they are super easy to make. Gravy is thus an essential.

All purpose flour – for thickening sauces, binding things together, if you’re ever in the mood for baking.

Herbs and Spices

Another way I like to feel fancy. Also, it means if you’re buying plain tinned tomatoes for examples you can flavour things. By stocking up at the beginning of the year, they will last and mean you can make a variety of meals easily.

I suggest you have:

Salt & pepper (obviously)

Italian Seasoning, for all the pasta you’ll be eating

Mixed Herbs 

Garlic powder

Chilli flakes


If you’re into curries:


Curry Powder

If you’re mushroom obsessed like me,


If You’re Dairy Free Like Myself 

UHT soya milk – it’s cheaper, tastes exactly the same and can be kept in the cupboard until you open it.

Nutritional Yeast – adds a cheesy flavour to meals and is a B12 kick

What’s your student store cupboard essential?

Lots of love, Rose x










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