Top kitchen essentials for every student

When you look in your cupboard what do you see? Is it a lonely onion alongside some half gone off bread? Thought so.

When you’re a student it’s easy to pick up the takeaway menu or put in a microwave meal. But neither are cost effective or good for you.

With just a few basic kitchen essentials, you’ll be ready to start cooking up a storm in no time at all. So get these cupboard basics in at the beginning of the year and you’re good to go.

Salt and pepper

These two will be your best friend. The most basic of seasoning but they will spice any meal up.

Invest in a couple of proper salt and pepper grinds for extra flavour – they look fancy as well.

Cooking oil

Cooking oil is so important when you’re cooking. The last thing you want to be doing is cooking with your housemate’s out of date margarine! If you’re on a tight budget you can go for sunflower or vegetable oil. You can also have a coconut oil – it’s a healthier version but it can be a bit more expensive.


You can buy pasta in bulk and it will last for months. You can add in different sauces and ingredients to jazz it up. It’s a good food to reheat so over make some at dinner and take the remainder for your University lunch.


Again, rice is cheap and you can buy bags and bags of rice. It’s a good staple that go with almost everything. It’s perfect to accompany anything from chill con carne to stir fries.

Chopped tomatoes

Unlike fresh tomatoes, tins of tomatoes will last for years. Use them to slap up a pasta dish, a curry sauce – anything really.

You can even have them on their own with bread for a tasty snack.

Tea, coffee and milk

Perfect for those winter days when all you want to do is curl up in your bed and drink good old cup of tea. It’s also good to have when your friends or family come round to see you.


Sugar is good to have in for not only your tea and coffee but it’s good for your stir fries and vegetable dishes to give them a sweet edge. Don’t put too much in though!


Bread is one of those versatile foods that you can for breakfast, lunch and dinner – or tea if you’re on the North. Bread will probably make up a lot of your student diet and you can get creative with toast topping or sandwich fillers. It’s best to keep it in the freezer – that way you won’t need to worry about it going out of date.

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