It’s a matter that, although it seems to be a simple affair on the surface level, has continued to baffle us all, regardless of age or experience. No matter how much we pride ourselves on our organisation, we can never seem to remember everything we need from the weekly shop!
We all know the feeling of having a lovely set of full kitchen cupboards, but this incentive doesn’t necessarily mean that we have quite mastered the technique of an organised food shop for the family (or, remembering to get the eggs!). I mean, there’s so much to be remembered, so we can hardly blame ourselves, really.
Since we know the struggles well, we’ve sat and done the brainstorming so that you don’t have to. Below, we have compiled a list of all of our kitchen staples (the boring ones and the fun ones alike) to provide you with a handy checklist. Hopefully, this will help keep your kitchen cupboards looking tip-top and nicely stocked.
First things first, we’d recommend starting out on your restocking venture with a good, thorough clean!
Use an anti-bacterial spray to help you get right into all of the tricky corners and any difficult to reach areas of the cupboards. Then follow this up with a good wipe down using warm soapy water.
Then, check the sell-by dates of all your goods (particularly for anything that you found hidden at the back) and get rid of items that might be a bit past their best. Bring the things that are due to expire first to the front of the cupboard.
With the goods that remain, group them together into categories like your staples that you’ll soon use up, other tinned veggies, baking items and spices, pulses and pastas, etc. This will help keep you organised and make sure that you don’t accidentally double-up on anything.
While you’re at it, why not take this opportunity to change up your previous layout a bit, this way you can reacquaint yourself with the things (you may surprise yourself) that you have in stock. These new-found ingredients might also spark some inspiration for your upcoming meal plans too.
Now that we’re all cleaned up, here is our key list of kitchen stock staples. We’ve broken these up into a few different categories for you, to help keep you organised throughout your kitchen restock or until your next family food shop.
Absolute necessities and meal staples
Rice, Pasta, Lentils, Couscous, Polenta, Quinoa, Noodles, Oats, Cereals, Microwave rice pouches (these are a fantastic fall-back for a nice and easy weekday meal) and Potatoes (we’d recommend opting for a variety that acts as a good all-rounder).
Jars and Tins
Beans, broad, cannellini, black, pinto, or whatever your preference, Chickpeas, Tuna, Soups, Tinned tomatoes, Jars of jalapeños, Tinned vegetables (including the likes of sweetcorn, mushrooms and peas), Olives, Gherkins and capers, Coconut milk, Tahini.
Oils and sauces
Oils (including olive, sesame, coconut, sunflower and vegetable or oil infusions, with ingredients like rosemary, garlic or chilli, make for a delicious addition to your cooking), Vinegar (white wine, balsamic, rice, apple cider or sherry, to name a few varieties), Soy sauce, Marinara sauce, Cheese sauce, Salsa, Pesto, Salad dressing, Worcester sauce, Ketchup, Mustard (ideally, keep a variety of wholegrain, French, American, English in stock), Chutneys, Chilli sauce, Golden and maple syrup, Honey.
Yeast, Sugar, Gelatine, Lemon juice, Condensed milk, Flour (Plain and Self-Raising, cornflour and bread flour, including strong white and wholemeal), Raising agents, Icing sugar, Cocoa powder, Vanilla essence and almond essence, Glace cherries, High-quality dark chocolate (perfect for baking), Sprinkles.
Herbs, spices and flavour boosters
Dried herbs (in case you run out of fresh - the key varieties that we’d keep a good stock of are: basil, mint, parsley, coriander, garlic, chives, rosemary, dill, thyme, oregano, sage, tarragon and bay leaves), Spices (we always make sure there’s plenty of these in the cupboard: cinnamon, peppercorns, nutmeg, paprika, fennel seeds, cumin, ginger, a quality mixed spice blend, cardamom, turmeric, star anise and saffron), Posh salt (if you’re cooking up something extra special, you can really take it up a notch by adding some good quality salt), Stock cubes, Pre-blended spice mills (these can include Italian seasonings, curry spice mix and Mexican seasoning blends), Tomato paste, Chilli flakes, Curry pastes.
Extra tasty treats
Peanut butter, Nuts (brazils, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, are among our favourites. Eat them raw or incorporate them into dishes like salads or stir-frys), Dried seaweed (it’s not a common ingredient, but it provides a wonderful flavour boost for your dishes), Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, poppy or sesame all make for delicious dish toppers), Granola, Chia seeds (they’re the latest foodie trend, with good reason - an absolutely delicious quick topper for cereals, smoothies and yoghurt), Dried fruits (raisins, apricots, dates, cranberries and any other favourites).
Now that your cupboard staples are all sorted, you need to find a new home for them. Below are a few clever hacks and bits of kit to help keep your cupboards clean and organised, to a level that even mum will be proud of.
- Label everything - Never underestimate the power of a label maker. There’s one thing all well-organised kitchens, cupboards, and pantries seem to have: a labelling system. This way, you can find everything you need at a glance. You don’t even need a fancy label maker, you can use paint pens which come right off in the dishwasher. Our very own COO is the queen of labelling and swears by it!
- Use all the baskets - When all else fails, use baskets to group like with like, keeping things neat and easy to find. Remove food items from the boxes they came in and place them in plastic bags (or use the ones they came in) in baskets. It will help you stay organised and make for sleeker-looking cupboards and pantries. Use cute tags for baskets so you can easily see what's stored in them.
- Invest in stacked shelves - For canned goods, use open stacking bins to take advantage of the height of each shelf giving you a better view of what you have at all times. We heard Gwyneth Paltrow uses them and we're here for it.
- Mason Jars - Great for storing pasta, rice, grains, seeds, nuts, spices, etc. even liquids like soup. Available in a variety of sizes and colours so you can find styles to meet any storage need.
- Utilise the backs of doors - That little space between the shelves and the door can be put to good use. You can hang vegetable baskets on the back of doors or even hang wire drawer organisers to create a home for spice jars.
Keeping your kitchen well-equipped and organised is a somewhat tricky matter, but we think that it’s the best step to take if you’re aiming to level up your abilities as a home cook.
While we’re always looking to improve upon our organisational skills, there’s only so much that note-taking can help us stay on track with a big food shop. So, it’s no surprise that we absolutely love the idea of a kitchenware gadget that has the ability to stop us from running out of pasta ever again.
This is where the FridgeCam comes in. Not only does it spark fun into the mundane weekly shopping trip, but it has genuinely made a stark improvement on our day-to-day levels of organisation, without the need for a thick wad of complex colour co-ordinated lists. It’s the kind of gadget that leaves us thinking ‘why didn’t this exist before?’. But the FridgeCam is the world’s first of its kind. Plus, we find that it works just as well in cupboards as it does in fridges. It’s the perfect way for everyone, whether you’re a home cook, busy parent or both, to improve the organisation of their kitchen. The beauty of FridgeCam is in its surface-level simplicity: it seamlessly, quickly and effortlessly turns any fridge, cupboard or pantry out there into a thing of the future. It’s wireless, with a single step application process - just pop it out of the box and install into your fridge or cupboards, it’s as easy as that.
The FridgeCam works by taking a quick snap of the contents of your fridge, cupboard or pantry every time you shut the door. The camera then sends this image to the handy Smarter app on your smartphone, providing a completely up-to-date look at your food supplies. The app can pair up with Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Siri, to provide you with fantastic voice-activated organisation aids. The FridgeCam is designed to help you achieve the perfect balance of ensuring your kitchen is well stocked and save you unnecessary spending too. We’ve found that using the app as an organizational tool is actually a great way to keep the little ones entertained during the food shop too, as they can use the automated shopping list and then check the contents of your cupboards to make informed decisions for themselves, improving their sense of cost and educating them about food waste. Reckon we’ve got you hooked on the idea? If you can’t wait to bring your fridge, cupboards or pantry (and the way you food shop, for that matter) into the 21st century, pay a visit to our online shop. We currently have a range of fantastic bundle packs on offer, including our twin and trio packs. These multi-buy bundles of FridgeCams are the perfect tools to dramatically improve your organisation. Plus, we’re even offering free UK delivery with your FridgeCam arriving at your door within 72 hours of your online order.