21 foods you NEED to buy as a student

It’s freshers’ month (who says it’s a week?). Your kitchen cupboards are bare, so what should you buy? 20 readymade pizzas and a crate of beer? WRONG. (Ok, so you might want the beer, but put the pizzas down now.)

Watch our 1-minute video to find out what our crack team Rachel Ama, Emerald Lewis and Rob Eades say you shouldn't be without.

The ESSENTIALS list for student kitchens

If this is you...

Here’s your new term shopping list:

  1. Olive oil – go for a mild one, it’ll make your day, every day.

  2. Salt.

  3. Oh, and... pepper – put a pepper grinder on your Christmas wish list and bulk buy peppercorns.

  4. Stock cubes or veg bouillon powder, because, er, flavour.

  5. Tins of chopped tomatoes are CHEAP and brilliant for everything from pasta sauces to pizzas. A few (342) ideas for you here.

  6. A bag of onions – you can’t really make curry without them. Eyes watering? Apparently you need to stick your tongue out while you chop (according to Emerald Lewis).

  7. Garlic, for dressings, pasta sauces, curries, stews, in fact pretty much everything. Grate it with the skin on to save peeling.

  8. Pasta, because lyf. Choose spaghetti for creamy sauces, a shape for heavy meat-based sauces.

  9. Rice – long-grain and, if you’re feeling flush, short-grain for risottos and rice puddings.

  10. Tins of chickpeas and other beans are cheap and full of possibilities – hummus, falafels, curries and snack bars (yes, you read that right). They’re protein packed and much cheaper than meat. If you don’t like chickpeas, white beans are a good substitute. Just a few chickpea recipes here.

  11. Oats, for breakfast, obvs. And for sweet treats (flapjacks and crumble, we’re looking at you). Use them instead of breadcrumbs too.

  12. Eggs for, well, almost everything, including (importantly) cakes. High in protein, fats and vitamins. Here are our top 12 egg recipes.

  13. Curry paste – Thai is great, but choose any you like. Add a few spoonfuls to coconut milk for a quick and easy curry. Try adding to an omelette or fried rice too.

  14. Curry powder, hot, mild or even garam masala. Because you deserve it.

  15. Mixed herbs add flavour to soups, stews, eggs and even roasted veg.

  16. Chilli flakes make (almost) everything better. Add during cooking or sprinkle on at the end.

  17. Creamed coconut – dissolve in boiling water and you’ve got coconut milk! Also delicious grated into porridge.

  18. Peanut butter isn’t just for toast. It makes delicious stir-fry sauces and so much more! Recipes here.

  19. Yeast extract is essential for gravies and gives sauces and stews a flavour boost. Also, B12.

  20. Soy sauce is a must for Chinese cooking. And who doesn't love a stir-fry?

  21. Pesto – you can make your own, but a jar is probably cheaper and definitely easier! Stir through pasta or add a dollop to soups. A few ideas here.