Old Mother Hubbard

My cupboard isn't quite bare but it is a lot less cluttered.
Here is my list. My bare bones store cupboard.
 I've really pared it down but there is still quite a lot there.
 These are the things I never want to be without. They are by no means the only foods I will be buying. I shall buy fresh, seasonal fruit and veg every week and a couple of different meats (sausages and braising steak this week) plus some fresh fish. If I want to make coconut and carrot soup or pineapple pudding then a tin of coconut milk or a tin of pineapple will go in my trolley. I expect the odd chunk of cheese will go in too.
 This may sound blindingly obvious to some, you might be thinking isn't that what everyone does? But I have got into the habit of routinely stocking every ingredient I might possibly need. My new system should allow me to plan for a few meals and ad lib the rest.

Baking Supplies
Strong white flour, strong wholemeal flour, plain flour, self-raising flour
Rolled oats
Caster sugar, demerara sugar, soft brown sugar 
Golden syrup, black treacle
Yeast, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda
Cocoa, 200g dark chocolate 
Desiccated coconut, almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts
Sunflower seeds I put them in granola and flapjacks and toast them for salads
Sultanas, dried apricots

Dry Goods
Basmati rice
Red lentils, green or grey lentils
Dried beans 
Dried milk -I use this when I make yogurt
Tea, coffee

Tins, jars and cartons
Chopped tomatoes, passata, tomato purée
Tuna, sardines
Black olives
Baked beans - essential emergency lunch
Homemade jam, marmalade, jelly and chutney
Dijon mustard
Marmite - vital and good as an emergency stock.
Sunflower seed butter - brilliant peanut butter substitute
Spices, sea salt, black peppercorns

Olive oil, sunflower oil
White wine vinegar
Soy sauce
Ketchup I could definitely do without this but the children would complain
Vermouth, dry sherry, brandy

Frozen peas - I would never want to be without the wondrous frozen pea
Frozen sweetcorn - Nor this
Minced beef
Chicken -whole and breasts
Salmon fillets
Homemade stock
Homemade veg hash
Homemade bread and breadcrumbs
Homegrown and foraged fruit

Cheddar, Parmesan
Homemade yoghurt
Bacon or chorizo 
Ham or salami -for sandwiches
Cream -at weekends


Even without buying fresh meat or special cheeses  I can make many meals from my list without having to buy anything else.

Granola, pancakes, toast with jam/jelly/marmalade/sunflower butter/marmite, porridge, beans on toast, eggs, bacon sandwiches, potato cakes

Toast and quince jelly

loaves, rolls, filled bread,pizza, foccacia, fruit bread, cinnamon rolls, naan bread, pittas, scones, soda bread

Cakes and biscuits
muffins, flapjacks, gingernuts, shortbread, fork biscuits, anzac biscuits, sponge cakes, fruit cakes, cocoa brownies, jam tarts, welsh cakes, gingerbread, banana cake and many more


lentil, minestrone, bean and tomato, vegetable and barley, tuna-cheddar chowder, carrot, pea, potato, tomato, onion

Light meals and salads
toasted cheese sandwiches, omelettes, lentil and egg salad, lentil and pea salad, carrot salad, orange and black olive salad, tuna and bean salad, baked potatoes with cheese, beans on toast, bean dip, hummus, all sorts of sandwiches

Mushroom omelette

Main Meals
Cheese soufflé, onion tart, pissaladière, bacon and egg tart, curried eggs, kushery (lentils and rice topped with fried onions), dahl, felafel, meatballs and spaghetti, chilli con carne, cottage pie, burgers, chicken curry, chicken escalopes in breadcrumbs, lemon and garlic chicken, chicken with mustard and cream, chicken cacciatore/chasseur, salmon with lentils, honey-soy glazed salmon, spiced chicken or salmon, potato gratin, pasta and cheese gratin, pasta puttanesca, beans and bacon or chorizo in a pot, bean chilli, pasta with oil and garlic, pasta with fried breadcrumbs, garlic and herbs, fried eggs and potato wedges, spaghetti carbonara, orzotto (barley risotto), lentil and barley stew, keema curry, meat and potato pie, pasties, pilaff, beans and rice, pan haggerty, mince and tatties

Salmon with puy lentils (or as C calls them 'those little beady things')

Carrot salad -carrot, parsley, toasted sunflower seeds in a dressing of orange juice, olive oil, salt and pepper

 mayonnaise, salsa verde, tapenade, herb butter, garlic butter, croutons, vinaigrette, tomato sauce, hollandaise sauce, béarnaise sauce

Chocolate fudge pudding, crème au chocolat, coconut creams, meringues, pancakes, bananas and cream, crumbles, pies, yoghurt and fruit, syllabub, bread and butter pudding, steamed puds, treacle tart, hollygog, vanilla ice cream, crème brulée, chocolate mousse, fruit salad, orange sorbet

Bananas and cream. My mum used to make this often when I was little. Whipped cream, sliced bananas (particularly good for brown bananas), sultanas and a little brown sugar.



  1. Your list is done. You've made me hungry now. I'm with you on paring down the cupboard. I've been doing the same and the wonderful thing is that you really can come up with some wonderful meals this way. The thing I've really been careful about is my spice cupboard. I used to buy everything. Now I only buy what I use on a regular basis and just smaller quantities of the spices I use less often.

  2. Anonymous8:07 pm GMT

    Please don't say you've thrown food away :( How about making ketchup instead of buying? It's relatively simple and quite enjoyable to make. I make BBQ sauce too and use it both as a sauce and as a marinade for chicken and sometimes pork - very useful indeed and keeps for quite a long time in the fridge. I haven't tried freezing it but as it keeps so long in the fridge I wouldn't try to.

  3. I'm in awe of your organization. Good job! I have no idea what is in our cabinets and especially around the corners in them. LOL


  4. I have my shopping list on the computer. Find the spreadsheet and create a list then you can tick off the items as and when needed, if at the end of week there is is enough ticks worthy of going shopping then go! I found it worth the effort to do it less shopping more time to create in the kitchen!
    Julie xxxxxxxxxx

  5. I may never need to think of another meal again. I feel this calls for an award : ) I will be tackling the bottle cupboard soon. I have a fatal attraction to oils and vinegars. Pomegranate molasses anyone?

  6. Your organisation is awe-inspiring and daunting in equal measure! My cupboards are full of out-of-date tins and I can never think of anything to make for dinner! Well done on an impressive cupboard re-organisation.

  7. Anonymous9:19 pm GMT

    Once again, I'm blown away by your photography. Do you use lights or natural light for your shots.
    Also your styling of the food is great. I look forward to seeing what you do tomorrow.

  8. Wow you have just wrote the ultimate store cupboard shopping list! Thank you!! Now, can I come for tea at your house please?? xx

  9. Is it possible just to copy your shopping list, straight oon line. You could tell us the weeks menus. Much less hassle and less room required x

  10. Well done Sue. You've done a great job. Life should be a lot simpler from now on.

  11. Anonymous11:17 pm GMT

    You are so organised! But what about the Branston pickle? I couldn't live without that.

  12. You aren't just going to tempt us with these things, are you? There will be the odd recipe?

  13. I'm speechless! Wow xox

  14. Have to say I prefer Chicken Breasts too! I meant to say that on the last comment. And do you have a Gingerbread recipe........?
    Julie xxxxx

  15. Oh please can I come and live with you?
    The picture of the fish on "those little beady things" looks delicious and has made me so hungry!

  16. I couldn't manage without creme fraiche.

    Also...you need more jam.

  17. As you have baking powder you could get rid of the self-raising. And no risotto rice? I couldn't do without that. Or couscous.

  18. Pati from London9:58 am GMT

    Wow Sue! That is very organised! You reminded me that I do have a big drawer full of all the flours, yeast etc that we need for our bread machine plus a few extra ingredients like honey, golden syrup, vinegars, oils, soya sauce,capers, frozen peas... etc that we always have and forgot to mention. Your photos make me hungry....mmm...Well done!! Pati x

  19. Exactly what I am trying to do in the New Year. The weekly bill was getting ridiculous. Your flapjacks look amazing. Any chance of a recipe as I have tried loads and they always turn out very badly!

  20. This is a totally inspiring post - I shall print it out and use some of your ideas.

  21. Your pictures are amazing. The flapjacks look so delicious and not like an American flapjack or pancake. What is in your flapjack--would love to try this recipe.

  22. Yummy post - I'm drooling!

  23. Thanks for the link, Sue! Your list is super and your meal list inspiring. I've started using Amazon to stock up on foods I can't buy locally (no Waitrose here...) which means I often have to buy things in packs of 6 or 12, giving me such a feeling of abundance and requiring a bit of storage reorganisation before the place looks like an air-raid shelter.


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