While I’m getting much better at juggling all the work commitments I have at the moment the everyday life stuff is getting increasingly out of control. Case in point: one evening last week I went to the kitchen to make dinner and it quickly became clear that I didn’t have the essentials in to make even the most basic of meals, not even a tin of chopped tomatoes.

Luckily there are a couple of grocery shops open until late a short walk from my flat so it wasn’t a disaster but, as I headed out into the rainy night, I decided there and then to make sure my kitchen cupboards are always well stocked to avoid more Old Mother Hubbard style moments in the future.

Which got me thinking, what are the store cupboard essentials I need to have in so that I always have everything I need to hand in order to be able to knock up a variety of meals? A quick Google search revealed lists from Jack Monroe of A Girl Called Jack blog and Jamie Oliver of, hang on, you don’t need me to tell you about Jamie Oliver…

Jack started her blog when she was surviving on a budget of just £10 to feed her and her young son and so her list is full of the kinds of ingredients that are the cornerstones of healthy-and-filling-on-a-budget meals such as risotto, pilaf, pasta sauce, curry, tagine, chilli, falafels and veggie burgers. Think natural yoghurt, pasta, rice, oats, red lentils, chopped tomatoes, frozen spinach, tinned kidney beans, tinned chickpeas, tinned baked beans, dark chocolate and stock cubes.

Jamie’s list, as you would imagine, includes some rather more fancy ingredients (five types of oil!) although there are some crossovers with Jack’s list. Both recommend stocking up on pasta, rice, tinned chopped tomatoes, tinned kidney beans, tinned chickpeas and stock cubes. Other ingredients on Jamie’s list that are getting a spot in my store cupboard are couscous, curry paste, tinned tuna, tinned coconut milk, olives and anchovies.

If I was to buy all of the above, with the herbs and spices that are already filling a shelf in my kitchen cupboard and the addition of a weekly shop of fresh fruit and vegetables, plus cheese, eggs and so on, I would have everything I need to knock up all sorts of delicious dinners (and breakfasts and lunches). Better get to the shop…

What’s on your list of store cupboard essentials? What are your must-have-in-at-all-costs ingredients? And what’s your go-to quick-and-easy store cupboard dinner? Do share below!

You can read about Charlotte’s clean eating essentials here.