Oct 16, 2015

College Kitchen Essentials

A guide to stocking your cupboards with essential ingredients for college life

Niamh O' SullivanFood and Drink Editor

Welcome Freshers! For many of you this will be your first time living away from home and you might be feeling totally lost in many ways. Here is a list of kitchen essentials to get you started. If you’re not used to cooking for yourself, you might feel like taking the easy way out and getting takeout but that gets expensive! If you keep these basics in your kitchen you won’t be caught out!

Cupboard essentials:

  • Rice – Rice goes with pretty much everything. Boxes of boil in the bag rice are the handiest, although they can be slightly more expensive.

Tesco own brand boil in the bag rice = €0.89



  • Noodles – Great for stir-fries and really quick to cook if you are in a hurry!

Sharwoods noodles at Tesco = €2.45


  • Pasta Pasta seems to be a staple in students’ diets, just try not to live solely off pasta and sauce!

Tesco own brand 1kg pasta= €0.94


  • Tinned Tomatoes – These can be used for so many meals like bolognaise, lasagne, meatballs, and loads of other pasta dishes.

Tesco Italian chopped tomatoes= €0.55


  • Sauces and Seasoning – Keep basics like salt, pepper, soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce in your cupboards to add some extra flavour to your meals. Other sauces like pad thai, chow mein and sweet and sour all come in handy if you don’t want to make them from scratch.


  • Tea and coffee – An obvious one, but a definite essential! And of course, don’t forget the biscuits!

Tesco digestives= €0.44


  • Eggs – Possibly one of the most versatile foods to keep in your cupboard! You can have them fried, scrambled, poached, boiled, make an omelette or egg fried rice.


Fridge Essentials:

  • Dairy – Things like milk, cheese and yoghurts.

1L Tesco Milk= €0.75


  • Fruit and vegetables – Don’t forget to eat some fresh fruit and vegetables, keep some fruit that you can bring in your bag like apples or bananas. As for vegetables, ones that you can quickly stir fry are the handiest, such as peppers, sugar snap peas, and broccoli.

Tesco bag of stir fry veg= €1.79


  • Sandwich fillers – Foods such as cooked chicken, ham, cheese, lettuce, mayonnaise

Tesco sliced cooked chicken= €1.40


  • Bacon – Bacon is handy to keep in the fridge as it has a long shelf life and is good for breakfast, lunch or tea! Make some eggs too and you have a filling supper.

Tesco Irish rashers= €1.69


Freezer Essentials:

  • Meat – Such as chicken, beef, pork, turkey, bacon. If you buy your meat in big packs and freeze it individually it is most cost effective, just take out what you want for dinner the night before to let it defrost!

Tesco 500g chicken fillets= €5.00

Tesco stir fry Sirloin steak 340g= €3.58


  • Bread – It can be a good idea to keep your bread in the freezer and just take out a few slices at a time to stop it all from going off. Although some people prefer to keep it in the cupboard.

Tesco everyday value sliced brown bread= €0.79

Pizza – Good to have on standby for when you just can’t be bothered making a dinner or are too hungover!

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