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Making use of those long-lasting ingredients you’ve got tucked away in your kitchen cupboards is a brilliant budget-stretcher, and there are lots of versatile store-cupboard staples that work wonderfully in tasty, healthy recipes too.

If you’re stuck for ideas, we’ve put together this guide to our favourite store-cupboard superstars, with some easy recipes for you to try.

More for members: You’ll find an endless supply of fantastic ideas for making meals stretch further in your local Slimming World group. Discover our Slimming World special offers here.

Yes we can!

  • chopped tomatoes
  • beans (baked, kidney, black beans)
  • chickpeas
  • lentils
  • tuna (in spring water or brine)

Stocking up on canned vegetables, beans, and pulses like chickpeas and lentils is an easy (and cheap!) way to bulk out your meals – and most are ready to put straight into the pan once opened, so there’s minimal fuss required! They work perfectly in our vegan black-eyed bean and vegetable chilli bowl, for example. You’re not limited to veggies either. There are lots of fish options, such as tuna, crab and sardines, and, if you pick ones that are canned in water, brine or tomato sauce, they’re completely Free!

Black eyed bean chilli bowl-store-cupboard staples-slimming world blog

Seasons’ greetings

  • mixed herbs (basil, oregano, rosemary and thyme in one little pot!)
  • garlic granules
  • ginger
  • paprika
  • turmeric

Break out your trusty spice rack to give any meal a brilliant boost in a flash. Most herbs and spices are Free at Slimming World, so there’s no limit to the flavours you can create to spice up your mealtimes. Paprika is perfect for paellas, for example, while turmeric is tasty in a vegetable dhal. Keep your herbs and spices sealed in a tight container and away from direct sunlight to make them last even longer.

Curried squash soup

Try the recipe: Raid your spice rack to add flavour to the curried squash soup. Dried lentils make this even more of a storecupboard soup-er hero!

More for members: Learn how to make your own Syn-free spice mixes

The sauce awakens

  • soy sauce
  • vinegar
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Tobasco sauce
  • Marmite (it’s Free, so we love it!)

As well as dried ingredients, there are plenty of saucy options that’ll add a hit of flavour to your dinners. Vinegar, while maybe not technically a sauce, is a great Free option, and perfect sprinkled over Slimming World chips – while a trusty bottle of soy sauce never fails to shake up our super-speedy noodle stir-fry recipe.

More on the blog: Love your leftovers

Dried and tested

  • pasta
  • rice
  • noodles
  • couscous
  • quinoa

If you’ve got a packet of dried rice, noodles or couscous in your cupboard there’s a host of meal opportunities that can be thrown together with only a few ingredients. Even better, all of the above are Free to enjoy on the Slimming World plan. Lighten up your lunches with leftover chicken in a quinoa salad, and feed the family with a quick and easy tuna pasta bake (dried pasta, frozen sweetcorn and canned tuna make this the ultimate store cupboard-stash recipe!).

Meet the member: Our fantastic member Aleighcia Scott lost 2st 11lbs while still enjoying her favourite pasta and rice recipes. She says: “It never occured to me to make my own healthy pasta and rice recipes before I joined Slimming World. Now, I enjoy a tasty pasta dish for dinner, like spaghetti bolognese made with lean beef mince, or fill up on a jacket potato with baked beans if I’m in a hurry.”

Don’t forget your freezer!

  • peas
  • sweetcorn
  • mixed vegetables
  • mixed berries
  • wholemeal bread

Your kitchen cupboards aren’t the only place to keep long-lasting ingredients that make mealtimes easy. Most of your favourite veggies can be bought frozen, including peas, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower, and popped straight into the pan when cooking – while defrosted frozen fruits are a tasty, healthy topping for your morning porridge. Plus, the freezer is a great way to make your bread and milk last longer, as well as storing any leftovers from your batch-cooking sessions.

5 budget-friendly recipe ideas
6 low-cost meal ideas (student-friendly!)

More storecupboard recipe ideas

Your 7-day storecupboard menu
A Food Optimisers guide to storecupboard staples
Brilliant batch-cooking recipes
10 ways to slim and save

10 ways with… pasta, potatoes and more!

You’ll find so much inspiration in Slimming World groups, with recipe ideas and smart swaps to keep all your favourites firmly on the menu.

Click here to find your nearest Slimming World group

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