|What to stash from your store cupboard for a self-catering holiday|
Currently I'm bracing myself for the start of the school summer holidays, and our annual fortnight away.
We always go on self-catering holidays, to help keep the costs in check. Aside from stuffing the boot with swimming costumes, sun cream and sandals, I also pack a box of provisions.
If you really want to cut your shopping bill while away, it pays to take some storecupboard essentials from home.
I try to do a meal plan based on quick and easy family favourites before we leave. Then I can identify the crucial ingredients where I only need a teaspoon here, or a couple of ounces there.
I'm not suggesting surviving on a suitcase of Pot Noodles.
It's more that food bills soon rocket if you have to buy a whole jar, bag or packet, when you only need a single tablespoon of chill powder, a teaspoon of cinnamon or just one stock cube.
Also, much as it might be fun to visit local markets or delis, I'd rather spend less time slogging around a big supermarket with a couple of bored children.
So I book an online supermarket delivery for the night we arrive, for fresh food, and bring some long-lasting ingredients with us. Then we only have to do top up shops here and there.
Here's my list, in case it sparks any ideas for your own holiday:
- salt and pepper grinders
- salt for grinding
- black peppercorns
- vegetable oil
Stuff to perk up sandwiches
- mango chutney
- caramelised onion chutney
- light mayonnaise
- whole grain mustard
Fish & chip supplies
- malt vinegar (I reckon they never add enough in the chippie)
- tomato ketchup
- white wine vinegar
- balsamic vinegar
- olive oil
- dijon mustard
- chilli powder
- curry powder
- ground cinnamon, for pancakes
- golden syrup, also for pancakes
- dried oregano, to give home made burgers a kick
- dried paprika or smoked paprika, for sausage stew on a cold day
- fajita seasoning
- parmesan equivalent like grana padano or Italian hard cheese
- soy sauce for stir fries
- Worcestershire sauce for spag bol
- tomato puree
- couple of bay leaves
- couple each of chicken, beef and veg stock cubes
- couple of chicken gravy stock pots, that make the gravy my daughter adores
- fish sauce
Baking supplies, for packed lunches & rainy day activities
- baking powder
- bicarbonate of soda
- couple of fast action yeast sachets, in case we have a go at bread or pizza bases
- vanilla essence
- ground ginger
- assorted sprinkles
- assorted food colouring
- soft brown sugar
- icing sugar
- 50g popcorn kernels
- 50g cocoa
- 50g raisins
I buy a big box of tea bags and fancy coffee, but bring stuff from home where we're unlikely to use much:
- Nescafe for the grandparents' visit
- decaff Nescafe (ditto)
- sweetners (ditto)
- few peppermint teabags
- hot chocolate, for returning after rainy days
I bunged this list into mysupermarket.co.uk, and had a look at Morrisons as a reasonably low cost supermarket.
Even sticking to own brands and offers, it still came to more than £60, without the gin. Ouch.
I'd rather take the stuff from home, and have more to spend on the holiday.
Any suggestions for other food it pays to pack when you go on holiday? I'd love to hear.