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Staple food items

Keep a store of basic foods in case you can’t get to the shops because of bad weather or illness.

Use your freezer to store a small supply of foods you enjoy. This could include bread, frozen meat and chicken pieces, frozen vegetables, a selection of ready meals, frozen seasonal fruit and ice cream.

Cooking large batches of meals, such as stew or homemade soup, and freezing individual portions is a good idea. You can then defrost the meal for eating when you feel like it.

Try keeping some of these foods in your cupboards:

  • Milk – long-life, dried, or evaporated milk; canned milky puddings.
  • Meat and fish – canned corned beef, ham, sardines, salmon, pilchards, mackerel and tuna.
  • Fruit, vegetables and fruit juice – a variety of canned goods (including baked beans), instant mashed potato, dried fruits, long-life fruit juice.
  • Lentils and beans such as dried or canned red kidney beans or chickpeas.
  • Cereals – breakfast cereals, wholegrain crackers, oatcakes, plain biscuits as well as pasta and rice.
  • Drinks – tea, coffee, cocoa, malted milk.
  • Other – canned and dried soups, yeast extract (for example, Bovril, Marmite or Vegemite).

Store-cupboard foods don’t keep for ever, so make sure you don’t let things go out of date.

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Further information


Our Information guides are short and easy to digest, giving a comprehensive overview of the relevant topic. Factsheets are longer with more detail, and are aimed at professionals.

You can download other guides in our series from publications

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 678 1174

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