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Temp Head

As well as the usual things -- such as salt, pepper, sugar, tea and milk -- here is a list of store cupboard essentials that will allow you to prepare a selection of quick meals.

Surprising as it may sound, the supermarket is not always the cheapest place to find these items. Spices, rice, lentils, soy sauce etc are generally cheaper in ethnic shops rather than in supermarket.

Meat is often cheaper from the butcher and is almost always better quality. Similarly, most supermarkets will not stock cheap cuts of meat -- such as lamb shanks or pork belly. Buying your fruit and veg on Moore Street or Camden Street is also recommended.

For the ingredients pictured, most were bought in Aldi unless otherwise stated.

From Aldi

Sunflower oil, €1.59

Extra virgin olive oil, €3.75

2kg plain flour, €1.19

Tomato purée tube, €0.45

Plum tomatoes, €0.37

Red kidney beans, €0.17

Chorizo sausage, €1.79

Pancetta, €1.75

Block of Parmesan, €3.75

Cheddar cheese, €2.39

4kg potatoes, €4.45

4 lemons, €0.99

6 bananas, €1.49

1kg onions, €0.49

Butter, €2.19

Pot of fresh parsley, €1.49

Fresh cream, €1.19

Bacon off-cuts, €1.99

Soup mix pack, (turnip, celery, carrot, parsley, €0.89

From Lidl:

2 x 500g spaghetti, €0.94

2 x 500g penne rigate, €0.98

Tinned tuna, €0.95

Caramel mini-bars, €0.69

Milk chocolate, €0.69

From my greengrocer:

Free-range eggs, €1.99

Avonmore whole milk, €1.99

Flat mushrooms, €1.19

From butcher

(Nolans, Rathmines):

2 x lamb shanks, €5.00

2 x pork hocks, €5.00

1.5kg mince, €11.70

From the ethnic shop:

Cinnamon, €1.30

Chilli powder, €1.30

Red lentils: €1.50