The only 10 ingredients you need to feed your family this week

The most versatile foods you’ll find at the supermarket.
Woman at supermarket

If you’re tired of mad-dash supermarket runs that still seem to result in the same dinner day in, day out, it’s time to shop smart. Pick up these 10 multi-purpose buys and we promise they’ll inspire you to try something new. Added bonus: all of them are affordable and easy-to-use.


A great energy-boosting snack, bananas are the go-to ingredient for so many kid-friendly desserts. Banana bread is an obvious winner, but chocolate-dipped banana sticks will always go down well whether it’s Halloween or not. Bananas also make the perfect topping for dessert crepes, pizzas and sweet wraps. And you can use any leftovers for banana smoothies, of course.


If rice isn’t in your pantry, stock up. The perfect side to just about any dinner, it can also be the hero of a dish. Try making some rice cakes for dinner (or lunch the next day), adding it to salad to make it more filling for the family or whip up a delicious rice pudding – a great winter-warmer dessert. You can even use it as the base of a savoury tart. Beats rolling out pastry!


Wraps work at every meal time. You can fill them with scrambled eggs for a satisfying brekkie, use them to make some fruit roll ups for kids’ snack times and make your default lunch a healthy one with a classic chicken and salad wrap. At dinner time, cook up anything you can find in the fridge, wrap it up and it’ll look like a planned, well-thought-out meal. Amazing! Last, but not least, they make a great base for DIY pizzas – savoury or sweet!


You can shop for the whole week if you select avocados with a range of ripeness. A breakfast staple – just add toast or throw it together with eggs and whatever else you have lying around – the humble avocado also makes a quick and easy pesto pasta sauce, a delicious soup and a fresh smoothie (protein powder optional) if you’re running late need breakfast-on-the-go.


Eggs offer up so much more than a simple breakfast solution. Try making a cheesy egg slice or a spinach and egg pie for dinner. Remember, you can vary the other ingredients depending on what you can lay your hands on, too. Bacon and egg wedges are another multi-purpose meal that work for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Take your pick! And, of course, there’s the trusty omelette to fall back on.

Frozen veggies

Having veggies at your disposal around the clock is handy. And that’s the beauty of frozen veggies: they’re always there. Now, you’ll know what works best for you and your family, but if you’re stuck for ideas, opt for spinach. It’s one of those ingredients that can pad out a lot of dishes – pizza, salads, wraps, pasta, smoothies – and is (a bit) easier to hide from eagle-eyed kids than broccoli!


Beans and lentils are an excellent source of protein – and they tend to be much more reasonably priced than meat. Of course, they’re super versatile, too. Chuck them in with some tomatoes for a yummy baked bean pot or create a stuffed mushroom with them. Make the most of hearty stew and slow-cooker season and go for a veggie chimichurri, a bean stew or spice up a simple soup.


Cheese features in heaps of quick and easy dishes as it’s a simple (and cheap) way of adding flavour. Use it to create mac ‘n’ cheese with a spin, to make some delicious fritters and pizza scrolls that the kids will love. If you’re more of a cheese than a chocolate family, then you might want to snap up a few different options and whip up a four-cheese pasta bake too.


It might not always feature on your lists of essentials, but lemon helps bring lots of dishes to life – particularly if you have a sweet tooth. Use it to make a baked lemon, ricotta and hummus dip to have around the house as a snack or make some dairy-free lemon cupcakes, lemon biscuits or super-fast lemon mug cakes for treat time. It also makes a good salad dressing if you’re all out.


As well as the obvious uses – pizza topping, taco middle, wrap filling – chicken is a good go-to at this time of year for heartier winter meals. Use it in a batch of chicken soup for nights when you don’t want to cook (or the family get sick), make some crumbed chicken dippers, homemade chicken burgers or add it in with your frozen veggies and create a chicken pot pie.

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