Slimming World Essential Ingredients – Hold on to ya wallets!


So you’ve decided to join slimming world, or maybe you recently started which is fantastic, you’ll love it, I do!

Let’s face it being on a diet is about losing weight, well that’s the overall goal right? But like I’ve said before I think it’s the food (and planning) that makes or breaks any successful diet, I mean who wants to eat boring, cardboard crap? Yeah! Me neither.

I’ve gotta hand it to Slimming world, they have got a ton of recipes books that are packed to the rafters with some pretty cool recipes that are fine on the slimming world diet, which is what we all want. The problem is the amount of ingredients you need to make all these amazing dishes, you need almost an entire aisle of Tesco, and I don’t need to tell you they don’t come cheap.

I don’t want to bad mouth slimming world (honestly!) , but there not really forward about the cost of following their diet plan.

Hell, “join now for £9.95” (£14.95 when not on special) sounds so much better than, “join now for £9.95 plus £80 for ingredients!”.

Don’t get me wrong it’s not just slimming world, its the entire dieting & weight loss industry. They brush over the real cost of losing weight because shifting the fat is tough enough without telling newcomers it’s gonna cost them an arm and a leg.

Listen to me, I’m making it sound like it’s hopeless, but its not, far from it infact. It’s just…I think its only right for me to highlight this problem and the most common ingredients found in slimming world recipes so there are no shocks and surprises.

I’ve looked through all my slimming world books and online, making notes on the most common ingredients. I’m not talking about chicken & eggs, I mean the store cupboard herbs and spices that most of the dishes need, yet most of us don’t have to hand.


Spices & Seasonings

  • Salt
  • Garlic salt or granules
  • Onion powder or granules
  • Black peppercorns
  • Curry powders – mild, medium and hot
  • Tikka curry powder
  • Chilli powder- mild, medium and hot
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Paprika
  • Smoked paprika
  • Chilli flakes/crushed chillies
  • Mustard powder
  • Black mustard seeds
  • Yellow mustard seeds
  • Nutmeg
  • Ground ginger
  • Ground cumin
  • Cumin seeds
  • Fennel seeds – rarely used
  • Ground cardamom
  • Cardamom pods
  • Cloves
  • Saffron – rarely used
  • Turmeric
  • Garam Masala
  • Chinese five spice
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Stock cubes – beef, chicken & vegetable


Dried Herbs

  • Mixed herbs
  • Italian Herb Seasoning
  • Parsley
  • Coriander
  • Mint
  • Thyme
  • Tarragon
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Bay leaves
  • Marjoram
  • Sage
  • Coriander seeds
  • Ground coriander


Other Store Cupboard Essentials

  • Light soy sauce
  • Dark soy sauce
  • White wine vinegar
  • Malt vinegar
  • Balsamic  vinegar
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Fish sauce
  • Oyster sauce
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Fry light 1 cal oil spray
  • Plain & self-raising flour
  • Corn flour
  • Baking powder
  • Lemon & lime juice
  • English, wholegrain & American Mustard

As you can see, the list of regularly used ingredients is…HUGE, and i’m sure I’m not the only one that doesn’t have all these ingredients lying around the kitchen.


The cost?

Well, this is it isn’t it. It all boils down to this, so I went on to Tesco online and added every ingredient listed above to my basket apart from three that weren’t available (black mustard seeds, ground cardamon and dried marjoram) and they came in at a whopping…£75.60! Add £3 (think that’s fair) for the missing items and your looking at a cool £78.60 for all your slimming world store cupboard essential ingredients.



Ok so some of the items I put on the list we’re Schwartz instead of tescos own because that’s all that was available, and yes you might be able to get some things cheaper elsewhere, but the fact remains. Your looking at £60-80 initial outlay to buy all these ingredients to be able to cook almost anything from the slimming world books.


Click here (or the pic above) for a look at the full sized image of everything in the basket.


Note: prices as of 24/04/14


I’m not suggesting you run out and buy the entire list, but if you are intending on following the slimming world diet and cooking a variety of recipes then you will need all of the above at some point or another and like I’ve said, I think its only fair that you know this upfront.

Spending £80 on ingredients, that, on their own don’t make anything, is like a swift kick in the…teeth, and your right, it sucks. But.

Sliver lining?

Once you’ve stomached the initial outlay they will last and make a quite a few dishes because most recipes only require a few teaspoons or so of each ingredient at a time. Most seasoning & spices jars contain about 40 grams on average, which in terms of teaspoons is 8, and if the recipe needed 2tsp that means you’d be able to make 4 potions of that particular recipe, I don’t think that’s too bad, do you?
(1 teaspoon = 5 grams aprox, using this converter)

Its then just a case of topping up as you go; there won’t be another huge outlay because you’ve got them, but it only works if your gonna use them. The last thing you wanna to do is go and buy them and then not use em’. You might as well burn you hard earned cash if that’s the case.

Boiling it down

The bottom line is, losing weight and eating healthy on slimming world isn’t cheap, and anyone that says otherwise is talking crap, sure there are a few dishes here and there, but on a whole its expensive.

This really needs to be thought about if your thinking of joining slimming world because like I’ve already said, food is the most important part of any plan.

Personally, I would go out a buy them all (and I did last week!..well a fair few), nothing irritates me more than seeing a recipe in one of the books and think “ahhh that looks so nice, I can’t wait to cook it” only to get to the cupboard and find sweet fudge all!

So there you have it!

What’s your thoughts?



Download SW Essential Ingredients

Darran Mansfield

Hi! I'm Darran Mansfield, I've been on the Slimming World diet for about 10 months, and I've lost 5 and a half stone (74lbs/34kgs), I'm by no means a weight loss expert, but I do have first hand experience, and that's what I'm here to share with you. I'm looking for a healthy, sustainable lifestyle that's enjoyable yet maintainable in today's modern life. If that's what you want, you should stick around, I'm sure you'll find something helpful and don't forget to say hi to me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Instagram.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 4 comments

I’m not on slimming world but would have most of these items in the kitchen a lot of these are dry goods that have a long shelf life the best thing to do is build up a well stocked pantry over time . Just think of it this way one or two take aways a week from your local Chinese buys a lot ingrediants it’s really not that expensive to eat healthy

    Darran Mansfield

    Hi John, thanks for the comment. Your spot on about building them up over time which is great for normal household cupboards but this kinda goes out the window when it comes to starting a diet like slimming world because to cook almost anything out of the books, which is what most new SW’ers want to do, you need to have most of the above ingredients otherwise you be adding “this and that” instead which won’t be slimming world friendly and defeats the whole plan.

    Overall I think eating healthy is pretty expensive, at home and eating out. You can grab a pretty decent and big frozen pizza for £2 easily….what can you do with £2 healthily?

    I love you thinking/tip about the takeaway cash, that’s certainly a good way to do it.


I don’t think you’re being entirely fair… I am doing Slimming World very successfully and I don’t have most of the stuff on that list. I get by eating lots of fruit and veg, some pasta/potatoes, and lean meat. You don’t *have* to follow the recipes in the books unless you want to, and you can make plenty of stuff from the Free foods and Healthy Extras without loads of herbs and spices…!

    Darran Mansfield

    Hi Cat, Thanks for the comment 🙂

    I totally see what your saying, and your right you don’t have to buy all them ingredients, that being said I’ll pose this question to you “what does any one doing something new want to do?” They want to jump in with both feet and try everything because it’s new and exciting, right That and the fact slimming world love to promote there recipe books in class which are pretty good. Like I said in the article, that list is the most common ingredients used from them books, of course you doing need turmeric or cardamon pods for simple lean meat, potatoes and vegetables….a curry on the hand would/could need them.

    Lastly I would say that majority of new slimmers will try a lot of new recipes at the start and will need them ingredients, but after a while they will settle into the plan and stick to a select few (6-10) meals that they enjoy and forget the rest.


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