Few things i generally try to always have in my cupboard that mean i can generally always knock up a half decent meal.
Extra virgin olive for salad dressings, finishing pasta dishes but never for cooking! Also if you use just for a few bits it will mean you don't spend the same amount as Jamie Oliver must do in his house. The flavour decreases as its heated and in my opinion isn't worth using for cooking with.
veg oil - for cooking with, it also gets to a higher temperature than olive oil so is better for browning food off.
sesame oil - for stir fries.
Pasta, rice, noodles
Arborio rice - risotto is a great meal that you only need a couple of pans for and can be put together really quickly from scratch. We do a risotto at least once a week, mushroom, squash, pepper, bacon and pea are all good versions.
Basmati rice - to be turned into pilau rice when you have a curry.
Pasta - 1 or 2 of penne, linguine, tagliatelli, lasagne, rigatoni are my personal favourites.
Noodles - egg and rice variety, get em from chinese supermarket just off Bramhall Lane as.
Coconut milk - thai curry's and also try using it in a custard for bread and butter pudding with some passion fruit, you heard it here first!
Tomatoes- pasta sauces, chilli, soup, curry.
Chickpeas - humous, curry's, salads.
Erbs and spices
Only dried herbs worth using are bayleaves, oregano, thyme and rosemary.
Spices- chilli (flakes and powder), ginger, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, smoked paprika, cloves, nutmeg, turmeric, cardamon, star anise, cinnamon, mixed spice and salt and pepper
Flour, sugar and bits
Plain, self raising, bread, gram, chapati, corn, baking powder, bicarb, demerera, caster and icing sugars.
Bottles and jars
Brown sauce (for bacon butties), vinegars (one or two of white wine, cider, red wine, balsamic, sherry), fish sauce (thai curries) soy sauce, hendersons, vanilla extract, almond extract, olives, capers, roast peppers, mustard, redcurrant sauce, horseradish sauce, ketchup, mayo, lemon curd.
dried fruit, chicken stock cube, honey, birds custard, tea bags, coffee, lentils (puy and red are best), dried mushrooms (good for risotto), breadcrumbs.
Hope that's useful, if you do choose to give any recipes on here a go it will help if you've got this stuff on hand.
I'll do a freezer list at some point, not as much on that one.