Poor college student that needs to eat here.
I'm stocking up on all the staples like dried beans, rice, and the like. I already know I'm going to get sick of these, so I'd like to learn how to spice my food when I cook.
Start with pepper and a couple of chilli powders, plain hot chilli and something like paprika or cayenne. After that, cumin and coriander are probably the most commonly used spices.
Add turmeric, cinnamon and mustard seeds if you like Indian flavours, dried herbs for more Mediterranean stuff, though you can get frozen herbs now that aren't bad. Lemon juice, tomato paste and brown sugar will help.
Chinese "five spice" is fennel, cinnamon, cloves, star anise and pepper, but that's kinda too strong to use on staples so you'd be better off with fresh garlic, ginger and chilli if you want to lean Asian.