Here are some top tips to help you eat well on a student budget… it doesn’t need to cost a fortune!
- Meal plan and write a shopping list
Get prepared for the week ahead by planning your meals and writing a shopping list. It can benefit your pocket in many ways – you’ll avoid buying foods you’ve already got in the cupboard and you’ll be less likely to grab more food than you need on your way around the supermarket!
2. You don’t need to buy fresh!
You don’t need to buy only fresh fruit and vegetables to get your 5-a-day. Did you know that tinned, frozen and dried all count too? Plus, these are often much cheaper than the fresh version and they won’t go off as quickly! Just be wary of what your fruit is tinned in – water is a better option than syrup.
3. Buy seasonal
Seasonal fruit and vegetables tend to be cheaper than those that are out of season. Seasonal UK grown produce in February includes apples, carrots, cucumber, spring greens, parsnips and leeks.
4. Cook in bulk
Cooking in bulk will not only leave you with something for lunch the following day (so you won’t need to buy something pricey from campus) but you could also freeze leftover portions for a future meal, perfect for when you can’t be bothered to cook anything! Make sure you cool, freeze, defrost and reheat leftovers safely – check out this link for some guidance: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/how-to-store-food-and-leftovers/
5. Swap some of the meat in your meal for pulses
By reducing the portion of meat in your meal and including more pulses instead (e.g. beans, lentils), you will not only be saving money but also increasing your fibre intake. An 80g portion, or 3 heaped tablespoons, of pulses also counts as a 1 of your 5-a-day! I’ve found that a classic chilli con carne is a good meal to try this out with.
6. Choose own-branded products
The supermarket’s own versions of dried goods such as pasta, bread and rice are often much cheaper than branded versions, without compromising on taste! Buying these dried goods in bulk will also help to keep the costs down in the long run too.
Sources used and for more information:
British Dietetic Association, 2017. Fruit and vegetables. [online] Available at: https://www.bda.uk.com/resource/fruit-and-vegetables-how-to-get-five-a-day.html [Accessed 3 January 2020].
British Dietetic Association, 2019. Eat well, spend less. [online] Available at: https://www.bda.uk.com/resource/food-facts-eat-well-spend-less.html [Accessed 3 January 2020].
Vegetarian Society, 2020. Seasonal UK Grown Produce. [online] Available at: https://vegsoc.org/cookery-school/blog/seasonal-uk-grown-produce/ [Accessed 3 January 2020]