Healthy Eating on a student budget
Coming to university and suddenly having to budget on a low sum of money may cause a bit of a shock for some. In order to fund nights out, it is not uncommon among students to disregard their diet and opt for quick, cheap, and unhealthy meals in order to save money. But this does not have to be the case! You can still keep to a healthy diet while on a budget, you just have to be a little bit more savvy.
Fail to prepare and prepare to fail! You may have heard these from your head teacher in an attempt to motivate you to revise for your A-levels… but the phrase can be applied to food also. Buying food in advance and cooking in bulk can be much more cost effective. Take a Bolognese, for example. Buying a large portion of lean mince, the relevant vegetables, and sauce would cost you barely £7 or £8, and it can be divided up and frozen, providing you with a delicious Bolognese to go with spaghetti, rice, or a lasagne. You could even add some beans and spice to one portion and make it a chili! Meal prepping is very time effective as well, which is also a big bonus for busy students.
Make the most of the offers
Every time you are out shopping, make a point to look at the reduced section. Especially if you hit it at the right time (normally towards when the shop is closing) you can find some great bargains on fresh meat. A lot of the time items are reduced because they are going out of date, but if you stick them in the freezer you have nothing to worry about. Doing this may enable you to replace a full price item in your basket for something alternative, and can prove to be extremely cost effective.
Go to the discount store for your tinned and dried goods
Although there is an emphasis on eating good quality fresh meat and veg, dried and tinned goods are not so important- these are the kinds of things that you can visit the discount store for. Some tinned soup, tomatoes, sweetcorn and baked beans will be no different in the discount store to the supermarket, other than that they will be cheaper. They are most likely to stock recognised brands, anyway! As for things like pasta and rice… unless hosting some sort of dinner party, having a fancy high quality pasta really isn’t necessary, especially for a student. Go as cheap as you can on items like these so more money can be saved and spent on healthy, good quality protein!
If you follow this advice you will notice yourself saving money immediately, as well as eating a filling and nourishing balanced diet. With due preparation and a correct mind-set it can easily be done!
Last minute general money saving tips
- Avoid the pizza! However tempting it may be to get a takeaway, not only is it naughty but it is seriously expensive too! For the price you pay for a pizza you could feed yourself for 3-4 days. Have a think next time you are tempted!
- Make a packed lunch if you are in lectures and seminars all day. This will prevent you from being tempted to unnecessarily splurge in the campus shop.
- Go for supermarket own brands if you can. 90% of the time there really is no difference from a supermarket brand to a big name brand, and the amount of money you can save by making this change is massive.
- Cut down on the fizzy drinks, juice and squash. Although we may have a sweet tooth, regularly drinking these types of drinks can cause for the cost to add up. Water from the tap is free and much better for you and your teeth.