Here’s some top tips for students eating on a budget with our guide on how to live off £10 worth of food a week.
It’s not easy, it’s not glamourous and it’s tough work but if you’ve blown your student loan payments in a week then it may be your only choice.
Plan ahead and buy in bulk
Plan each of your three main meals in advance to make the most of your budget. Get your hands on some cheap student recipes that have a few, cheap ingredients and draw yourself up a meal plan for breakfast, lunch and dinner each day.
Pick dishes that have the same types of ingredients so that you can buy a lots of a few things, such as a loaf of bread, packet of pasta, potatoes and eggs, as well as plenty of cheap veg like onions and carrots.
If you plan ahead you’ll also know just how much you’ll need so won’t end up buying too much.
Eat cheap meat
You don’t have to cut meat out completely to live on the cheap as a student, compare prices and choose the least expensive cuts and portions.
Mince mixes in particular tend to be cheaper plus you can try things like liver or tongue.
You could also opt to invest in a whole chicken and make it go the whole week.
Shop in the evening for reduced items
Shop in the evening and look out of discounted and/or damaged goods in reduced sections. You can easily pick up whole loafs of bread for just pence this way, as well as all sorts of other goodies and treats.
Get some friends
Cooking scales up pretty easily so if you and some pals all take part in a challenge to live off £10 a week then you’ll find your money goes a lot further. You can make a lot of savings by buying things in bigger quantities and making bigger meals to share.
Soups and smoothies are cheap, easy and filling
Warm soups and cool smoothies are great for a budget student in that they are pretty trivial to make, filling and you can use pretty much anything you have to hand. Potato onion soup is a particular cheap recipe to try out.
Strictly control portions
Don’t resort to vague measurements like handfuls, instead get out the scales and be sure to control your portions. Be strict with your more expensive ingredients like meat and use cheaper stuff like onions and tinned tomatoes to fill out meals.
Avoid wasting food
Unless it’s gone completely off, never chunk anything out. Even stale bread has its uses.
Get the most out of everything you buy and keep any excess meat and veg you don’t immediately use for future meals.
Remember, you don’t have to eat everything
A big bag of pasta and potatoes will probably last you for more than a week so make use of that. You don’t have to consume all you’ve brought and anything you can keep means either you’ll spend less the next week or be able to get more from your next £10.