Students don't exactly have a reputation for being gourmet chefs - unless you consider pot noodles gourmet?.
But plenty of students regularly cook because they know it will save them money, and they can make sure they actually get some vital nutrients.
It's not always easy to cook in university halls or even the kitchens of privately-rented student properties. Plus, you often don't want to put in too much effort. Fortunately, there are plenty of kitchen hacks that can make life easier for you. Try these ones to spend less time washing up and save some money.
One-pot Meals Save on Washing Up
Another way to get rid of mountains of dishes is to cook one-pot meals. As the name suggests, you only need one pot to cook them. Just chuck everything into a single pan in the order your recipe says, and you'll have just one pan to wash up when you're done. There are lots of things you can do, from soups and casseroles to risottos and pasta dishes. You can also put lots of things in a single roasting tray. Here are some recipes you can try.
Wrap Your Food
No one likes it when they spend 20 minutes making a meal, and they then have to wash three pans, a plate and cutlery, and a glass. Takeaway is so much easier when you can just throw the packaging away. But if you want to reduce your washing up, you can wrap your food in foil or baking parchment. Both of these things help you make great parcels of food that lock in flavour, and you can eat straight out of them if you want.
Cooking in Bulk Saves Money
Money is tight when you're a student, and you don't want to spend too much on food. You need drinking money, after all. If you're trying to save, one thing that can make things cheaper is buying and cooking in bulk. It's often cheaper to buy a big bag of something than a smaller bag when you work out the cost by weight. You can either share meals with your housemates or put leftovers in the fridge or freezer.
Space is the Key to Zen
When space is at a premium, it's important to use your area wisely. There are plenty of ways you can do this but one of the best is to utilize the correct furniture. Here’s a handy idea for a desk which can double up as a work surface and even a worktop.
Regular Cleaning Is Less Effort
You might dread the idea of cleaning the kitchen, but it has to be done at some point. It's especially important if you live in halls and your kitchen gets inspected. Instead of having to spend a day or two desperately cleaning to pass your inspection, regular cleaning will help you all. A quick wipe of all the surfaces you used after cooking is all it takes. Of course, you also have to get the people you live with to do the same.
Test Your Food to Avoid Wastage
Knowing when something is no longer edible can be tricky, especially with confusing sell-by and use-by dates. But if you're unsure, there's usually a test you can use to check. For example, if you have eggs that you're unsure about, drop one in a glass of water. If it floats, you don't want to eat it. But if it sinks, it's still fresh enough to eat.
Students can make like easier in the kitchen with a few simple tricks. It doesn't take much to make a big change.