Now, coming into university and living away from home for the first time probably means you’re worrying a little about making sure you get fed right. It doesn’t have to be as expensive as you think, nor as difficult. Even if you have a humungous appetite, you won’t be broke and starving or checking out the kitchen for people’s post-night out leftovers (we’ve all been there). So we have picked our best brains to cobble together our top foodie tips for you. From budgeting and supermarket picks to a few cheap meal ideas, we’ve got your back and some fantastic advice to boot.
Tip #1 Start cooking meals for yourself! It isn’t all that difficult and it saves lots of money. Mastering a few basic recipes will really add to your skill set and give you a better sense of independence. You might even discover an unknown culinary flair! During Fresher’s Week, everyone seems to live off a diet of instant noodles, takeaways and cereal. Friendly advice: cereal doesn’t count as a meal, especially not multiple times a day. You really do need some good heart dinners and a reasonable amount of vegetables to keep you going. We don’t want any of you falling down with scurvy or vitamin deficiency over here. There are a wealth of student tips and super easy recipes online; make sure you read online recipes like bbcfood.com, articles, blogs and watch tutorials for easy cooking!
Tip #2 Try and look for grocery stores that have the best quality at the lowest price – Tesco and Asda are usually quite good at that. I’d recommend Sainsbury’s next after them. Please do get a Nectar card if you’re planning to shop at Sainsbury’s as this collects points which you can redeem later. They’ve also got lots of offers and promotions with other brands where you can earn more points. Lidl and Poundland are also popular student choices too! Another trick that one of my friends showed me was to shop in the evenings when supermarkets put out items for reduced prices – usually because they won’t be kept on display the next day but these are still within the date and can be frozen for later use!
Tip #3 Plan for the week! We suggest planning dinners ahead of time, choosing affordable recipes and doing one big shop to grab all your necessary ingredients. Crucial tip: write a shopping list, and stick to it! Also, never go food shopping when you’re hungry because you are so much more likely to pick up snacks and treats that you don’t need (I am so very guilty of this, buy-one-get-one-free chocolate buttons, anyone?). If you don’t always fancy cooking (hello, Draper’s hangovers that stretch to 6pm) then check out our beginner’s guide to East London where we’ve included some great places to eat!
Tip #4 Cook with your friends! It’s a great way to hang out, chat and spend some time together. It can save you money too. A great way to do this is plan a weekly night you can cook together and make sure you have the ingredients in. Or, if you’re kinda lazy about it you can just cobble together a good meal out of whatever you’ve got in your cupboards. Between two or three people, you almost always have enough stuff to get a good dinner going.