Is food making a huge dent in your student loan? You’re not alone; many students end up spending huge amounts on food, especially if they’re not used to cooking or shopping for themselves when they first head away from home. The good news is that there are loads of simple things you can do to keep your costs down – and they don’t involve living off Pot Noodles! Try these eight tips today:
Use an app like mySupermarket to compare food prices across major stores and find the best deals on different products. Keep in mind that larger supermarkets will likely be the cheapest for basic dry and tinned goods, but local markets and greengrocers can offer great savings on fruit, vegetables, cheese, eggs and so on. They’re often better quality, too!
Use Reward Cards
Remember to take advantage of reward cards such as Tesco Clubcard and Sainsbury’s Nectar card; the saving per shop might not seem like much, but it’ll quickly add up!
Learn To Cook
Though learning to cook might seem like a simple tip, it’s amazing how many students prefer to live off takeaways than put in the little effort that’s required to learn simple dishes. Check out the food section for lots of yummy recipes and start experimenting today! You can also cook in bulk and freeze portions to keep for later.
Time Your Shopping Right
Never shop hungry! Heading to the supermarket straight after a hard day of lectures will never result in a balanced basket of shopping. If you can, try to shop in the evening – particularly on Fridays and Saturdays – when you’ll find loads of reduced items that are near the end of their shelf life.
Be Smart When Eating Out
An NUS card will get you money off in a variety of restaurants, and sites like Studentbeans and MyVoucherCodes are constantly updated with new offers and discounts for eating out. So before going out make sure you check to see which places you can get the best offers at.
Plan and eat three proper, nutritious meals per day and you’ll be far less tempted to nibble on junk or pick up expensive snacks to go in the middle of the morning. It’s particularly important that you don’t skip breakfast; try a wallet-friendly bowl of porridge to set you up for the day.
Consider Shopping Online
Shopping online can be a fantastic option for students. It’s quicker and more efficient than trawling round a supermarket with a list, and you’re less likely to make impulse purchases as you wander through the aisles of strategically-placed chocolates and crisps. Once you’ve done your first shop online the supermarkets website will remember everything you bought last time, you can just modify it as you wish for that week’s food shop saving you even more time.
Cook and Shop With a Friend
Share the cost of basics (like rice, pasta, oil and other condiments) with a friend and you’ll see your spending drop, as bigger sizes offer much better value. Having someone else to cook for will also mean you’re less likely to cave in and go for a takeaway!
Image Credit: Camilo Rueda López via Flickr.
Have you been inspired by Jamie’s tips? If you’ve been creative in the kitchen, show us! Tweet @impactfood or show off on Instagram @impactmagfood.