We’re in a cost of living crisis and there’s no denying it – everything is so much more expensive these days. And while you’re studying, you might find you have a lot less money; with that in mind, here are some handy tips for making your funds go further when it comes to food shopping…
Plan Your Meals and Make a Shopping List
One of the simplest and most effective ways to save money on food is by planning your meals and creating a grocery list. Before you go shopping, take a few minutes to think about what you’ll eat for the week. Plan your meals around ingredients you already have at home, which can help reduce waste and save money. Once you’ve decided on your meals, create a detailed list and stick to it. Avoid impulse purchases, as they can quickly add up and blow your budget.
Buy in Bulk
This can be hard as a student with limited space to store food, but if you can do it then it’s a great way to make your money go further – especially on non-perishable items like rice, pasta, canned goods, and frozen vegetables. This can be as simple as just getting the bigger bag of pasta that, while more expensive at the time, will last longer and work out cheaper in the long run.
Embrace Seasonal and Local Produce
Fruits and vegetables that are in season are typically more affordable and tastier than out-of-season produce. Visit your local farmers’ market, if there’s one nearby, or shop for fruits and vegetables at a nearby greengrocer to get the best deals. You’ll not only save money, but also support local businesses.
Reduce Meat Consumption
Meat can be one of the more expensive items in your grocery budget. Consider reducing your meat consumption and incorporating more plant-based proteins like beans, lentils, tofu, and quinoa into your meals. Meatless meals can be delicious, nutritious, and budget-friendly. And, it’s better for the planet – even if you just cut out meat one day per week…
Cook at Home
Eating out or ordering takeout can be a major drain on your food budget, no matter how good that deal seems or how much you’re craving cheesy chips and gravy… just us? Cooking at home allows you to control the ingredients, portion sizes, and preparation methods, all of which can save you money in the long run. Plus, it’s an opportunity to develop your kitchen skills and experiment with new recipes. You can even share the cooking duties with your flatmates, which can work out cheaper and means there isn’t as much pressure on you.
Minimise Food Waste
Reducing food waste is not only environmentally friendly but also a way to save money. Keep track of what you have in your cupboards, fridge, and freezer to ensure that you use up ingredients before they go bad. Get creative with leftovers by repurposing them into new meals. Meal prepping also helps with eliminating food waste, too, and it can save you time meaning an extra few minutes in bed before a day of studying!
All of these handy tips can help you stretch your student budget when it comes to food, cooking, shopping and more. Be sure to eat well so you stay energised and ready to learn…