Having reached my fourth and final year at uni now, I think I’ve finally grasped the most economical (arguable), healthy and realistic ways to food shop and eat whilst at uni. My housemates and I all tend to do online shops as we’re all too familiar with the temptations of promotions and shiny packaging the supermarkets like to lure you in with and when shopping online it’s easier to be more sensible and behaved when it comes to grocery choices, plus you can see exactly how much your shop is coming to (and remove the family size bar of Cadbury’s accordingly).
I find myself gravitating towards the same products each time as I’ve learned what works well for me and what I can wedge into the fridge and freezer. Some of my recommendations for eating well on a budget include:
- buy a whole chicken, freeze it, then defrost when you want to cook it (I recommend cooking on a Sunday as you then get a roast, not as good as your mums but we try eh) and save whatever you don’t have for the week
- mince, mince and more mince (that’s going straight in my basket): a large pack of mince can be frozen and again defrosted when you want to use it, you can then make up a huge batch of chilli, spag bol or whatever mincey concoction suits you and have seemingly endless portions which you can freeze and defrost for a quick and easy dinner
- frozen veg, best invention since sliced bread and those of you who cottoned on early (unlike me) I applaud you. Frozen veg is so much easier, cheaper and more practical than fresh as it doesn’t go out of date quickly and you can just chuck some broccoli, pepper or spinach into whatever you fancy
- Snacks (the video of the little girl screaming SNAX is honestly me) I love snacks, who doesn’t? When you’re doing full days or even long afternoons in the library snacks are essential, along with water, to keep your brain powering on through. I can’t focus when I’m really hungry so if you’re anything like me stock up on rice cakes (caramel are the best), crisps (the Sunbites multigrains are fab and on offer at ASDA) and fruit (yes pink ladies are daylight robbery but who can resist their juicy charms)
- store cupboard carbs: stocking up on the cheapies such as rice, pasta, couscous and potatoes means you always have something to chuck with a meal and when they’re all priced as low as they are you can’t really go wrong
I realise some, or all, of these tips are probably painstakingly obvious but if, like me, you’ve cottoned on late to these smart little hacks then give them a go and see how they work for you! (don’t forget the snacks, v important)