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A Student Guide to Food Budgeting





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Everything was so much easier living at home. All you had to do was turn up at meal times and you’d find delicious meals ready on your plate. Moving away means so much more freedom but also more responsibility, even when it comes to food. This is particularly true of moving to STUDENT ACCOMMODATION LONDON, as often this is the first time away from home! There’s only so much money to go around and that means sticking to a strict budget. We have some top tips to help ensure that your culinary habits don’t break the bank.

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Buy in bulk

Rice and pasta are the perfect base for so many meals and they have an indefinite shelf life provided you keep it dry. So why not buy a huge packet of each at the start of the year so you’ll never be short of something to eat. Your pasta need never be plain with a jar of pesto sauce or just add a little oil and some vegetables to rice and you’re minutes away from a healthy stir fry.

Share the load

Cooking for one can be so much more costly than making a meal for more. Why not take it in turns with friends or flatmates to cook a big meal for everyone? This spreads the work around and is a great way to learn new recipes and turns dining into a social experience.

Freezers are your friend

Even if you’re just catering for yourself it can pay to make a large serving. A big stew can be cooked
up and then split into portions. Make sure you cool food down before you put it in the freezer. No one wants a mystery meal so make sure that you add helpful labels so you know what these food parcels contain. With plenty of pre-prepared meals you’ll always have something to eat when you get busy with intense study periods.

Avoid big brands

You might know all the big brand names in food but you can find almost identical items far cheaper. It’s always good to experience new things, and with a little bit of experimentation you might find new favourites whether they’re just lesser known or supermarket own brands.

Find the right cuts

Meat is a great source of protein but you might find that many cuts are surprisingly expensive. Don’t worry; a quick chat with the local butcher and you’ll find that you can buy some more unusual cuts of meat for a much lower price. It might take a while to get used to eating chump of lamb, or beef shins but with the right cooking you can conjure some spectacular culinary creations!

Shop around

It might be easy to just walk around the big local supermarket but big savings can be made if you shop around the local shops and find the best prices. Visit smaller specialist retailers like fruit and veg shops and you might find some brilliant bargains. Before you know it you’ll have a great idea of where to buy everything you want at the best possible prices.

Shop in season

You might have your favourite fruits and vegetables but their prices will change with the seasons. Do a little digging and you’ll find the perfect produce to suit the season at a price that’s right.

Timing is everything

Some supermarkets will discount their fresh produce at the end of the day. Look out for the yellow labels and you’ll find you can buy top quality products at knock down prices from fresh breads to ready cooked chickens.

Make lists

Shops are designed with temptation in mind. They’re arranged so you’ll see all the bargains on offer and could be lured into over shopping. Make a list of everything you need to make your meals and shop sensibly to buy only what you need. That’s not to say you can’t have a little flexibility. If there’s a useful product on offer that you know you’ll need, then take advantage.

Avoid takeaways

Takeaways often offer deals especially to entice students into buying their fine foods. These deals may be tempting, but do they really offer value for money? Shop around the super markets and you’ll soon find that you can eat the same pizzas, chips and fried chicken at a much lower price.

Follow these budgeting tips to become a super shopper and they’ll become habits meaning you’ll have some spare cash to indulge yourself once in a while.

Do you have any top tips for buying on a budget? We’d love to hear them so leave a comment below!