Food has a direct impact on your life and can influence how healthy you feel, how well you’re able to focus on studying, and how much money you have in your bank account.
Surveys show many students arrive at university with limited knowledge of how to cook. You don’t need to be an accomplished chef. Just knowing some simple recipes and having some key ingredients in your cupboard such as pasta, sauces and basic herbs and spices can save you a huge amount of money in the long run.
We’ve created a library of easy and cheap recipes over on the Your Money Portal Page. They use minimal ingredients and don’t cost a lot to make.
Cooking doesn’t have to be complicated, so dust off those pans and have a read of our top 10 tips to save money on food.
1. Plan your meals
Make a list of your main meals for the coming week, including the ingredients you’ll need. Check which ingredients you already have in and add the rest to your shopping list. Download our free meal planner here.
2. Freeze what you can
It’s more expensive to shop for one, so why not make enough for four people and freeze the rest? Having an easy meal to come home to will stop you reaching for the takeaway apps.
3. Try food shopping online
You can see a running total of how much you’re spending, and you’re less likely to buy things you don’t need.
4. Shop for supermarket own brands
You can always go back if you don’t like them. Chances are, you won’t notice the difference and it’ll cut around 30% off your shop.
5. Look at the price per kilo or price per litre
Most of the time it’s much more cost effective to buy the bigger bag or bottle, even though it’s more expensive to buy at the time.
6. Buy frozen vegetables
They’re around 20% cheaper than fresh ones and are already prepared most of the time. Just throw them in and heat until cooked.
7. Make a list and stick to it
The Money Helper service found people who shopped when tired spent an extra £14.53, and 59% of people spend more than they want to when they’re hungry. Make a list and stick to it.
8. Reconsider takeaway coffee
Takeaway coffee is a drain on your finances. Spending £3.50 on a coffee every day doesn’t seem like a lot, but it adds up to over £1000 per year. Get a free small community coffee on campus, bring your own coffee in a flask or look at a coffee subscription instead.
9. Make use of leftover food apps
Look for leftover food on the Too Good to Go app. You’ll usually get a huge discount and do some good by stopping food going to waste. Don’t forget, at Exton Park, we also serve free Too Good to Throw meals in the Dining Rooms from 2.30pm.
10. Dine out during the week
If you like eating out with friends, try to meet up during the week instead of the weekend. Most restaurants offer early bird menus or cheaper prices during the week.