One of the most common issues that new students raise is that for the first time they are managing their grocery shopping and cooking themselves, and they are shocked at how quickly it adds up. Student food is often a concern of parents too!
Convenience food (fast food, to go food, and outlets on or near campus) might be far more convenient, but the costs are massive in comparison to even learning a few basic recipes and picking up the best ways of managing your groceries on a budget. We’ve therefore got a roundup of all the best ways of saving money and eating like kings and queens all whilst sticking to a budget!
Meal planning sounds boring, but it is a great way to get yourself organised and save money. Simply work out what you will be eating and drinking for the week and do a grocery shop for all the ingredients you will need in one go.
Meal planning is a great way of planning your menu, and if you aren’t a fan of cooking, or struggle to find the time, then batch cooking two or three meals a week and freezing portions can be a brilliant way of cutting down on your cooking and food prep time.
Student food grocery shopping hacks
Grocery shopping can be highly dull, but if you are organised you can really save effort and stress. Make a list and stick to it. Don’t enjoy going, or find that you always end up throwing items in that you didn’t need, try and online grocery shopping service. Slots which are later in the midweek evenings tend to be the cheapest slots, but check and see what options are available where you live.
The cheapest shops (which tend to be Aldi and Lidl) don’t currently do a delicery service, so you might want to go there to save a bit more money, but if you are savvy, you can shop on a budget at the other stores.
Yellow sticker purchases can be a bargain, as long as they fit into your meal plans and they won’t be wasted. These are items which are very close to their use by date. Don’t confused use by with best before. Best before foods are edible after that date, they might just not be as nice (for example stale crisps) whereas use by foods (which are usually things which need to be chilled such as dairy or meats) do need to be used before that date, otherwise they may spoil and be unhealthy to eat. You can of course buy items close to that use by date and then freeze them for use at a later date.