How to Eat Healthily on a Student Budget

Originally published by milk. Magazine on 05/03/2016 here.

We all know our eating habits change when we move out from our parents’ homes to university. There will be times when you fancy a pizza at 2 AM or some chips after a night out. But after a few of those nights, you might notice that your wallet feels lighter. It wasn’t great on my health either; the walk from one end of campus to the other seemed longer than it should have. Below are some tips and tricks about eating better and spending less that I have learned on my student journey at BSU:

  1. Shop at Lidl

Do all your food shopping at Lidl (or as much as possible). Some lucky students starting at BSU this year have the advantage of living next-door to the supermarket. Lidl has quality food at much lower prices, food that students living on a budget in Bath can now afford.

  1. Don’t buy brand names

Your house-mates won’t judge you (that much) if you buy Sainsbury’s own baked beans instead of Heinz. They still taste pretty good, and for a fraction of the cost. Only pay for a label if it means there is something different about the product.

3. Buy things from the clearance section

Pretty much all shops have a clearance section that they fill up at around 7 or 8 PM. That’s when you can get a loaf of bread for around 30p or four chicken breasts for £1.20. You can then stuff them in your freezer to defrost and cook later. Make a house outing out of the early evening shop; you and your house-mates will save some cash so you can treat yourself later.

4. Buy frozen

By this I mean buy frozen vegetables: maxi-packs of peas, broccoli and spinach; Iceland is especially great for this. Keep them in your freezer, defrosting only as much as you need for that meal, so that nothing wastes or perishes. Also, you get to eat vitamin to make sure you’re still a functioning member of society.

5. Cook your own meals

No, I don’t mean heat up a ready meal every night by yourself, but make your own food from scratch. Overall it works out cheaper and healthier than a ready meal and you’re also learning culinary skills that will be useful in the future. If you think cooking your own food is daunting, make dinner with a friend. It could turn out really delicious.

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