Guest post: Tips for eating well on a student budget

As you all know, I love food, and the fact that I can now afford to eat better than I could just a few years ago! But being a student doesn’t mean you have to live on noodles and baked beans (blech), as Laura, a 21-year-old graduate with a degree in English and Creative Writing, points out…

Students get a really tough time from others when it comes to our diets. Think about it – how many times have you been asked about your pot noodles/baked beans/take away consumption?

If you do find healthy eating on a student budget a bit difficult however, you certainly won’t be alone. After all, with rising housing and transport costs, getting your five a day with the little you have left can seem like mission impossible.

Therefore we thought we’d do a bit of research and bring you some tips on how to be the healthiest you can be without getting yourself into even more debt. Hoorah!

Shop around

Though your local corner shop can seem really appealing on your way home after a long day at the library (or a night out!) skip it and go to the supermarket for your supplies instead. Some local convenience stores have been known to charge over double what some supermarkets charge for the same product. Investigate shopping online too as this can sometimes work out cheaper, especially as you won’t have the temptations of the chocolate aisle, and you can do a supermarket price comparison to get the best deals.

Put in with your housemates

Food shopping for one can actually work out more expensive as you will no doubt find yourself wasting lots, as food tends to come in multiple numbers. Whether you’re in a student flatshare in London or halls in Hull, talk about doing a weekly food shop as a flat to see what you could all save. You could also even take it in turns to cook your specialities too, Come Dine with Me style!

Get creative

Making your favourite takeaway treats from scratch can save you lots of money and can also be a lot better for you. Try experimenting with different recipes and ideas to keep things exciting in the kitchen.

Use money saving apps

Your smart phone is more than likely your go-to item for most things, so why not use it to help you save money when food shopping? Check out the food and drink apps that help you budget and give great recipe ideas for when you’re trying to save money. There are also finance apps if you want to take control over other aspects of your money, too.

Cut down on eating out

Eating out – or getting a takeaway – is a huge temptation that’s hard to resist, especially after a long day of lectures. However, you’ll soon see a huge difference in your bank balance if you cut down. We all deserve a treat now and again, but aim to cut it down to once a fortnight and see how much you can save.

Make a meal plan

…And stick to it! Writing a weekly plan of all of your meals will be really useful when it comes to doing the weekly shop as you will be able to see exactly what you need to buy, and how much of it. Avoid buying anything that’s not on your list so that you’ll have lots more money for nights out!

5 thoughts on “Guest post: Tips for eating well on a student budget

  • Reply SuburbanFinance February 13, 2014 at 03:43

    Throughout school, meal planning helped me the most. It cut down big time on food waste and saved a lot of money for me. Plus I was able to eat healthy.

  • Reply Mark Ross February 13, 2014 at 04:00

    Great tips! I always bring my own lunch at school and make sure that my parents know what I like to eat there. I’m very thankful to have my parents’ support when it comes to saving my allowance.

  • Reply Courtney February 14, 2014 at 04:56

    This is great advice! I’ll definitely be taking this into consideration, considering I am HORRIBLE at budgeting for food! I may not be a student anymore, but I’m on a teacher’s budget… which is almost just as bad 😉

  • Reply Financial Carnival for Young Adults ‹ My Life, I Guess...My Life, I Guess… February 17, 2014 at 00:32

    […] @ NZ Muse writes Eating well on a student budget – Students have options beyond ramen and baked […]

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    […] @ NZ Muse writes Eating well on a student budget – Being a student doesn’t mean you have to subsist on noodles and […]

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