Living on a shoestring: Food Shopping

Living on a shoestring: Food Shopping

It’s no secret that a lot of students find the hardest thing about flying the nest is often missing Mum’s cooking, and finding out that the fridge is not filled overnight by fairies. Which is possibly where students get the reputation for consuming nothing but Pot Noodles and Strongbow. In fact, lots of young people are just as health-conscious as their more sensible counterparts (parents) - but they just need a little guidance on filling the fridge with both cheap and nutritious goods.

How to go about this:

A weekly budget is imperative. Visiting the supermarket every few days will increase the money you spend and the food you waste. Put aside a weekly budget, and you will be able to account for exactly how much money you are spending every week on your tummy.

Buying vegetables. Often vegetables go to waste because they don’t have the shelf life of, say, canned beans. But you can freeze vegetables from fresh, and use them whenever you want to. Otherwise veg that is already frozen is just as good for you (the freezing keeps in the nutrition) and will last as long as you want.

Local shopping Whilst local grocers and butchers aren’t as common as they once were, doing a quick Google search will lead you to the nearest. Here you’ll be able to find a much wider range of produce from around the world with special discounts, and you are able to buy only the exact amount you need.

Supermarket alternatives And for the products that aren’t available in small, local shops, there are much cheaper alternatives to supermarkets. Check out this online store, which specialises in food beyond its Best Before date: http://www.approvedfood.co.uk.

Always keep an eye out… You should be aware of the deals on offer to you, and the best places to find them. This website http://www.studentmoneysaver.co.uk will bring up random deals - so you can still enjoy a Papa John’s, without having to sacrifice food for a month. Also, ‘Rain-Check Vouchers’ are available from supermarkets such as Tesco, allowing you to take advantage of deals beyond their expiration.

Thinking outside the box Being pragmatic is key to not blowing your student loan and finding yourself begging your parents for money. Don’t only consider buying the brands you are used to - often cheaper versions taste exactly the same. If one day there are no good deals on meat, consider what you could use instead. Soya balls or tofu make a great alternative and are a lot cheaper.

Are there any other ways you have discovered to make your pennies go further? Let us know, so we can spread the word!