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    I spent about 15£ in Tescos, because I have pasta and noodles.
    I usually buy:

    anything on offer, damn those ready meals
    veg wise (vary each time)= mushrooms, onions (only need to buy one in a while as they last), potatos (same), baby corn and sugar snap peas, lettuce, frozen sweetcorn (cheaper), cucumber
    dairy = milk/soya milk, cheese&marg when run out
    free range eggs
    meatwise: pork loin, or chicken thighs (strip off the meat if you want, makes a cheaper substitute for chicken breast and it's more tender ), mine beef, sometimes sirloin steak :p:
    fruit: usually apples or anything on offer

    Buy loads of vegetables and fruit from the market as it's SOO much cheaper...

    I get carrots, parsnips, onions (which add a lot of flavor), broccoli, mushrooms spinach, bananas, oranges, tomatoes, as regulars.
    less frequent:- When I want something particular or the season allows for an additional vegetable or fruit, I buy raspberries, chesnuts, mangoes, strawberries, blueberries, dates, figs, squash, pumpkin.

    I buy carbs like french bread, wraps, pasta, flour, rice, noodles from the supermarket, I also get soya milk and protein sources like dried beans, chickpeas, lentils, refrigerated tofu. I also buy from there olive oil and have a huge stash of spices and herbs like paprika, chilli, oregano, cinnamon, nutmeg, basil, rosemary, sage, cardamon, tarragon, garam Marsala etc. Tinned tomatos and a few frozen goods are useful.
    Less frequent:- biscuits (oaties or hobnobs or ginger stem cookies or oatmeal raisin), pastries, co op jam doughnuts which are vegan, sauces and pastes like tika masala paste, chutneys and hummus

    From this i can make many english, mexican, french, italian, indian, chinese, indonesian, thai and japanese foods.

    My Tesco situation is more or less the same as yours. It's about a 15 minute walk from my halls, longer on the way back with heavy shopping, and I aim to go once a week.

    I manage to do (more or less) a week's shop every Monday, though I do end up picking up the odd bits and bobs (milk, cheese etc) at the Costcutter's on campus.

    The main thing to consider before you shop is what you want to eat. There's no point making a list of random foodstuffs, and then not using them. Plan a main meal per day - curry, stirfry, bolognese, etc. - and then write down the ingredients you need. Then make sure you buy everything on your list, and not too much other random crap.

    The exception to this is if you spot things reduced to clear or on a good offer, buy them even if they're not on your list, and fit them in to your week, or freeze them for next week.

    It's hard to say what my weekly shop is, because it depends what meals I'm cooking, but it tends to include:

    -1 pack Tesco value bananas (I have one as part of my breakfast every day)
    -Some other fruit (recently, mostly clementines)
    -Carrots (probably the cheapest vegetable, and easy to incorporate into lots of different meals)
    -Baking potatoes
    -Peppers (though I tend to call in at Costcutter for these, because they're one of the few things that are cheaper there. You might want to check their price at Lidl or wherever).
    -Garlic (don't need this and onions every week, because they keep well, and I usually buy a pack which is enough for a few weeks)
    -Other veg, like butternut squash, aubergine, brocolli, green beans, mushrooms, sweet potato - all depends what meals I have planned.
    -Fish - I check the fish counter to see if there's anything good reduced to clear (have had half price trout, cod and tuna a few times last term), but I also usually keep a bag of frozen salmon in the freezer at home. Buy it when there's an offer on (my last bag was half price) and it'll last a while.
    -Fake meat (mostly just mince, occasionally veggie sausages, or anything else that's on offer and looks good)
    -Tinned stuff - soup for lazy meals, chopped tomatoes for sauces, curry etc., baked beans, tuna, chickpeas and other beans that can easily be added to meals to pad them out and add protein.
    -Sauces - pesto, curry paste, sachets of sauce for stirfries, sweet chilli sauce, mango chutney. Don't need to buy these every week, just whenever I run out.
    -Pasta, rice and noodles when I run out of them.
    -Dried chickpeas and lentils when I've run out of them and am planning to cook something that uses them.
    -Flour (plain, self-raising, bread flour) when I run out.
    -Eggs when I'm planning on making cakes.
    -Butter/margarine whenever I run out.

    This looks like a massive list, but a lot of these things (like flour, or dried chickpeas) are things I might buy once or twice a term, not every week.

    I tend to spend around £20-25 per week, but this includes cooking for friends a couple of times a week - I'd spend less if I didn't like having dinner guests so much!

    (Original post by Annabella99)
    Well, I'm a vegetarian so I don't have to buy meat which is cheaper! But then if I ever fancy tofu I'm screwed....

    Here is my weekly list (minus alcohol, which constitutes half my weekly budget lol):

    - soya milk
    - orange juice

    - Broccoli (iron)
    - Mushrooms (vitamin B12)
    - Onion
    - RED PEPPER!!!
    - something different every week ie courgette, parsnips

    Fruit (snacks)
    - Bannanas
    - Apples

    - Oatcakes
    - houmous or cottage cheese - good with oatcakes and dipping in vegetables that need using
    - natural yoghurt

    Non-perishables and tins
    (These are bought at the beginning of each term)
    - Pasta
    - Rice
    - Pasta sauces (varieties) / pesto
    - soy sauce
    - SWEETCORN - great to eat straight out of the tin: filling and healthy!
    - porridge
    - museli

    Out of all the above, there are so many combinations....
    you can stirfry vegetables and put them with rice and soy sauce, or pop them into pasta dishes, whilst natural yoghurt on museli is a brilliant (and cheap! 90p for a tub) for breakfast.

    ALSO....don't ever underestimate COUSCOUS!!!!! Literally add hotwater and you have a healthy, filling meal!!!

    Hope this helps xxx
    @ Annabella99
    Hope this helps xxx
    Definitely did. I'm a vegetarian too, and also have soya milk etc so I've been looking for ideas for meals as of October; little bit harder for us to share shopping or meals with room mates! Thank you for the ideas xx

    As far as meat goes just buy one whole chicken from the butchers and butcher it yourself. I find it's easily enough meat for a week for me.

    What I do is use one breast for a curry, one maybe for a tagine or stir fry. Then I can fillet the thighs and mince them, couple of days pasta or chilli there. I save the wings for bbq season, freeze them in a bag, you'll have a metric ******* eventually.

    It works out so much cheaper than buying seperate components and so long as you've got a decent sharp knife there really isn't a lot to butchering a chicken.

    I found a great website for student recipes.. they're written by students, for students and you can even publish your own
    I'm starting in september and I'm not sure what to expect from my time situation, as to what I'll be able to cook/have time to cook!

    (Original post by TOSCS)
    I'm sitting here eating a Pot Noodle and all I've eaten all week is beans on toast, jacket potatoes with beans & cheese (and tuna sweetcorn), and frozen pizzas.

    I try and get to Tesco once a week, it's a 15-20 min walk and I'm limited with what I can carry back. There's also a Lidl next to it.

    Anyway, I find myself always lacking ideas when I go there. I'll end up buying ingredients for the same meals each week (potatoes, beans, cheddar...). I'm looking to improve my diet and choice of meals.

    Sounds like in terms of shopping facilities, you're in similar situation to what I was at uni. My Tesco was also 15-20 minutes walk away, and there was an Iceland and a Chinese shop next to it (no Lidl though). I used to do a main weekly shop on a Monday, where I would buy food for my main meals for the week. I usually ended up with a very heavy bag, but it was worth it to not have to keep going back all the time.

    My main advice is to plan in advance. Spend some time the evening before writing a list of meals you could eat. Try looking on websites like BBC Good Food for inspiration - most websites do include a section for cheap meals.

    For a week, plan 2 or 3 main meals which can be made in a large quantity and eaten over a couple of days, either for lunch or for dinner. If you find you don't want to eat the same meal 4 days in a row (understandable!) freeze a portion or two, and eat it next week.

    This way, you don't have to cook every day (other than pasta or rice to go with your bolognese or curry or whatever). Intersperse these home-made meals and reheated leftovers with a few basic things like soup, beans on toast, pasta and sauce, etc.)

    It's also really handy to have a good storecupboard (though in halls this was actually a box under my bed, as there wasn't room in the kitchen), including tinned tomatoes, tinned pulses, curry paste, sauces, spices, etc. That way, you should be able to make something even if you don't have a lot of ingredients in (eg: make a basic pasta sauce with onion, tomatoes, herbs).

    Bulk recipes out with cheap ingredients like carrots and pulses. A tin of chickpeas is only about 40p, but it will make a curry or tagine go a lot further. That's not to say you can't use more expensive vegetables like peppers and aubergines, or that you can't use any meat or meat substitutes, just add plenty of other stuff to make it go further.

    Don't be put off by initial costs - ingredients like olive oil, herbs and spices, or red wine can seem to cost a lot in one go, but they'll last you a while.

    Do you have a particular budget per week for food? I tended to spend around £25, but I ate very well. I could have easily lived on £15-20 if I didn't invite friends round so often or bake so many cakes!

    my last shop of this year which did actually last me a whole 7days !!

    Morison s value frozen mince x2 @ 1.49 each
    4 jars of pasta sauce @ 27pence each
    spaghetti x2 @31pence each
    (to break the flavors down)
    garlic bread x2 @ 49 pence each
    coleslaw @ 66pence

    2 meals a day for 7days = £ 6.32


    ( MAY 2011)

    The important trick is to keep a well stocked cupboard, with plenty of things like: pasta, rice, noodles, potatoes, tinned sweetcorn, tinned tuna, pasta sauce, olive oil, soy sauce, a variety of herbs and spices. If you (or your parents ) invest £20 in this stuff at the start of term you can just keep topping it up for very little cost.

    Buy meat in deals (3 packs for £10) - leave half out for the week and put the rest in the freezer.

    Buy a selection of fresh veg once a week (twice if possible), and make this the bulk of your diet. Extremely cheap, extremely healthy, and extremely tasty.

    If you can't think of at least 50 different meals you could make from the above ingredients, you need shooting.

    I think my plan is to do a big online shop of about £30 when I first move in and have that delivered as I'm about a 25 min walk away from the supermarket and then I can just go out for things in small loads as and when I need to restock. I think that way if I get a lot of food to start me off I can learn how much I do actually eat per week.

    Tesco Everyday Value Orange Juice 1 Litre Carton
    Tesco Everyday Value Round Lettuce
    Discounter 8 Cumberland Sausages 454G
    Tesco Everyday Value Snack Assortment 12 Pack
    T.Goodness Strawberry Cereal Bars 125G 6Pk
    Tesco Everyday Value Milk Chocolate 100G
    Loose Brown Onions Class 2
    Tesco Sliced Green Beans 750G
    La Doria Broken Manderine Orange Segments In Syrup 312G
    Tesco Value Broken Grapefruit In Light Syrup 540G
    Tesco Everyday Value Apple Pack
    Bananas Loose
    Baking Potatoes Loose
    Tesco Everyday Value Penne 500G
    Tesco Everyday Value Tuna Chunks In Brine 185G
    Tesco Everyday Value Chopped Tomatoes 400G
    Tesco Sieved Tomatoes Passata 500G
    Tesco Everyday Value Baked Beans In Tomato Sauce 420G
    Tesco Everyday Value Vegetable Soup 400G
    Tesco Everyday Value Strawberry Jam 454G
    Tesco Lancashire Free Range Eggs Medium Box Of 6
    Tesco Everyday Value Uht Skimmed Milk 1 Litre
    Tesco Everyday Value Medium Sliced Wholemeal Bread 800G



    this is my student shopping list - the cost will vary at different supermarkets but i try to keep it at around £15 with £5 extra for any emergencies e/g milk/bread or a quick ready meal.
    i've also done it so most of the food can stay in your room - so it doesn't get stolen! i keep it in a big plastic box
    and i can hardly see anyone stealing frozen green beans lol

    i always try and keep it all balanced and meat for the week is the cumberland sausages which i'd have with green beans and maybe some baked beans too, fish is the tinned tuna which i'll probs have with my jacket potatoe..eggs are great for protein and you can makes loads of meals from them - i really like making ommelete as you can throw in anything you have left over. tinned soup is a really quick meal and beans on toast. i always have toast and jam for breakfast and grapefruit aswell and usually some fresh orange juice. for lunches i'd make myself a sarnie or have a left over pasta dish with some fruit and crisps...maybe even a cereal bar too. the only thing that's not so amazing about this list is the puddings after dinner - i'm limited to fruit/tinned fruit/cereal bar/chocolate
    but you can always use the extra money to buy something tasty :P i like stewing the apples in winter and buying a tin of custard to go with it.... almost like apple pie and custard :P

    so this is generally a well balanced food list for a week....with some snacking food too like crisps and chocolate
    p.s - i save £20 each month for alcohol i buy at the supermarket - so on average a fiver a week...but it's usually less than this (if i buy the cheap vodka)
    other things like shampoo/make-up/washing powder ect i buy monthly too and they cost me around £30 - but i get a lot for that amount. i think girls will spend more money here lol

    what do you think guys?
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