Mocked for budget "cooking"

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    (Original post by Callum323)
    It's a week into uni and I've been made fun of for the a few days for eating just sandwiches and frozen food. I applied too late for a bursary because I didn't know they were available. Everyone else spends about an hour in the kitchen dinner using brand name foods, making something different every day or going for a take away that costs them ~£10 for one meal.

    I can't afford much due to my tight budget, and my family's not very well off either so they can't give me much support. My "treat" for the week was tesco orange juice instead of tesco cordial. I also don't care what I eat, if it keeps me alive then I'm fine, frozen veg won't kill me. Looking through "student cookbooks", every meal has 15 expensive ingredients that I'll use once then have to throw away.

    Does anyone have any advice? Should I just tell them to go **** themselves?
    This might not help you in the immediate future, but I'm working on a YouTube project and eventually a book, which will likely be free or very cheap (like, a couple of pounds charitable contribution for a pdf of the book) to teach people how to cook well using cheap ingredients, and avoiding things that you only use once then throw away. I'm hoping to get it underway some time this academic year.

    I would just tell them to mind their own business/grow up and remind them that not everybody has mummy and daddy to pay for everything.
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    (Original post by Manitude)
    This might not help you in the immediate future, but I'm working on a YouTube project and eventually a book, which will likely be free or very cheap (like, a couple of pounds charitable contribution for a pdf of the book) to teach people how to cook well using cheap ingredients, and avoiding things that you only use once then throw away. I'm hoping to get it underway some time this academic year.

    I would just tell them to mind their own business/grow up and remind them that not everybody has mummy and daddy to pay for everything.
    When is this coming out?
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    (Original post by Callum323)
    It's a week into uni and I've been made fun of for the a few days for eating just sandwiches and frozen food. I applied too late for a bursary because I didn't know they were available. Everyone else spends about an hour in the kitchen dinner using brand name foods, making something different every day or going for a take away that costs them ~£10 for one meal.

    I can't afford much due to my tight budget, and my family's not very well off either so they can't give me much support. My "treat" for the week was tesco orange juice instead of tesco cordial. I also don't care what I eat, if it keeps me alive then I'm fine, frozen veg won't kill me. Looking through "student cookbooks", every meal has 15 expensive ingredients that I'll use once then have to throw away.

    Does anyone have any advice? Should I just tell them to go **** themselves?
    Its preferable if you eat a balanced nutritious diet.
    You can make your budget go further by learning to shop properly and by learning to cook. Cooking your own food is cheaper. Every meal doesnt have 15 expensive ingredients that you will use once and throw away. Simply not true.
    You can do without takeaways.

    How much is your weekly food budget?

    It would make a big difference if or when you get a p/t job, even one evening a week could add £20-30 to your food budget. Enough for the whole week.

    Ignore the snobs, budget and stay out of debt.
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    (Original post by PrinceHarrys)
    When is this coming out?
    I can possibly get an early draft of the pdf before Christmas, but it wouldn't have all the recipes in it (there's also a slightly questionable legal thing about where I get recipes from and how much I have to change them to be "original", I'd want to clear that up before proceeding).

    The videos will take longer to get the format right, and I have no idea about video editing, so I'll have to learn that.
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    (Original post by Manitude)
    I can possibly get an early draft of the pdf before Christmas, but it wouldn't have all the recipes in it (there's also a slightly questionable legal thing about where I get recipes from and how much I have to change them to be "original", I'd want to clear that up before proceeding).

    The videos will take longer to get the format right, and I have no idea about video editing, so I'll have to learn that.
    Let me know. I'm on dat dere poverty time when it comes to cooking lol, even though I just got a great job :rofl:
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    The fact that you have frozen vegetables mean you're doing better than like 80% of freshers from what I can tell.

    Stop being insecure and laugh it off then keep going. None of their business.
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    I'm now a poor graduate rather than a poor student, but here are a few tips I've picked up.
    *
    The first may sound a little odd, but most of the very very cheap recipes I use are from when my mum did Slimming World. They also have the benefit of having loads of veg. One of the nice ones is a layered bake of thinly sliced potatoes, tinned tomatoes and thinly sliced onions, for example.*There are loads of Facebook groups etc. where people are sharing budget friendly recipes in family-size portions which are handy for freezing, and a lot of these come in at under 50p a portion. Lots of the 'Feed Your Family for £X' pages have good recipes you can make in bulk.*Pancakes are one of the cheapest things you can make, and are good sweet or savoury once you get the hang of making them.

    Bacon and cheese are one of the cheapest ways to add a lot of flavour to a potato or veg-heavy meal. Eating cheaply doesn't mean your food needs to be bland. Finely diced rasher of bacon is good with pretty much anything and a sprinkle of grated cheese goes a long way. Frozen chicken is often a lot cheaper than fresh, and tastes fine. Sausages are one of the cheapest fresh meats you can buy, and are very versatile, for example, they can be removed from the skin to make burgers, meatballs, broken up for a chilli con carne or a pasta bake. Don't buy a lot of seasonings - salt, pepper, chilli flakes (if you like spicy food) and Italian seasoning are the few that I would recommend, but consider what you actually enjoy eating, too, before you make any decisions. If you love Chinese food, for example, splashing out on some soy sauce, sesame oil and five spice is probably a good investment.*

    There really is no need to shop outside the 'basics' range in the supermarket for most things. Pasta, tinned tomatoes, oats, rice, bread, frozen veg, all come in at pennies. Frozen and tinned veg is also absolutely fine to use, and much of it is nutritionally very similar to the fresh versions. Don't be scared to make adaptations either, for example, if you were making a creamy pasta sauce there is no need to splash out on creme fraiche or cream that won't get used, just use milk instead and cook it down slightly. If you can, shop at a Farmfoods or Heron Foods, as you can get frozen foods for next to nothing. Most supermarkets sell a soup or root veg pack for around £1 which will have carrot, parsnip, turnip and onion at least, which makes quite a lot of soup, and all you need is salt and pepper (and a stock cube if you have one).*

    My last tip is to try and get excited about cooking your own food from scratch. Not only are you eating cheaply, but you're avoiding processed foods, additives and preservatives, something people pay a lot of money for nowadays. Spend time looking at easy recipes online (BBC Good Food is great for this) and watching cooking shows to get inspiration. Adapt things to make them easier or to suit your taste and save the ones you enjoy (either in a notebook or a word document works well).
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    Sounds like they're making fun of you for seemingly having no cooking skills rather than what you eat. Just make some spag bol or eggs and bacon once in a while and you'll be fine
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    tesco frozen meals are great...

    £1 for chilli con carne / macaroni cheese / etc

    http://www.tesco.com/groceries/produ...x?N=4294779106

    also bags of rice to microwave... Tilda & Uncle Ben's are often reduced to £1, or own brand about 70p. One of those with a tin of chicken soup is to die for.
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    This sounds very strange to me. Where do you study? In my uni experience I was the only one who could cook and everyone else was living off McDonalds, Chinese, frozen pizza, and pasta. McDonalds was the "cool" thing as you needed a car to get there.

    Either way, what they think is irrelevant! In that last week before Student Loan comes in you'll find they are having to dial back on their meals too. And the novelty of standing for an hour in the kitchen every night is bound to wear off.*
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    (Original post by sinfonietta)
    This sounds very strange to me. Where do you study? In my uni experience I was the only one who could cook and everyone else was living off McDonalds, Chinese, frozen pizza, and pasta. McDonalds was the "cool" thing as you needed a car to get there.

    Either way, what they think is irrelevant! In that last week before Student Loan comes in you'll find they are having to dial back on their meals too. And the novelty of standing for an hour in the kitchen every night is bound to wear off.*
    They would be the fools who would run out of money earlier, and you would be the smart one who saves most of their money.
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    (Original post by fallen_acorns)
    If you are happy with the way you are - then just rise above it. Best option is to take the piss out of them back for their over the top food choices. Show them that you can take a bit of banter, but you will give it back too.

    If your not happy with the way you are - then there are ways of eating very good food, very cheaply. As a student I used to live on a tiny budget, but would cook food that was hardly distinguishable from the students with much bigger budgets. You just have to think cleverly, look for good value discounts, shop at the end of the day/week, when discounts are cheapest - try markets instead of supermarkets for some late-day great deals on fruit+vedge. Buy ingredients that last a long time, and ration them out, and cook fresh for the most part, but only using the cheaper vedgetables. There are a lot of ways you can make potatos and onions taste great, and they are dirt cheap and last for ages.. forget the aubergines and the organic whatever though..

    If you dont want to do any of that - thats ok, its a lot of effort, and most people just dont care. So just grow a thick skin, give back as good as you get, and show them that you do what you want, and do not cave to what others think. In the long run they will respect you for that, even if they dont like it/you/understand.
    I really like your advice, I think it could help me a lot when I start uni next year!
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    Definitely ignore it. They are acting quite immaturely by pointing this out to you and making fun of it, and this is much more of a reflection of them then it is on you and your cooking choices.

    It is completely normal for students to stick to a very tight budget when cooking. Meat, cheese, and fresh juice are luxuries!

    Maybe these students are financed by their parents, or they are just extremely bad at budgeting. If it is the latter then give it a few weeks and they're be in an even worse situation than you. It's a common mistake to make, lots of these kids don't know how to cook and/or stretch a buck.

    By my 3rd year at university *everyone* was eating frozen veg/ off brands/ reduced section items...

    The one thing I would advise you to do though is ensure you get fresh fruit and vegetables every now and again. University is a stressful and busy time and your body, now more than ever, will need the fresh nutrients to keep my body and brain functioning to its best.
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    This may be a stupid question as I know you said you didn't get your bursary, but are you perchance eligible for the full loan? If you're in the cheapest accommodation you should be able to live entirely off your loan. Even on £1,000 a term (after accommodation expenses) that's £100 a week, which should be far more than you need (I get a week's shopping for £20 -- just a bunch of baking potatoes, lots of cheese, bagged and frozen veg and some cheap meat like sausages for protein). Don't shop on campus and you honestly should be able to live off that.

    Your flatmates do, however, sound like a bunch of total snobs.

    Nonetheless, I hope you get everything sorted out.
 
 
 
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