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How To Live On A Food Budget Of £20 P/W At Uni - DISCUSSION Watch

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    So you've started university, you're a Fresher and you are now in one of two positions; you're either the group of people that have never cooked for themselves before and thinking "Crap! What do I cook and how do I cook?" or you're on the other end of the scale and feel confident in cooking for yourself and you're thinking "what gourmet masterpiece will I cook for myself tonight?".
    Guess what? You'll all have resorted to pasta, rice and beans soon enough - you will be screaming "I'm a student! Get me out of here!". You'll also realise that cheese is a luxury that you can't afford! Not all the time anyway.

    No matter what end of the scale you are you will be questioning around now (if you haven't already) how much do I need to spend on shopping? The answer, you can live off £20 a week when it comes to shopping? How, well, let me explain!

    It took me a while to discover this but there is a great website called 'mysupermarket.com' and it is the best thing I ever used! You basically do you shop on this website of what you'll do for the week and then it compares the total price across all the supermarkets and tells you which is cheapest - you can choose your preferred supermarket and shop with them but it'll still give you the cheapest overall and you can choose which one you go with! :^_^:

    BEFORE HAND; PLAN OUT YOUR MEALS. Have a look at the week ahead and decide what you are doing - decide the days you'll have time to cook decent meals and those when you'll need quick meals and then decide what you are going to need and write a list - this way you are less likely to buy things you don't need (especially if you shop online) -

    Quick interjection; I found that if I actually went and shopped in store I ended up buying things that I didn't need (even if I did have a list) so shopping online is so much easier and getting it delivered is so helpful - especially for a student!

    - by planning your meals you can see what ingredients you'll need. By having a list you'll hopefully stick to it and know what you need!

    BULK BUY. Take advantage of multi-buy deals and buying in bulk for the weeks ahead as this can make shops in the future cheaper. Whether you're in store or online you'll be able to see these deals and they are totally worth taking advantage of!

    COOK AND FREEZE MEALS. When you're cooking, don't worry about BIG portions. Make as much as you need and even if it's too much, you can freeze the rest and have it for a later date! This is a great way to save on money and time because you won't have to buy a full week of meals and won't have to take the time to cook them!



    Also if possible; DO A GROUP SHOP - I started doing this halfway through my Second Year and went from spending £20 a week to £10 a week - plus you get to share the cooking responsibility and such! But, this is only if it's possible for you to do so! :gthumb:

    What's cheap and easy to buy?
    Pasta, rice, beans, eggs, veg and more!
    What's cheap and easy to cook?
    Pasta cakes (they are so easy to cook, so easy to modify and make you're own!), korma's and tikka masalas (all you need is sauce, some chicken and some rice, boom!), omelettes are also easy to make and are great for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

    Also if you haven't already, purchase some student cook books! I have three! They are so useful and really easy to follow - go through them, choose the meals you like and then treat yourself to them every now and again!

    If you don't shop thoughtlessly and actually think and plan your weekly shops, surviving on £20 a week is really easy! It can also be enjoyable! :happy2:

    So, what are your cooking tips for students? What did you discover when cooking and shopping at university? What advice would you pass down? And finally, how much do you spend a week on shopping?
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    Good advice, group shop and planning and frozen food - all great things.

    Very difficult to resist impulse buys as well so maybe have some snacks but try to stay healthy at the same time as well and fight junk food :fight:
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    (Original post by SeanFM)
    Good advice, group shop and planning and frozen food - all great things.

    Very difficult to resist impulse buys as well so maybe have some snacks but try to stay healthy at the same time as well and fight junk food :fight:
    Oh definitely! Snacks are very difficult to resist, the most we ever buy junk food wise in a shop is a massive variety bag of crisps!
    We normally buy our own junk food separately!
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    Great advice!
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    This is spectacular but often to get great deals you need to enter the store- for example i was planning to buy an oxford refill pad (300 sheets GREAT quality paper) and it was £5.00 online. I entered the store and the sign said it had been reduced to 90 pence- happily I took the last three and scanned them using one self service machine but the price on the machine read 30p.
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    TBH buying food isn't an issue, the issue is storing it. We have 2 fridges between 11 people and someone stuck a whole blimming lettuce plant on my half a shelf. :/

    Oh that and one of our fridges is slightly too warm so food goes off a good week early..

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    (Original post by Dannyboy2015)
    TBH buying food isn't an issue, the issue is storing it. We have 2 fridges between 11 people and someone stuck a whole blimming lettuce plant on my half a shelf. :/

    Oh that and one of our fridges is slightly too warm so food goes off a good week early..

    Q_Q
    oh my gosh that sounds awful :/ I'm in catered halls and get my own fridge in my room too haha
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    Great advice!
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    (Original post by Dannyboy2015)
    TBH buying food isn't an issue, the issue is storing it. We have 2 fridges between 11 people and someone stuck a whole blimming lettuce plant on my half a shelf. :/

    Oh that and one of our fridges is slightly too warm so food goes off a good week early..

    Q_Q
    You have to make do with what you have - if there's not much fridge space then just use ingredients on the day you buy them. It means you'll have to go shopping more often but that's student life - compromise, compromise, compromise. You can't have everything exactly how you want it.
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    (Original post by iEthan)
    Great advice!
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    Why thank you!

    (Original post by ValkyrieScythe)
    This is spectacular but often to get great deals you need to enter the store- for example i was planning to buy an oxford refill pad (300 sheets GREAT quality paper) and it was £5.00 online. I entered the store and the sign said it had been reduced to 90 pence- happily I took the last three and scanned them using one self service machine but the price on the machine read 30p.
    Oh completely! Sometimes there will be better offers in store but generally, when it comes to food, the deals in store are the same online! But sometimes it's worth shopping in store but deals such as those!

    (Original post by Dannyboy2015)
    TBH buying food isn't an issue, the issue is storing it. We have 2 fridges between 11 people and someone stuck a whole blimming lettuce plant on my half a shelf. :/

    Oh that and one of our fridges is slightly too warm so food goes off a good week early..

    That's pretty common for halls! There is generally not a lot of fridge space but often why shopping as a group can be useful due to the fact you'll share food and save on fridge space!
    Also, I'd contact your accommodation manager and tell them about the fridge problem!

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    (Original post by ikhan94)
    Great advice!
    Thank you!
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    Buy a thermal coffee mug so you don't have to keep buying coffee every time
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    (Original post by RevisionNad)
    Buy a thermal coffee mug so you don't have to keep buying coffee every time
    Fantastic suggestion! If you buy these you can take the to university with you and to your lectures and don't have to buy drinks whilst you're out!
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    don't get family packs, and by that i mean like 2-4L milk or a big loaf of bread that's due to go off in under a week. you won't finish it alone.

    off license grocery shops or markets are pretty good too, much easier than buying at supermarkets.
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    I spent £10.10 on groceries for 1.5 weeks. Morrisons has a 10% student discount going on atm via Unidays. I recommend buying value for stuff such as pasta (don't really notice much of a difference) because it'll save a bit of money. Every saving count, especially if you go out a lot.

    However, I've spent so much on going out to eat that I think it kind of nullifies it... Remember to ask for student discount if you're going out to eat though and try to use vouchers.
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    if one person gets a costco membership which you all chip in on and then you send two people to costco one and a guest etc with a list you can get food really cheap. costco sells in bulk hence why you should be buying in groups otherwise wont work.
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    (Original post by Arima)
    don't get family packs, and by that i mean like 2-4L milk or a big loaf of bread that's due to go off in under a week. you won't finish it alone.

    off license grocery shops or markets are pretty good too, much easier than buying at supermarkets.
    Very true! However, if you do buy big things like a family size load of bread and things like that - and you can have the space - you can put them in the freezer and make them last a little longer. Always a good way of tackling that problem if you aren't likely to use them quickly!

    But off licenses's are a good shout!

    (Original post by Peppercrunch)
    I spent £10.10 on groceries for 1.5 weeks. Morrisons has a 10% student discount going on atm via Unidays. I recommend buying value for stuff such as pasta (don't really notice much of a difference) because it'll save a bit of money. Every saving count, especially if you go out a lot.

    However, I've spent so much on going out to eat that I think it kind of nullifies it... Remember to ask for student discount if you're going out to eat though and try to use vouchers.
    That's a decent amount - sounds planned out which is good. I have noticed the 10% Student Discount at Morrisons at the meal and a great deal to stock on some tinned food and what not if you have the opportunity! Very true, I did that too by buying takeaways and such so it's always worth to ask about student discount!

    (Original post by Luke7456)
    if one person gets a costco membership which you all chip in on and then you send two people to costco one and a guest etc with a list you can get food really cheap. costco sells in bulk hence why you should be buying in groups otherwise wont work.
    This is a fantastic idea! Never heard about the Costco idea - I definitely think it's going to be one I look into!
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    (Original post by JustGeorgeJ)
    Very true! However, if you do buy big things like a family size load of bread and things like that - and you can have the space - you can put them in the freezer and make them last a little longer. Always a good way of tackling that problem if you aren't likely to use them quickly!

    But off licenses's are a good shout!
    that's true but with so many people in the flat the only space i have is the top shelf of the fridge, and even that marginal space i have is often stolen by greedy house mates who already hog an extra two shelves and some drawers lmfao... and the disadvantages of being in the top shelf is when people forget to shut the fridge, which is often, all my food is right near the light bulbs at the top - so instead of being chilled, they get warm plus it's hard to keep something that's a week past its due even if its refrigerated properly
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    I thought of some tips to add:

    - Buy a slow cooker and then you can make yummy dishes with cheaper cuts of meat (you just need to cook them for longer) - slow cookers are great for big batch meals too so you can either do a big group meal or freeze the food

    - Look out for reduced foods in supermarkets - you can get some great deals and if you are buying meat or fish it's freezable

    - When you plan your meals, plan to cook things that use the same ingredients ie if you're buying a big pack of chicken, make sure you cook multiple meals with chicken. This sounds like a simple tip but I have seen so much food wasted over the years by people who bought big but didn't use the food

    - Do regular "stock takes" of what you have in the cupboards - it's easy to overspend and buy unnecessary items if you don't


    What other tips are out there? I'm sure there are loads
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    not a fulltime student (yet) but i do live alone on a limited budget.

    COOK IN BULK. Cannot stress that enough. Buying food for one is a pain (and expensive). Mince meals (drain the fat of cheap cuts) and fill it out with onions, carrots and gravy. Plus spuds are cheap and filling. Make a large meal that will do you for several evenings and divide it up into takeaway plastic boxes (get em in the pound shop if you cant afford a takeaway)

    Baked beans are the most versatile thing ever, fill out spag bols, stews, sheppards pie, risotto etc. Just please avoid the Lidl own brand they are utterly vile

    One of my go to's is scotch pankcakes - flour, egg, milk, baking powder, caster sugar (leave out if you want savoury). Top with anything and bam quick meal right there.

    Invest in a rice cooker - bout £15 from Lidl and its brilliant for rice, veg, fish, chicken.

    Make lunch to bring with you to college/uni

    Living on a budget isnt that hard with a bit of planning
 
 
 
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