The Student Room Group

Halls: Cooking and Budgeting at University

It's officially move in week , those of you who haven't already moved in will be moving in very soon:dancing:
At this point you should have gathered almost all the information you need to get ready for university and now here is the 411 on how to to be financially savvy while cooking for the next few months.

The best tool you have is budgeting, based on much money you have available to you every month , pick an amount for your weekly grocery shop. A good place to start is at around £25 you can go higher or lower based on your budget and needs.

If you are lucky and have a flexible group of roommates who don't mind sharing you can combine your weekly budget and do a big shop together every week. This will help you save money but may not be the best way to go if you don't know your roommates too well yet.

Remember that your grocery shops consists of more than just the food you eat. You should also consider toilet paper , cleaning supplies and laundry detergent , this will be cheaper if you bulk buy because you'll be using these regularly. This is cheapest in Costco , if you know anyone with a costco card that will come in handy. If not the next best thing is Savers .

Back to food : The most budget friendly grocery stores are Lidl and Iceland , you'll be able to find everything you need in these two at very affordable prices. A quick tip for Friday nights, if you are a pizza lover , is Tesco sell 99p plain cheese pizza and you can add your own toppings at home and pop it in the oven! This is a quick and cheap meal that is way more sustainable than ordering in pizza once a week.

I would advise that you allow yourself £5 a week or every other week to treat yourself to a coffee or hot chocolate. Also make sure you have all the ingredients to make your own favourite drink at home because you will be tempted to pop into Starbucks more than once a week.

And finally: remember that budgeting is a long term skill and it may take some time to get the hang of it. Some months you will over-spend on take out and not have much left for groceries. When that happens , purchase loads of noodles, and try your best to do better next month!

I hope this helps and good luck with your first year at Uni:cool:

Engineering Student
De Montfort University
(edited 8 months ago)
Reply 1
I am not in University but when my mum was teaching me to budget recently she gave me and my sister each a pound and told us to make picnic with it.
This was rather easy if you look in the bargain bin.

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