Cooking on a budget

7 months ago | by

5 tips for students to eat well on the cheap

Being a student and eating well (and on the cheap) can definitely be a challenge. Many students find a few easy and inexpensive meals and stick to them. But 2-minute noodles & frozen pizzas will not only get boring quickly, but they are not very nutritional. And as we know, the brain needs good food to function well. Read on for some tips on how to eat well cheaply.

1 . Make a meal plan for the week

This is the best way to prevent food waste, save money, save time and make healthier meal choices. It’s really easy to do in these 3 steps. First, write down your dinners for the week, then shop for those ingredients and finally prep the ingredients so they are ready to go.  It’s that easy! And I guarantee you will save money and time but you will eat way better than before you did this.

2.  Plan at least one meatless dinner a week

Legumes like red kidney beans, chickpeas, black beans & lentils and other ingredients like eggs, peanut butter and tofu are not only cheap but are packed full of protein. A good way to save money is to plan at least one meal with these ingredients per week. Why not try one of these? Smokey chickpea & eggplant onepot wonder or Chickpea fritters

3. Use it up!

Try to base a meal or two on what you have already got in the cupboard. Things get pushed to the back of the cupboard and forgotten about. Even canned goods have an expiry date so try to use up things that might have sat there for a while. There are a few apps that can help with this. Try SuperCook, you just add the ingredients you have on hand and the app suggests recipes, updating results for each new item you include.

4. Buy generic brands

Pretty much any grocery item will also come in a generic or store brand, these are generally a lot cheaper and many are the same quality as the branded ones. The packaging might be a little simple, but who cares?! The best food items to switch to generic brands are pantry staples such as; flour, sugar, salt, raw oats & dried fruits like sultanas. Other items like ice cream, yogurt, and cereal are better to buy branded as generic brands usually feature extra additives and sugars in these products.

5. Buy from the deli

If possible, buy your meat and seafood from the deli counter. It’s generally cheaper per kilo than the pre-packed ones you find in the meat section and it’s generally fresher too! Win win! Other benefits of buying from the deli are that you can buy the exact amount that you need for your meal and there is less plastic packaging.