Being a student is an expensive occupation. With all that money spent on things like rent, nights out and course books, sometimes it’s easy to forget to account for that one thing we all need to survive: food. But with these five food saver tips, you won’t have to worry about your grocery bill ever again.
Your freezer is your friend
Freeze everything you can. Next time you’re shopping, browse the ‘reduced’ section. Here you’ll find all sorts of foods that haven’t gone out of date yet, but are about to. To save a heap load of pounds, stock up on reduced meat and freeze it until it’s needed. Since meat is often the most expensive thing on shopping lists, this will help keep your purse heavier and your bank account richer.
And it’s not just meats you should be looking to freeze. Being a student and trying to have a balanced diet is sometimes impossible, and that’s almost completely due to cost. Fresh fruit and vegetables are an amazing addition when you share everything in your house. But for those students who have clearly marked sections in their fridges, frozen fruit might be your way to go. Not only is it cheaper than fresh produce, but it’ll also last longer. You’ll no longer have to throw out the last handful of grapes you weren’t able to finish before the best-before date.
“Working out a weekly budget is essential in order to shave down that total at the checkout.”
Trust your nose
Speaking of the best-before date, take it with a pinch of salt. Usually you’re able to squeeze a few more days, and sometimes even an extra week, out of foods you would have usually thrown in the bin. Check your bread, your fruit, and any other foods that you would usually just aim straight into the black bag. Chances are, if it isn’t green and there isn’t a funny smell, it’s safe to eat. Learn to trust your eyes and your nose.
Use what’s in your cupboards
They’re not as bare as you think. Every once in a while, have a sift through and a clean-out. You’ll be surprised by how many meals you can make out of the old cupboard ingredients. Have a leftover tin of tuna? That adds some great flavour to a pasta bake. A can or two of soup can go a long way. You can use soup to make sauce for a variety of different things, be that pasta, fish or poultry. A rummage in your cupboards can be especially good for the tight spot just before student finance comes in.
Plan in advance
Even though the last thing you probably want to do is sit down and plan out your meals, this tip is a life saver for the struggling student. Working out a weekly budget is essential in order to shave down that total at the checkout. By planning your meals in advance, you won’t be dragging your feet aimlessly around the supermarket, wondering what you’re having for dinner for the rest of the week. You won’t reach for items you think you might need, only to throw them away again. You’ll know exactly what to get.