As a student, it can be hard to stick to a budget. You've got everything from textbooks to nights out to pay for, and you may find that your money is slipping away faster than you'd like! Food is another cost to take into account, one that can quickly add up... Expensive takeaways, Starbucks coffees, and plenty of revision snacks can end up costing you a lot more than you'd like to spend.
So here are some super easy money-saving rules and ideas for buying food on a student-friendly budget:
- Don't go shopping on an empty stomach.
- Buy in bulk (but always check it's ACTUALLY cheaper.)
- Be wary of pre-packed vegetables - loose veg is often cheaper.
- Learn to cook. The easiest way to save money on food is to make it all yourself from cheap, basic ingredients. Knowing your way around the kitchen will also mean that you use up those odds-and-ends of food left at the bottom of the fridge rather than chucking them away!
- If you always get tempted by things you see on the shelves - try making a shopping list in advance and making sure you stick to it!
- Try buying at a market. You may find it much cheaper than your normal supermarket.
- Make meals in bulk and freeze portions for later.
- Make an effort to always reuse all our leftovers.
- Take a packed lunch to uni rather than buying a meal when you're there.
- Take a travel mug to uni rather than buying coffee or tea on-the-go.
- When cooking, bulk out your meals with cheap ingredients like lentils and vegetables.
- Replace expensive branded products with own-brand versions.
- Always check expiry dates when you're shopping & make sure you'll be able to eat the food before that time. Paying for food that you'll end up throwing away is pointless!
- Consider doing your food shopping at the end of the day to buy reduced products for that evening's meal.
- If you're eating out or getting takeaway, always look for around online for a student discount or offer before you order.
- Collect your takeaway instead of paying for it to be delivered.
- Treat yourself to the free trial of Tastecard or Gourmet Society to save money on meals out with your friends.
- If you like crisps or chocolates as a snack, buy bulk packets at the supermarket rather than individual items from newsagents or corner shops.
- Check out the food aisles of your local pound shop - you'll be surprised by the amount of cheap snacks you can pick up there!
- Stock up with an online shop. The majority of big supermarkets will give you a big discount on your first online shop (often £15 off if you spend £60) - so it's worth doing just the once. Use the opportunity to bulk-buy the big, heavy items that last a long time and are normally a nightmare to get home.
Have you got any other great money-saving tips for buying food? Let us know in the comments below!