A Budget Friendly Food Guide for Students

Managing your food money when living out for university can be a challenge. So here is some budget friendly advice on how to make your money go further.

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“I shopped at Aldi, it was like a godsend"

Living the university life but struggling to budget your money when it comes to food?

Not able to chip in for that weekly takeaway with your housemates, or afford your best friend’s birthday meal at a fancy restaurant?

DESIblitz have a few tips and tricks that will help you save your pennies, making sure you eat well for less money.

Supermarkets

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Get to know your supermarkets, some of these places will become your favourite hangouts during uni life.

As kids, we used to frown upon our parents shopping at places like Poundland. We would wait outside in pure embarrassment hoping nobody we knew saw us.

But as you grow up, you realise places like Poundland are your saviour.

A list of places that are budget friendly are Aldi, Lidl, Asda, Farmfoods, Heron Foods, Home Bargains, B&M, and Poundland:

“I shopped at Aldi, it was like a godsend,” says graduate, Hannah.

Aldi, Lidl, Asda, Farmfoods and Heron Foods are great for your weekly shop. You can get frozen food cheap! Including microwave meals, ready-made chicken, and pizzas for £1.

Home Bargains, B&M and Poundland are great for when you’re having a party with friends. You can get alcohol cheaper than what you would at other leading supermarkets.

These retailers are also great for picking up cheaper snacks.

Instead of paying triple the price at your university canteen or the corner shop, make sure you stock up on your favourite snacks from these cheaper shops.

Preparing Food

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What kind of student wants to slave over a hot stove? None.

So when it comes to food, make sure you have some goodies that you can pull out of the freezer and just bung into the oven. Naz says:

“I used to buy those mini pizzas that I could put in the microwave, it was an easy and quick snack.”

Our top picks are pizza, chips, pies, fish fingers, burgers, chicken nuggets, chicken wings, vegetable fingers and garlic bread.

Food Ideas

If you’re in a mad rush to make your afternoon lecture or want something super quick to prepare, then take a look at our cheap and quick recommendations:

  • Fish finger sandwiches
  • Cheese and Beans toastie
  • Tuna and sweetcorn toastie
  • Sandwich along with a readymade filling or cheese/meat slice of your choice
  • Microwavable chips

Read our article on Quick and Easy Student Food tips here.

Ready Meals and Takeaways

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Wanting a cosy night in with a takeaway? There are a few recommendations that will fit into your student budget.

Domino’s pizza is a hit with every student. They have all types of offers for any day of the week, so whenever you fancy a pizza, Domino’s has your back. Check out their deals here.

Marks and Spencer and Waitrose often sell dinners for two ranging from a price of £7 – £10. The meal for two contains a starter, a main course, and dessert.

Marks and Spencer don’t offer student discount, but their food will not disappoint, and they have a range of foods to pick from in their meal for two offers.

Have a look at their different options here.

Co-Op don’t sell meals for two but they offer a £5 frozen meal deal. At Co-Op you can use your NUS extra card to get 10% off food, which is a great bonus.

Find out more here.

Looking for a bite to eat but want to go out? Pizza Hut is the answer.

For £6.99 you can treat yourself to an all you can eat buffet. Buffets are a student’s best friend because you can eat until your heart’s content.

You also don’t have to deal with the small portions that some places offer, so you get your money’s worth. More details here.

Top Tips when Buying Budget Friendly Food

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When it comes to eating while living out at university, it’s important to stick to your budget.

  1. Always make a shopping list!

This is one of the biggest problems when being a student.

You never make a list because you think you can remember what you need to buy and then end up buying a mountain of food because you couldn’t remember if you ate last week’s spaghetti bolognese or not.

Making a list will reduce your chances of splurging on unnecessary things. Stick to the list, get straight in and straight out of the supermarket with your goods.

2. Don’t Shop Hungry

Top tip number 2 is to never go shopping when you’re hungry.

If you do, you’re more likely to buy things you don’t need. All because your stomach is rumbling and desires it at that moment in time.

Make sure you eat before you go food shopping, this will reduce the chances of you wasting £3 on a sandwich meal deal when you can, in fact, make that at your flat for the fraction of the price.

3. Find the Reduced Sections in Supermarkets

Another great tip is to look at the reduced section in supermarkets. You’d be surprised at what they have to offer.

Most things can be frozen, so don’t be afraid to browse through the reduced section and pick up some bargains for yourself.

And that there concludes your budget friendly advice on how to maximise your student loan on food.

From tips to recommendations, DESIblitz has covered the common school boy errors of young adults boldly living the student life.

Mariam is an English and Creative Writing undergraduate. She loves all things fashion, beauty, food and fitness. Her motto: “Don’t be the same person you were yesterday, be better.”

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