Student Budget Dining Advice
With everything you’ve got to pay for at university, keeping your spending down is crucial. Meals can be pretty expensive at times, but it doesn’t always have to cost a lot if you put the effort in. You can even go above and beyond with your cooking! Especially when you’ve got your own space to work with, uni is a great time to try new things. So why not try it without breaking the bank? If you’re looking for advice on meals as a student, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s what we recommend:
Set a budget
Many students like to set a budget at university because you’ll find yourself spending like crazy. And that’s not just for meals! Things like going out, textbooks etc. There’s so much to consider, and it really adds up. That’s why planning your spending and setting a budget for each activity will do you wonders. Just give yourself a rough estimate and assign a number to each one. It’s also up to you whether you plan this weekly or monthly. It’s essential to be realistic with your budgeting; you don’t want to be missing out on anything or not eating enough just to save money. Make sure whatever amount you give yourself is enough but also not overdoing it. Also, feel free to give yourself a small budget for takeaways! You don’t want to be the only one not eating with your friends so let yourself relax sometimes. You’re still allowed to have fun!
Make a meal plan
If you really want to keep your spending down, a plan is what will help! By doing a weekly plan of your meals, you can find cheap options and give yourself something to stick to. It also means you can try healthier options if that’s something you’re interested in. What you don’t want to be doing is picking up food at the last minute. If you’re unlucky, there might not be many choices left, and you also might be tempted to splurge. When you’re planning your meals, you should also make sure to plan all three meals of the day. With each meal comes plenty of options, so you can always switch it up to avoid getting bored. The more planning you do, the more prepared you can be to spend less. And the more likely you’ll stick to it!
Invest in the basics
We all know pasta is the joke of the century when it comes to student meals, but it’s a real winner. Why? Because it’s crazy cheap! You can buy huge bags of pasta at your supermarket, and these will save you money and last you for ages. And that’s not the only meal that’s cheap. You could do some simple ones such as sausage and mash or noodles even. There are so many options, and they don’t always have to be unhealthy either. Pop some veg with your pasta and make sure you’re getting the proper diet. If you’re creative enough, the basics don’t have to be boring. And who could get bored of pasta anyway??
Get a cookery book
Speaking of getting creative, if you really want to try and be adventurous with your cooking, then you’re going to need a good cookbook. There’s a whole load of cookbooks made especially for students meaning the meals don’t usually cost that much. It also means that if you decide to create a meal plan, you don’t have to get bored of eating the same thing. Most cookbooks have over 30 recipes at least, so it means plenty of choice for you! Expand your abilities and take time actually to enjoy what you eat. Many cookbooks can be found on Amazon, but why not check out our student cookbook post if you need a little inspiration. You’ll definitely find one on there that suits your needs!
Not always a popular one but sometimes at university, people decide to do shared meals. It can save you a lot of money in the long run because everybody can contribute towards the meal, and it also means that less food goes to waste! This is probably a good one to do if you get on quite well with your housemates. The last thing you want is to cause tension over who’s cooking tea, so only commit if it feels right. If it does work out, though, it could be really beneficial! Your housemates could even be great cooks and might be able to introduce you to some new meals while you’re there. Give it a try and see how much you save!
Hopefully, a few of these ideas will help you dine for cheap. If you have any tips for student dining, let us know in the comments!