How to save money on your student food shop
The first food shop at university can be quite daunting, with no parents around to govern what you eat it can be quite difficult to save money and stay healthy. But don’t fret, it’s easy when you keep these tips in mind.
Student Food Shopping Tips
Budget & plan accordingly
Before undertaking your weekly food shop sit down and figure out your budget and what you’re going to be eating for the rest of the week. Research recipes that use the same ingredients to cut down on food waste, it’s not the most romantic of eating but it will stand to save you a lot of money.
The meal planner template above can be downloaded here, print it off and stick it to your fridge! It’s a great idea to pick recipes that can be made in bulk and frozen for busy midweek evenings.
Performing an on line groceries shop is also the perfect way to organise your shop, it’s convenient and if you combine your shop with a house-mate you can cut the delivery charge by half. Also be sure to have a quick look for any discount codes you could use before you place your order online, a couple of place you should look are My Voucher Codes and Money Saving Expert
Frozen food is your friend
Don’t shy away from the frozen aisle, frozen meat (such as chicken breast) and frozen vegetables are often dramatically cheaper when frozen. Currently you can get a kilo of frozen chicken breasts from Asda for under £4, a lot cheaper than it’s fresh counterpart.
No brand, no problem
Are you a brand snob? Do you find yourself buying branded versions of store cupboard basics? If you’re spending over 30p for a tin of chopped tomatoes you’re definitely getting mugged off. It might not seem like a lot of money but over time these little costs can add up.
As a rule of thumb, for store cupboard basics it doesn’t really matter about the brand. Always go for the supermarket own brand over their pricier product relatives.
Sharing is caring
As a student it’s likely you’ll be in a house share, use this to your advantage. Purchase food that’s on offer in bulk and split it between your house mates. This means you’ll be able to take advantage of the savings but not have a surplus of food and an empty wallet.
It’s also a good idea to take this further and take turns cooking meals for each other, cooking together can be a great experience and it’ll save you a ton of money to boot. It’s a win-win situation, just remember to do the washing up when you’re not cooking!
Clear up the clearance section
If you live near to a supermarket this is a great little tip to make the most of reduced price food. It involves figuring out the best time to visit wherein the clearance section will have the most items in.
Traditionally this is always around half an hour before they shut, it might seem a bit awkward to skulk around waiting for staff to reduce items, but it’s well worth doing so. If items are reduced drastically and are freezable be sure to swoop them up for future meals.
Asda, Aldi & Lidl
These are going to be the biggest weapons in your frugal food shopping arsenal, 99% of the time they will be cheaper than other shops. Even if it’s a 30 minute walk away it’ll be worth it (or bribe a friend that drives with the promise of a free dinner)
Local Markets / Green Grocers – Tip from Louise over at Poppy and the bees
Your local greengrocer/market is your friend! In season fresh produce is way cheaper than super market packaged stuff and can often be frozen if you find a huge bargain.
Also: Shop at the end of the day when they’re packing up and you’ll get even more for your money!
Buy In Bulk / No waste, No Worries – Tip from Josh at Student Eats
Buy in bulk! Get cupboard staples that’ll last for a while (e.g pasta, tins) in big quantities f you can as it’ll be a lot cheaper. Split this with a housemate and you’re on to even more savings!
Also, don’t chuck off food away! Search online for recipes, e.g. stale bread can be made into bread and butter pudding and overripe bananas into all sorts (cakes, pancakes, etc).
So there you have it folks, my tips on saving money whilst student food shopping – be sure to comment any tips you have below!