One of the biggest changes when moving away to university is budgeting for yourself. Suddenly, you have all this money in your account to live off for the next few months and it can be a bit overwhelming to decide what exactly to do with it. Feeding yourself in a balanced, nutritious manner is obviously really important, but it’s still possible to save money and cut costs in this area without sacrificing eating well. Here are my 5 tips for saving money on food at university:
- Freeze everything
There’s nothing more disappointing than finding mould on your bread when you just wanted some toast. I would recommend freezing whatever you can – however carefully you plan your meals, there will always be something you don’t fancy and not using food in time is very annoying. It’s surprising how much can be frozen – almost everything apart from dairy products will be fine. This is especially important for meat, which is expensive yet goes out of date quickly. Store food in the freezer and you have several months in which to use it, rather than several days.
- Shop late
An easy way of saving money is to shop in the evening, when food approaching its best-before date is often discounted. This especially applies to bread, meat and fish (which can easily be frozen) but there’s often fruit and veg as well.
There are so many discounts out there that you’d be silly to not take advantage of them.
Both Morrison’s and the Co-Op offer a 10% student discount, which would add up to a significant amount over the course of the year. If you don’t shop at either of those places, don’t worry – virtually every supermarket now offers some sort of loyalty card which are free to pick up and allow you to accumulate points to spend in the future.
- Cut down on the takeaways
I know it’s so tempting to order in a Domino’s on a Friday after a busy week, and there’s nothing wrong with that once in a while. But doing it regularly is not only bad for your health, but also for your debit card and several takeaways can add up quickly. If you know that you won’t feel like cooking later, try preparing your meals in advance and have something in the freezer ready to defrost.
- Buy basics as a group
There’s no need for everyone to have their own bread, milk and butter – not only does it clog up the fridge, it also might result in wasting food. Clubbing together to buy the basics will save a lot of money and space. Although it might be tricky to organise at first, the money you save will make it worth it.
And there you have my tips for saving money on food. I hope you found them useful – let me know if you have any advice of your own that could come in handy!