Being a student isn’t cheap. There’s the alcohol, tuition fees, did we mention alcohol? It doesn’t get any easier for postgraduates either, just take a look at the latest postgraduate fees. Students still need to eat though, and just because they’re on a budget, doesn’t mean that taste should be sacrificed. With that being said, here are our five great tips for better student cooking.
1 – Don’t be Wasteful!
It’s so easy to toss leftovers in the bin, rather than having to be organised and put them away nicely in the fridge for another time. Still, with some forward planning, you will find ways to make your food last longer. Buy a whole chicken and use all of it! You’ll get way more for your money than if you bought pre-packaged/cooked pieces that only last one meal. A big pasta bake, lasagne or stew will feed you and your housemates, or the leftovers will see you through a few days (plus once it’s done, it’s done – you just need to heat it up!).
2 – Stay Healthy and know your Stuff.
It’s so easy to go for the fast food and junk options, but you’ll find yourself flagging early into the student year if you keep this up. The student life takes its toll – late nights and alcohol will already have their effect on your studies, but if you’re not eating right you will find that your concentration and levels of work really suffer. Also, a low immune system will quickly lead to illness. There are so many cheap and easy recipes out there that will ensure you get everything you need. Use this time to learn some basic cooking and nutrition skills. You’ll have to learn eventually, and now’s as good a time as any.
3 – Stock up!
Have a big shop every few weeks and stock up on non-perishable staple foods. Brown pasta and rice are filling and great for energy. There are so many dishes you can base around either of these. Other items, such as tinned tomatoes, soup, beans and chickpeas will last for ages and are easy to prepare. Also, look out for things that are on offer that you know you will use and avoid any expensive impulse purchases.
4 – Shop Local.
Go to your local market for fresh items. Fruit, vegetables, meat and fish will generally be cheaper and fresher here than at a bigger supermarket, and you will be supporting your local community. Also keep in mind that many items will cost you less towards the end of the day.
5 -Cook with others.
Set a challenge for you and your housemates. Make it into a social event! Going on a night out can be very expensive now, so nights in are becoming more popular. Invite friends round – it’s a great way to get to know new people, but you’ll also learn loads and be more inclined to prepare something tasty now that you’ve got an audience.
These are just five tips to better student living, and with postgraduate fees on the rise, tips like these are important for new and old students alike.
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By Lewis Love
Lewis enjoys cooking fresh, locally sourced food on a budget, using tips and tricks like these to get great food for less.