How to Eat British on a Budget
A Student Guide to Food
When you’re a student it’s a good idea to try and balance an often tight budget and eating British food. It is achievable with this savvy guide! Try our tips to make sure that you are getting the most for your money and eating well. Spending less doesn’t necessarily mean compromising on quality, and gone are the days of students making do with living off boiled pasta for three years. Supporting British farmers and producers is completely realistic with this guide, and it really can save you money along the way!
Less is More!
Less is definitely more when it comes to meat and poultry, but this doesn’t have to mean smaller portions. It is far better to fuel your body with better quality protein, and alternate between meat based and vegetarian meals. Scrap bad quality items on your shopping list and replace them with British produce, even it if means eating meat a little less often. There are loads of other ways to make sure that your body gets enough protein, like eating more grains and pulses.
Make the most of shopping seasonally and buy products like berries and asparagus when they are harvested in Britain. Foods that you would normally consider to be out of your budget become affordable when they are in season. This way of shopping also promotes a more varied and interesting diet.
Do your research!
Co-op have pledged to stock only British meat in their stores. This means that when you’re doing your weekly shop, you know the quality is definitely there and you won’t have to spend as long checking labels.
It goes without saying, taking advantage of what is on offer on products right across your weekly shop means more money saved and more money left in the budget to treat yourself.
Finally, buying British means buying the best quality ingredients for your kitchen. Planning a weekly shop and preparing food from scratch is possible even if you are new to cooking. Check out our recipe cards for simple and affordable British meals.
Spend Less & Eat Well
A Student Guide to Food
Being savvy about planning your weekly shop means not only reducing waster but also the money you spend. It can be easy to spend loads on processed food that doesn’t taste great, and before you know it there’s not much money left for you to do anything else. Follow our simple guide to save money and eat well when you’re at uni.
Work out your weekly budget!
The idea of three large chunks of money coming into your bank account from Student Finance might feel novel to you, but it’s surprising how quickly money can be spent. The first week of freshers for one reason or another will most likely be a bit mad, and your spending plan that you drew up before moving into halls just have gone out of the window! So, take some time to pause and recalculate (or calculate for the first time if you haven’t already), what you can afford to spend on food per week for the first term. It always pays off to be a little more generous with yourself so there is some contingency. If you don’t end up spending it all in the first term, then great, but it might just avoid you falling short just before Christmas.
Meal plan like your degree depends on it!
Planning your meals on a weekly chart may sound boring but it really does pay off. Jazz up your chart and make use of those coloured pens that you bought in the run up to uni. A useful tip when it comes to meal planning is doubling up recipes. Offering to cook for yourself and one of your new housemates can be a great way to make friends, and if they return the favour then it’s one less meal to plan for the week. Making double portions also means taking advantage of your new Tupperware. The vegetarian chilli that you made for dinner on Tuesday can be refrigerated and had for lunch on Thursday. This is not only a more economical way of cooking, but it will save you time and means that it’s easier to stick to a healthy food plan.
Think outside of the box!
There will be loads of places on campus that sell fresh, local food for less than you would pay in a supermarket. Check out your student’s union website to see the kinds of events that are planned and if your university holds a weekly market. Buying at these local markets means buying fresh, British produce and supporting local farmers. It is also worth remembering that students get 1-% off at Co-op with an NUS card.
When you do a shop, it can be a great idea to share the trip with a housemate. If you’re travelling by car this means saving on petrol and when you get to the supermarket you can both make sure that you stick to your meal plan and not get tempted by non-essentials.
Make eating out a special occasion!
All this money that you’re saving on your weekly food shops means that you can afford to make eating out a special occasion. It does not need to be an expensive restaurant but eating out less on a regular basis means that when you do, you can value it more. Schedule in a date night or a lunch with your friends as an incentive to keep working on your meal plans!
British Food Fortnight 2017 – 23rd September – 8th October