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When it comes to shopping and food, many students go to extremes: either stocking too much food and seeing it go to waste, or not stocking up at all and finding that eating out every day is creating a big dent in their finances.
Finding that balance seems elusive to many students, but it can be achieved by following a few tips:
- Know your local area. Find supermarkets instead of expensive local convenience stores.
- Do one big shop a week, not every day, and if possible, never when you’re hungry.
- Make a shopping list and stick to it, unnecessary items should be kept out of the basket.
- Shop with your flat mates; take advantage of two-for-one offers.
- Bulk buy basics, such as rice and pasta (larger packets can work out cheaper).
- Buy fresh vegetables from local markets.
- Look out for supermarket offers, but don’t buy them if you don’t need them.
- Time your shopping to find reduced items.
- Take advantage of supermarket price wars. Price guarantees or brand match offers can help.
Before you set out to shop, check out My Supermarket – by inputting your shopping list, it will work out where you can find all the items at the best price.
if you know you don’t have time for a visit to the supermarket, shop online at any of the leading supermarkets, take advantage of online discounts and make sure they have free delivery.
Eating & health
It’s always a struggle to combine portion control and healthy eating with the ability to save money, but eating three balanced meals a day is important to keep functioning properly.
- A large breakfast, a moderate lunch and a small dinner is a great way to balance your food, have variety, eat proportionally and save on money. It also means you’re less likely to buy overpriced snacks during those ‘empty’ periods.
- Stick to your five-a-day. Fruits and vegetables on a daily basis will keep your body healthy.
- If you have leftovers from meals, freeze them for later. Not only does this reduce waste, but it also guarantees you food for when cooking becomes a little too much for that day.
- Cooking for and eating with friends can be a great way to socialise, save money and be healthy.
- Stay fuller for longer. Low GI foods are a good way to keeping yourself fuller for longer, but must also be taken as part of a balanced diet.
- Drink plenty of water. Keeping hydrated can increase concentration and maintain a healthy body.