Cooking and eating healthy as a student is often challenging, but especially in today’s economic climate. With most supermarkets increasing their prices in the past month, staying financially afloat can feel all the more overwhelming; so, here are 3 top tips for healthy and affordable eating, whilst also balancing the demands of being a student.
– Download Apps
Downloading apps is a great way for cheap eating to be accessible. One of the best around at the minute is TooGoodToGo: this allows supermarkets, restaurants and chains such as Costa and Greggs to sell small bags of food which is nearing its use-by date for a low price. Not only is this a great option for people looking to grab some cheap bites and fill their fridge for less, but it’s also an effort to reduce food waste. Simply give the app access to your location, and it will recommend places taking part near you. Even better, lots of the University Cafes around campus take part, so it’s super easy to grab something on your way home. Another of my favourite apps is Yummly. Upon making an account, it asks you to compete a short quiz about your favourite cuisines and dishes, including any allergies or simply any foods you aren’t a fan of. Once you’re all set up, the app recommends recipes you may enjoy- and some you may not have heard of! This is a great way to find something to chef-up, and can cater your meals to what you already have in your kitchen, saving you having to buy any extra ingredients.
TikTok doesn’t fall short when it comes to affordable recipes. One TikToker in particular is DishesByDaisy. In her videos, Daisy shows off some delicious-looking recipes in a simple but exciting way. Her TikTok playlists include ‘£1 Dinners’ and ‘Simple Student Meals’; not only are her recommendations tasty and nutritious, but also provide advice on how to get all the food groups we need on a budget. Another helpful account is BeatTheBudget. This creator has a ‘5 Lunches for £5’ series, which provides recipe inspiration for those who prefer to meal-prep. Not only does this keep costs low, but it also is suitable to the hectic life of a student. On those days when you’re rushing out the door or have an assignment due in, it’s always helpful to have some brain-food prepared in the fridge.
– Wonky Fruit and Veg
My final top tip is about wonky food. Almost every supermarket has started a ‘wonky’ range for their fruit and vegetables, making staying healthy affordable. The wonky items are simply fruit and veg which may not look as perfect as the others, but are still perfectly fine to eat! For instance, Sainsbury’s have an ‘Imperfectly Tasty’ range, and Lidl sell a ‘Waste Not’ fruit and veg box in all UK stores: 5kg of slightly damaged or discoloured items for just £1.50. Also, it’s always worth checking which fruit and vegetables are in season as they are often at a cheaper price in shops; at the moment there’s apples, pears, and carrots to name a few!
So, whether you’re learning to budget or after some recipe inspiration, this short guide should help you along your way.