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Student Life

Student Meals on a Budget

With the cold spell that’s descended upon Liverpool in the past few days, the idea of coming home to a nice warm meal is very appealing. We understand being stuck in lectures and the library all day can be tiring and by the time you slump home, you haven’t got the strength or the inclination to get cooking. Rather than reaching for the nearest take away menu or that old Pot Noodle you’ve got in the cupboard, follow our simple ideas to make sure you can always have a lovely homemade meal.

Buy the essential equipment- A slow cooker can be a students best friend in the winter months. Throw any cheap cuts of meat and left over veg in and by the time you’re finished, it will have cooked into a delicious stew, ready for you to demolish. A blender or hand whisker is also a great investment; you can make smoothies and soups with the touch of a button.

Shop late in the evening- Supermarkets often reduce food that is nearing its sell by date around 7 or 8pm, so it’s the perfect time to get your weekly shop done. Fruit and veg will always keep past their use by dates, especially if they’re kept in the fridge and any meat that you aren’t going to use in the next few days can be frozen and kept fresh for another day. It’s the perfect opportunity to buy more expensive cuts of meat for a lower price.

Shop local- Not only is it vital for the economy and decidedly safer in light of the recent horse meat scandal, often your local butcher or greengrocer is cheaper and can do you a good deal. If you shop local and often, you know you will eat exactly what you have bought, rather than half of your weekly shop going to waste.

Bulk buy- If you know you’ll be making a lot of lunches and dinners, or be inviting your friends round for a meal soon, you’ll be much better off buying your food in bulk. You might get a special deal for buying a particular amount and you’ll be a good housemate along the way.

Make big batches- If you make big batches of food, you’ll be so grateful when you find leftovers in the freezer when you’re desperate. Make a big lasagne, chilli or curry and freeze it in individual portions, easy for you to pop in the microwave or oven, with none of the hassle.

Skimp on store cupboard essentials- You don’t really need premium condiments or spices and herbs. Buy own brand or only when on offer to save on the basics. If you’re going to spend, do so on fresh meat, fish and veg.

Here are some recipe sites for student meals that might help give you some inspiration: BBC, Good to Know and Studentrecipes.com.

Get cooking!