food & drink

You can still eat decent on a student budget

Students have a stereotype, according to who you speak to, we survive on noodles and beans – that we heat on the radiator. It may be true to an extent, but it doesn’t have to be.

Students have a stereotype, according to who you speak to, we survive on noodles and beans – that we heat on the radiator. It may be true to an extent, but it doesn’t have to be.

Times are tough economically, and nothing is rising more than the price of food.  Many are already feeling the effects, no more so than students all over the UK. Most students struggle to live on the tight budgets they have, with that in mind, below I’ve written a few suggestions to help you afford decent food on a student’s budget.

Shopping online

A simple one to start with, but some are unaware of the saving potential. Food shopping online can save you more money than you realise, especially, that oh so special first shop. On your first online shopping visit to Asda you can get £15 of a £50 shop. And just because you sign up to Asda, doesn’t mean you have to be loyal to them, you can do the same thing at Tesco, get £10 of a £50 shop.

Purchasing online decreases the chances of spending on needless items, and again, you tend to be more focused on the necessary items, rather than buying that double whipped cream cake, you really don’t need. Most supermarkets offer free delivery, as long as you reach a certain amount.

Go to your local Market

You’ve probably heard this a thousand times already, but believe me, your local market is the best place you can go to get the most out of your shopping budget. According to research undertaken by one of London’s most popular markets, on average shoppers can save 32 per cent buying fruit & veg from market stalls compared with buying from supermarkets.

If that isn’t enough to convince you, just think, by buying from the local market, you are supporting local people and eating local produce, compared to paying to an international firm, that flies there produce hundreds of miles across the world. To find your nearest local market, search on here.


Again, you have more than likely heard this more times than me mentioning, but it’s true, you can get some great cuts of meat for a really cheap price. Students are unaware of the cheaper cuts of meat available, as are most people, buyers are use to the ever popular loin, fillet and rump. 

How about buying the cheaper cut of meats that has so much more flavour than your usual purchase?

Mutton, brisket and pig’s trotters, otherwise known as pig’s feet. I know what you’re probably thinking—ew. That’s what I said, until I tried them. Honey-roasted pig’s trotters with vegetables is one of the nicest meals I’ve had with pork and one of the cheapest.

Learn to poach

No, I’m not talking ivory, nor eggs. I’m talking about waiting till around 8pm, when the supermarkets put the prices down on fresh meat, cooked meats, and pastry products.

Supermarkets tend to put meat, fish, cooked meats and pastry products close to their sell by dates on the reduced sections. If you’re cunning enough and beat of competition from fellow reduced item hunters, you could end up with an absolute steal, such as I did, a few months ago, I managed to get a whole cooked chicken for £1, which lasted me 3 days.

Remember, sell by date doesn’t mean that’s the date you have to eat by.

Buy in Bulk

Buying in bulk can save you a hell of a lot of money. On your next shop buy in bulk, instead of a normal size of pasta, buy the 5Kg bag, like wise with rice.

With you buying in bulk, your produce will last longer and when your next food shop comes around, you will have more money to spend, treat yourself, buy a steak and some much needed alcohol. 

One last bit of advice, as the saying goes, never shop when you are hungry.

Have your say on eating well on a student budget in the comments section below, on Facebook or on Twitter.