Our Tips On Keeping Food Costs Down as a Student
Without a plan, food shopping as a student can (excuse the pun) eat into your budget. Walking around the supermarket every few days and throwing in items aimlessly is likely to lead to a substantial weekly food bill. We appreciate that students, for the most part, are on a shoestring budget. With this in mind, we have prepared a handy guide with tips and guidance on keeping your costs down and getting the most for your money.
Plan Plan Plan
Got a notebook filled with recipes? Fantastic. Have an Excel spreadsheet comparing items in different supermarkets? Little bit extreme, but we like it. The point being, if you want to keep your food shop cost down you need to plan ahead. We are not suggesting that you arrive at every store armed with a thorough list. Sometimes you will rush into a supermarket and undoubtedly pick up a few bits on the fly. But you do not want to make this a daily occurrence if you are trying to keep your food costs down. The most cost effective way to shop is by planning out meals for the week. This may be boring, and sometimes lengthy, but it will save you a fair amount of money in the long run.
Branded Is Not Necessarily Better
As a society we are obsessed with brands. For the most part, this obsession is unjustified. A lot of branded food goods are equal to branded alternatives. In some cases, they are exactly the same. If your aim is to keep costs down then we recommend swapping some of your shopping items for their unbranded equals. You would certainly benefit from swapping branded items like canned goods, washing powder and medicine. You are not limited to these items though. Go crazy. If you are comfortable buying solely unbranded items, you will surely save a great deal of money.
All Praise Aldi/ Lidl
Seriously. These places are a godsend if you are trying to be frugal. The items stocked by Aldi and Lidl are just as good as those in, say, Tesco or Morrisons. The difference being, Aldi and Lidl’s produce prices are significantly lower. You are likely to shave valuable pounds off your weekly shop if you choose to buy your groceries from one of these shops.
Nowadays, most supermarkets on the high street offer a points based loyalty scheme for their customers. These points can be collected over time to save money on your food shopping. Tesco’s Clubcard, for example, not only allows you to eventually shave pounds off but it also includes customers in select deals. This often makes individual items quite a bit cheaper. It is usually quick to apply for a card, online or by post, and they are sent out within a matter of days. These loyalty cards can be extremely useful for shoppers looking to be more economical.
Frozen Food Is Your Best Friend
The frozen isle is a fantastic place to go exploring if you are trying to save money. Typically, frozen items are cheaper than fresh produce. You also have the added bonus of frozen items like vegetables and meat lasting for ages. Buying frozen items in bulk will reduce the costs associated with continually purchasing short life, fresh items.
The Clearance Section
If you are truly committed to trimming your food budget, you may have to become one of those shoppers that hangs around the clearance section. These sections of the store are excellent for things like meat and ready meals (items that can be frozen). You will want to freeze them as soon as you get home, if you are not planning on using them, as they are typically going out of date the following day. Rummaging through the clearance section can save you a lot of money.
We hope you enjoyed our Our Tips On Keeping Food Costs Down as a Student. For more information, advice and tips on university life visit our dedicated blog. You can also explore our range of student accommodation properties by visiting our property page