When you talk to your family about arriving and experiencing university – one of the first topics that arise is the food situation. ‘What are you going to cook for yourself now your mum isn’t there?’
You may laugh it off now but soon soon it will become a reality and making sure there is variety in your diet is easier said than done. You will never under appreciate more the comforts of eating your parents’ cooking again. When you move into your halls you soon realise that there isn’t masses of space for your food; whether that be in the freezer or fridge shelf, so you quickly need to become efficient and resourceful with buying and using your food. So to help you out here are my recommendations for eating well on a student budget.
Students are always looking for discounts and deals. The best place to seek out some daily bargains is in the reduced section of the supermarket! You can find some great value deals and treats here.
Your halls will likely to be located near a supermarket store such as Tesco or Morrisons. Both stores hold advantages and disadvantages over each other, with Tesco offering more deals over their product range while Morrisons have slightly cheaper products in general. Depending on what you want to make I would shop accordingly.
You’ ll get to know Grainger Market within your first few weeks of being at Newcastle, as it is an iconic city centre market located near Grey’s monument and close to University. The market offers a variety of stalls and artisan bakeries like ‘The French Oven’ renowned in the Toon for its delicious freshly baked goods. The meat stalls in Grainger market are open Monday to Saturdays and offer great deals such as 5kg of chicken for £20 or 7 packs of variety meats from Chinese pork belly to frying pepper steaks for just £10. This is a great way to save money and live on a budget as it is much cheaper than supermarket meats.
Cooking with your housemates is a good way to get to know each other and suss out your culinary likes and dislikes. Cooking together offers a variety of different dishes and it means you can share ingredients and perhaps more importantly the budget..
Meal preparation sounds like a lot of hassle and the thought is a lot worse than the reality. Once you’ve cooked the prime ingredient such as the beef mince in Spaghetti Bolognese then it becomes a lot easier to simple add in the complementary ingredients to make the rest of the meal. If you cook enough mince in Bolognese sauce into 3-4 dishes then this can be saved and frozen, with pasta only needed to be added on the day to make it easy.
There are loads of Facebook pages that now show short videos of how to cook for 4 under £10 or dishes that can be made in under 15 minutes. Facebook pages like the Food Bible are a great way to be resourceful with the ingredients left in your fridge and pages like UniLad Grub use simple and basic foods to make their videos therefore it gives you the chances to explore new meals, using the same foods.