cooking on a budget


Food is becoming increasingly expensive. The VAT rate going up, petrol and the drought all play their parts in keeping these prices up. However, with a little planning, you can make food at home that not only lasts, but is filling and affordable. Here are some tips when it comes to cooking on a budget.

1. Plan What's Cooking

By planning your meals ahead of time, you not only create a shopping list automatically, but you can see how far your budget will go. Not only that, but knowing what you’re making allows you to buy in bulk and freeze it if you need to.

2. Make a Shopping List and Stick to It

This is a bit of a no-brainer, but stick to your shopping list. Don’t let yourself get distracted by the specials, unless they’re buy one get 3 free, then we’ll forgive you. Remember that specials are designed to make people over spend on their budgets, unless you can see real value in a special, stay away.

Another tip is to make sure you’re not doing your shopping on an empty stomach. We know that when you’re shopping while hungry, you’re more likely to purchase luxury foods or snacks. Remember: a moment on the lips, forever on the hips.

3. Buy in Bulk on Items That Don't Spoil

Buying bulk on items that expire quickly doesn’t make sense (or cents) unless you’re purchasing items that last for a while and can be kept. Items like pasta, rice and pap last well when stored correctly. Items like fruit and veg, however, don’t and you don’t want to purchase all your fruit for a month at the same time.

4. Learn the Cooking Basics

Cooking at home is far more affordable than buying microwave meals and take away. The ingredients you buy yield more servings and often can be used for more than one meal.

Learning the basics when it comes to cooking means that you will be more confident and have a good starting base to know what flavors go together.

Here is a good list of 25 things everyone should know, as written by the BBC.


With these simple tips, you are well on your way to taking control of your student finances and becoming one great cook!

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