During my first year at uni I was catered for, which surprise surprise consisted of a lot of bread, sugary sauces and crumpets when I couldn’t hack the choice. In my second year I had the chance to start cooking for myself, I was making healthier choices and I felt a lot better for it. I have managed to change my diet into something manageable on a student budget whilst being healthy, and not taking up too much of the day to prep either.
Plan what I need for the week
I find it really helpful to see what I’m up to in the week and kind of plan my meals around that. If I know I’ve got a hectic week I’ll buy more things in to make green juices so I can still eat healthily whilst not taking ages to prep. Planning for the week has also saved me money, without planning I would throw out so much fresh fruit and veg that I haven’t used.
Do one big shop a week with a list
Fair enough the odd things like bread and milk, but shopping every 3-4 days made me worse off! Luckily my friends have bought their cars to uni this year so we can do the food shop once a week, but last year I would go to Aldi and then get a £3 taxi back, still saving myself a fortune compared to going every 2-3 days in somewhere like Tesco or Sainsburys. I never go without a list otherwise anything could end up in my bloody trolly (I know what I’m like, a proper sucker for offers).
Make in bulk
There is nothing worse than coming in from a lecture that ends at 7.15 (yes they exist in my final year) to have to cook something. Whatever I’m making I try to do it in bulk to save the hassle another night, it saves me so much time and also helps there be less food waste. I feel like I can make and use more of the fresh food I have bought this way too, then I can freeze it and have it another day.
Substitute carbs for veg
I don’t have pasta all the time, so I try to use veg as a substitute… Not going to lie the thought of courgette thinned out and used instead of pasta made me sad, but it is actually really nice! I find myself craving the courgette over the pasta now because even the brown pasta makes me feel too full and bloated. I have this “spiral shredder” as they call it and it is working perfectly considering how cheap it was.
Use offers and student discounts
Sorry if you’re not on O2 but on a Monday you can get a Boots meal deal for £1! Boots actually have some really nice salads and they do this flat bread that is amazing, Monday is (quite sadly) becoming one of my favourite days of the week (I wish I was joking). Bella Italia (not necessary healthy but everyones gotta have a treat) do a student lunch menu where you can get a pizza for £5, the pizza is massive and tastes amazing! NUS student discount is another good one, I save so much money each year and I think the average user saves around £500.
Buy fresh fruit and veg wisely
I always try to buy veg that will go with most meals I’m making. Spinach is a good one because I can have that with pasta, salads, on sandwiches and in my green juice. Another good one is peppers, I have peppers with literally everything. I buy either blueberrys or strawberrys for my breakfast and with the left overs there is an amazing recipe in Deliciously Ella to make jam from it, on top of toast the morning after a night out (or straight after a night out) it is perfect!
I hope this has been helpful, next week there will be a post on my top 10 tips for students if you like this sort of this!
What are your tips of staying healthy as a student?