Doing the food shop at university can be daunting – especially when you’ve only got a limited budget and no parents to tell you what ingredients you need.
The good news is, though, saving money on your food shop doesn’t have to mean making huge sacrifices. In fact, a few simple swaps and changes here and there can benefit both your diet and bank balance.
Here the team at CARO Lettings offer a few top tips for students to bear in mind when doing the weekly shop.
10 food shopping tips for students
- Set yourself a budget
Before you head to the local supermarket, sit down and work out how much you can afford to spend on the food shop, factoring in the monthly rent, utility bills, transport costs and study materials. This will prevent you from overspending and buying any unnecessary items.
- Use price comparison websites
You can buy almost anything online these days, including your groceries! Thanks to price comparison tools, such as My Supermarket, you can compare the cost of the items in your basket at various supermarkets, to help you find the best deal.
- Choose supermarket-own brand versions
Although you might be tempted to buy branded products when stocking up the cupboards at your student accommodation in Liverpool, the supermarket’s own brands taste just as good (if not better) and cost a fraction of the price.
- Opt for frozen food over fresh
Tinned and frozen goods are often seen as the less nutritious option, but when you’re having to tighten your belt, they are extremely favourable. And, contrary to popular belief, frozen fruit and vegetables tend to contain the same amount, if not more nutrients, than their fresh counterparts! Not only do frozen products cost significantly less, but they also last a lot longer – meaning they needn’t go to waste.
- Avoid shopping on an empty stomach
Fitting the weekly shop into your busy schedule of studying and socialising isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but planning to go when you’ve had your lunch will prevent you from chucking everything in your trolley. Instead of buying items to curb pangs of hunger, write a list and stick to it.
- Plan your meals
Taking time to put together a weekly menu will help you to save money on your food shop bill. Check what you already have in the cupboards and make a list of the items you’ll need to whip up tasty dishes.
- Use your student discount where possible
Do you shop in one of the major supermarkets, e.g. Asda, Sainsbury’s or Tesco? Or do you pick up your groceries from cheaper stores, such as Aldi or Lidl? Wherever you do your food shopping, it’s worth finding out if you can get any discounts or special offers on Student Beans. This way you can get the essentials for your student accommodation in Liverpool without spending a fortune.
- Buy in bulk
Buying and cooking in bulk is not only a great way to keep your fridge, freezer and cupboards well-stocked, but also works out cheaper in the long run. For instance, you could cook a batch of lasagne, curry or pasta bake and freeze the excess for another day. And on days that you don’t have time to make something from scratch, you’ll simply need to defrost the leftovers in the microwave.
- Stop convenience shopping
We’ve all been there at some point, haven’t we? Forgotten to pick something up from the supermarket and called in at the local convenience store on the way home from uni? Whilst it can’t always be helped, these extra purchases quickly add up and result in you spending more on food and drink.
- Shop with your housemates
One of the best ways to save money on your food shop is to sit down with all your housemates and find out who needs what. This will allow you to buy in bulk and split the bill. Plus, it means you won’t have a surplus of food, so you won’t need to throw anything away. If you wanted, you could take the food shop in turns or assign each other roles so it’s fair. Shopping this way also allows you to take advantage of BOGOF offers.
Need more money-saving tips?
Here at CARO Lettings, we are always looking for ways to help tenants to get more out of their student loans when studying at uni – ensuring they don’t have to skimp and scrape. That’s why we provide some of the best student accommodation in Liverpool at affordable monthly rates.
If you have any questions about the facilities available at our student lets or you’d like to book a viewing, you’re more than welcome to get in touch. Either give us a call on 0800 008 7888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.