Student cooking tips

Are you a student? Check out these indispensable tips from’s Ben Ebrell on cooking on a budget.

Student cooking tips

Team up 

Cooking as a group makes the entire process more fun and far more affordable. It’s tricky to cook a single meal for £2, but simple to cook 4 portions for £8. 

Bulk buy

the basic staples that you will use over and over again are best bought in larger quantities as they work out cheaper in the long run. Big bags of rice and pasta are much less per kilo that buying the small 500g bags each time. 

Don’t shop when hungry 

Avoid wandering around a supermarket on an empty stomach as you’ll be tempting towards impulse buys.

Buy seasonal fruit, veg, meat and fish where possible 

These ingredients will be cheaper than items out of season. If you’re unsure about what is in season then either take 2 minutes before shopping to check out online or look around the store for what is good value. That far more sensible than going into the store determined to grab some courgettes (for example), regardless of their price. 

Only make use of the special offers if you’ll actually use them 

For example, 3 for the price of 2 is great if you will actually use all 3 before they go out of date. However, don’t be tempted to get 3 just to make use of the offer if, in fact, you only really need 1 in the first place. 

Don’t scrimp and save on certain items 

Washing up liquid being one for example. The value/economy brands might be slightly cheaper but they are also less efficient and you’ll use twice as much to get the same job done.  

Stash bread 

If you struggle to get through an entire loaf of bread before the last third goes stale, then halve it when you get it home and freeze one half. Defrost the bread at room temperature as you need it and it’s as good as fresh! 

Portion up leftovers 

If you make more than you need, store it in tupperware immediately and put it to one side or in the fridge for another meal. Otherwise, once you finished your portion it’s too easy to have ‘just a bit more’ when it’s left in the pan. By portioning it up it labels it as another meal and you’re less inclined to tuck in.

Don’t let cooking become a chore 

Make sure you’re adding at least one new and different recipe into your meals each week to keep things fresh and inspired. Experiment a little and you’ll probably stumble across your new absolute favourite! 

Find excuses to get together with mates and use food as a social glue 

A night in can be as good as a night out, especially if everyone brings a food and/or drink contribution to the party.  

Kit yourself out 

Fit your kitchen out from day one if possible with the basic kit needed. You don’t need to spend millions, but make sure you’re getting stuff that is durable, will serve the purpose you need and is designed to make your life easier. 

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