February 5, 2020, by Jayda
How to Budget in the Kitchen
The thought of cooking for yourself everyday can be quite daunting. Between lectures, deadlines, extra curriculars, and having a social life; cooking healthy meals each night all while living on a budget may seem impossible. But don’t worry, with a bit of planning and a few you-tube videos, cooking for yourself at university will become a welcomed challenge! Here’s a few tips on how to budget in the kitchen:
Make a List
It’s so easy to get distracted at the supermarket. Often you go in for a few things and come out having spent £20 on food you don’t need. To avoid unnecessary spending, make a list ahead of your weekly shop. That way you come out with all the food you need, and you’re less likely to succumb to unhealthy impulse buys. There’s nothing worse than coming home after a long day and finding an empty fridge. Making a list prevents this as you’ll be thinking about your meals for the upcoming week and planning accordingly.
Cook in Bulk
Cooking in bulk is great for saving money. All it involves is cooking a few extra portions every now and then. Instead of cooking enough for one meal, why not scale up and cook for three or four meals. Simply put the extra portions into containers and freeze them. That way, if you know you’ve got a deadline coming up, or a busy day and you won’t have time to cook, there’s a meal ready and waiting for you in the freezer. All you have to do is microwave it!
If you only know how to make three meals, all involving pasta, then cooking is going to get very boring. Budgeting can only go so far if you rely on takeaways to eat the food you actually enjoy. So, don’t be afraid to try new things in the kitchen. Being frugal doesn’t have to be boring. Start by experimenting with things you already have in your cupboard. When you have fun whilst cooking, it becomes much easier. If you’re stuck for inspiration, you-tube has loads of easy recipes for students which don’t require wasting money on expensive ingredients you’ll only use once. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_9bjux2FEg.
Search the student life blog for some easy, tried and tested recipes! https://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/studentlife/2017/06/22/two-easy-student-recipes/
Instead of going out for a meal every few weeks which starts to add up, invite your friends round for a dinner party. You could create a “Come Dine with Me” of sorts, and swap going to Nando’s for a night in with your friends rating their skills in the kitchen. While there probably won’t be an £1000 cash prize, you’ll get to show off your culinary skills, have fun, and save money – what’s not to love!