One of the main things I struggled with when I first came to university was how to food shop… wisely. If you’ve never done a food shop entirely on your own before (which I hadn’t) the supermarket can seem overwhelming with choice, especially when you’re clueless about prices – who knew cheese was so expensive?! After three years I think I’ve learned a trick or two about how to save a little bit every now and then on your food shop, so here they are…
Do not food shop hungry.
It will only encourage you to buy 10x the amount of food you need, and encourage you to buy things you fancy snacking on as soon as you leave the shop, rather than actual ingredients for meals.
Share items with housemates/friends.
An easy way to cut the costs when you’re doing a food shop is by sharing foods. If you buy larger packets of food it normally works out so much cheaper. I often do this when buying meat, which also saves waste as nothing will be left over and pass the use by date.
If you can’t share food, think about what items of food you can freeze.
Again this works really well with meats. Opt for a larger packet, therefore cheaper per portions and then store some in the freezer. It saves on waste and therefore money.
It’s a silly one but, bring your own bags.
If you do a weekly shop and get enough food to fill three bags, by the end of the year you are £7 down!
Know what time your local supermarket reduces its food.
Most students will probably already love when they see bright yellow stickers on any item in a supermarket… REDUCTIONS! You can definitely begin to work out (or ask) what time they reduce items, and plan your shops around this time saving a ton of money! Yes, I’ll have that 5p bread.
If you’re shopping regularly at the same supermarket make sure you’ve got their loyalty/points card.
E.g. a Tesco Clubcard, it won’t save you money straight away, but after three years of shopping at university I’ve racked up so many points on various different cards which can be used for money off my shopping or for things like meals out. It costs absolutely nothing for most of these cards so it’s definitely worth doing!
Work out what items you want to spend more or less money on.
What items can you scrimp on, and what items do you enjoy being luxury? If you can substitute some of your more expensive branded items for supermarket own brands you will definitely be saving money!
And that concludes my top 7 tips for spending a little bit less and saving a little bit more. Hopefully, these tips can help you to still have delicious meals at university… without breaking the bank!