Students are not known for their expertise when it comes to shopping on a budget. So, to help you change all that and save some much-needed money along the way, here are 7 simple ways to keep costs down…all without missing out on your favourite foods.
1. Make a list…and stick to it
Make a list of essentials before you hit the supermarket and stick to it. Don’t let yourself get swayed…, it’s very difficult not to be drawn towards ‘buy one, get one free’ promotions and ‘3 for 2’ deals. Doing your shopping based on what is on offer that week, you will still be spending too much money and ending up with products you don’t really need.
2. Stock up on the essentials
Try to never run out of the essentials; which in most student homes includes pasta, rice, beans, noodles, fruit, vegetables and frozen foods. Realising you haven’t the basics to make a reasonable or filling meal is likely to result in either ordering yet another costly takeaway or making a trip to the shop where you’re likely to buy more than is necessary.
3. Don’t shop on an empty stomach
An important tip for anybody doing the weekly shop is to never do it on an empty stomach. The reasoning behind this tip is obvious; if shopping when you’re hungry, you’re more likely to think with your hungry stomach rather than your brain and make impulsive buys and spend far more than you need too.
4. Ditch the brands
Most of us are guilty of reaching straight for the branded names in the supermarket, without even having given the supermarket own and value ranges a chance. We recognise a familiar brand, and we go with it. Unfortunately, this can quickly burn a hole in your pocket. It’s worth at least giving non-branded foods a go and seeing how much you can save on your weekly shop.
5. Shop around
As a student, grocery shopping is unlikely to top your list of fun things to do, but because shopping wisely can mean saving money, it’ll mean you’ll have the money to do some of the things that are on your list of fun things such as days out or weekend breaks. So, although it can take a little longer, it’s worth shopping around or making that trip to the lower cost supermarkets.
6. Don’t throw it…freeze it
Whether it’s curry, chilli con carne, lasagne or the like, don’t throw out the leftovers. Instead, as long as it’s safe to do so, bag them up and put them in the freezer. Doing this will not only save you money, but effectively you have just created your own convenience meal. Simply defrost, reheat and enjoy.
7. Hunt for reduced items
Last but not least, it’s worth knowing that most major supermarkets and even some smaller stores and market stall holders will reduce the prices of certain food items near closing time. And in some supermarkets, you can even save money by buying from their oddly misshapen vegetables stock. So, head to your local store and bag yourself a bargain!
Using the tips above should mean you’re never stuck for something to whip up in the kitchen without breaking the bank.
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