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Shopping on a Budget: A Student's Guide to Eating Well and Saving Money


Learning to budget at Uni can be tricky - especially when it’s so tempting order takeaway’s as soon as your Student Loan arrives and live off baked beans for the rest of the term! Here at Sugarhouse we've compiled our top tips to help you manage your money and eat well.

Look Up and Down!

First up, learn to scour the shelves. Displaying the most expensive goods at eye level is a well-known trick used by supermarkets, so seek value ranges on higher or lower shelves. While shelf-scanning can certainly help you limit your spending, price labels are designed to confuse you. As a general rule, loose goods work out cheaper and you only buy what you need. However fruit, vegetables and meat is often priced per-kilo, meaning you often find yourself paying less for a bigger pack.

Big Brands aren’t always the best!

Also, it’s worth remembering that the simpler the item, the more likely the value brand will taste just the same. Buying named brand rice or pasta etc is a waste of money. Don’t be ashamed to shop at Lidl or Aldi - their own-brand products regularly win taste tests.

In addition, Supermarkets always discount their items at the same time each day, if you find out when this is, you can purchase foods that may not normally be within your budget or more packs for a lower price. You can get some amazing bargains in the reduced to clear section - just remember to eat or freeze them fast!

Share your leftovers

One of the easiest ways to cut costs is to share - whether that means paying into a kitty for staple ingredients, such as pasta, rice and milk or taking it in turns to cook large one-pot dishes you can all eat. One important thing to bear in mind is cooking together may end up in tears if you don’t cook food everyone likes.

When you first move in together it a good idea to organise a collection of Tupperware - this way you can save your leftovers for tomorrows lunch or freeze it for another day.

Dine out in style

It can be done - even on a budget. It’s time to download the apps of online favorites such as Student Beans and Groupon. NUS can also offer amazing deals such as 40% off at Pizza Express - so it’s worth buying a card!

Another tip for those who like to order most of the menu is to let your more sensible friend order first. Studies show ordering is a peer-pressure zone and we tend to copy whoever orders before us.

Finally, if the portions are too large, ask for a doggy bag and refrigerate the food as soon as you get home and reheat thoroughly before eating.

For more helpful hints and tips check out the student hacks on out Facebook page:

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