Hello friends! I wanted to put together a little compilation of my experience from when I first moved out and had to really make my money stretch as far as possible.
This is a guide aimed at people who are just moving to Uni or just trying to spend less on food in general. If you’ve spent this months rent on beer or pizza, fret not, stick with me and you’ll make it til next payday.
What to Buy:
The first and arguably most important part of surviving on a budget is knowing what to actually spend your limited funds on. Here is what I suggest:
Potatoes: A bag of potatoes can last a fairly long time in the fridge instead of the pantry. Keeping them chilled will also hinder any nasty bugs you find on cheaper bags of potatoes. Better yet, if you can get to a supermarket and buy individual ones, get 7.
Apples: Eating an apple a day either at breakfast or for lunch will not only provide you essential nutrition but they’re good for you! Keeping apples in the fridge helps them retain their crunch and they’re super refreshing. Again, buy 7 if you can get single ones.
Carrots: These orange sticks of power are incredible. You can chop them up and make veg soup, slice them into sticks for snacking on or even roast them on an oven tray! Leave the skins on for extra goodness!
Cheese: Either buy a large block to save in bulk or get the cheap nasty processed sliced stuff. Buying the cheaper stuff makes it much easier to use as you can just slap it on toast or pasta for instant “cheese on x” meals. Blocks do save you money though, I’d also recommend getting extra mature where possible as you can make less cheese go further that way.
Bread: If it’s good enough for the peasants of old, it’s good enough for you. Fortunately, in our society it comes pre-sliced. Sandwiches, toast, heck even budget croutons if you need them. Make the swap to brown bread or 50/50 if you can. It’s better for you and will be cheaper. Pair with
Frozen Sausages: Sausage Meat might be bad for you, but if you’re reading this list as a non-vegetarian you might get a hankering for something meaty. Sausage Meat is cheaper than mince and can taste as good. You can also make sausages for breakfast as a treat or reform the meat into burgers!
I tried this myself! Link here: Kitchen Sorcery: Sausage Burgers
Pasta: You can buy this stuff so cheap I’m not sure it classes as food. Pair with cheese or a vegetable stock cube for extra flavour!
Stock Cubes: These can not only enable you to make soups taste better than glorified vegetable water but also massively improve the taste of pasta dishes.
Eggs: Super versatile, eat them for breakfast, make omelettes, even add them to fried vegetable dishes for more flavour.
Oats: If sausages or eggs doesn’t agree with your ethical standpoints on animal welfare, oats are arguably one of the bests breakfasts you can have. 20g of oats with some butter or sugar in the morning will potentially last you until the end of the day.
Salt & Pepper: If you don’t have these in your cupboards already you might want to consider turning back now. These will save you, not from starvation, but from going insane from eating bland food over and over again.
Mayonnaise: Alright this one’s a bit of a personal recommendation, but this is a utility food that can really make a meal go further. Great with roasted potatoes or on sandwiches.
What to Make:
Ok, so you’ve been shopping and you’ve gathered your rations for the next week or so. How do you go about actually surviving? There are some bare essential pieces of equipment you will need:
- A Frying Pan
- A Kitchen Knife
- Basic Cooking Knowledge
The beauty of these ingredients is there are so many ways to put them together for different meals that it’s kinda hard to mess up. Here are some basic recipes you can make with these ingredients:
- Cheese Omelette
- Scrambled Eggs on Toast
- Homemade Chips w/Mayo
- Bangers & Mash
- Vegetable Soup
- Mac & Cheese
- Carrot Sticks
- Fried Carrot & Potatoes
These are just a few examples of things you can put together. With more ingredients you can do even more meals!
What to Do:
Now you have the ingredients and you have the know how to make your budget meals, here are some extra tips for survival.
- Drink a metric butt-tonne of water. Well, not quite that much, but water will fill you up a substantial amount and it keeps you hydrated so you can make the most of the nutrients you do have.
- Mix it up, there is no way on earth you can have the same meal every day of the week and expect to stick with it.
- Experiment! If you have some money to spare you can afford to make mistakes!
- When making meals, try to use no more than 3 ingredients. It’ll make your food go much further.
- When snacking, eat no more than a handful.
I hope you guys found this stuff helpful, if there’s some stuff I’m missing or some thing you suggest please feel free to comment and let me know! Cheers for reading!