Life at UCB through the eyes of our international student bloggers

Cooking On A Budget!

Cooking On A Budget!

Food is an integral part of anyone’s life and eating the same type of food can become boring if you have it on a regular basis, making us want to try and cook something new. But sometimes, cooking something new or satisfying your cravings for your favorite meals can turn out to be expensive. In my blog a few weeks ago I talked about budgeting as a student. Today I will share a few tips that I follow to cook my favorite meals while staying under a budget and saving money for a takeaway once a week…..

Plan out your weekly menu

Before going shopping, plan out a list of foods you fancy eating or want to cook for your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It helps you have a set mind for things you need and a rough idea of how much all of the ingredients you need to buy would cost. While planning my menu, I always check the prices of what I need on supermarket’s websites, giving me an idea of how much the food item I want to buy is and I have a rough tally of how much I will spend that week. If you feel it’s getting expensive, go through your list and see if something could be replaced or taken out of the dish to make it more affordable.

Buy a multipack of an Item

Bulk packaging of any food is always cost-effective than buying small portions of it. Try and buy the bulk pack of the food and use it accordingly in different dishes. For instance, purchasing a family pack of chicken would be more economical, which can be used in various meals you’ve planned. Because of their versatility of use, certain food items can be cooked and used in so many ways, and you won’t get bored of them.

Buy supermarkets own brand

Many have a misconception that a food product with a brand label is always better than a supermarket’s own brand, which in some cases could be accurate but not all the time. In my experience, supermarket brands and quality branded products have the same quality and taste and give you the same flavor you want while cooking a dish, and are half the price of the branded items. So while shopping, compare the prices of a variety of the same product and choose the most economical ones, as you will thank your wallet later.

Cupboard Essentials

Most of the time to make the cooking process easy, people have a tendency of buying pre-made spice mixes for seasonings because they aren’t that expensive, but if you add those one-time-use packets up they add up to your food cost. Instead of using the spice mix, invest in some cupboard essential spices and make your own spice mix. If you read the ingredients at the back of the pre-made mixes, some common spices will always be present, and having those herbs and spices to hand will help with your food cost in the long run.

Look For Reductions and Freeze

Sometimes while shopping, you can find the items you are looking for in the reduced aisle, don’t hesitate to buy them even if it’s going out of date on the same day. Because as soon as you come home, you can freeze it as it increases the product’s shelf life, and most of the time, most products are still alright to consume one or two days before its use-by date, just be aware of using it as soon as you can. Reductions can help save you a lot of money within your food budget.

Hopefully, these tips and tricks help you as they surely help me to stay within my budget, see you in my next blog…

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