The student loan has just come in and you’re probably feeling pretty chuffed right now. However, this has got to last you until the end of April! But not to worry, Hut Stuff are here to help with very simple ways to stretch your loan further without compromising all the fun stuff you should be doing at University.
Food is an essential cost but there are ways to keep spending down whilst eating well. Unfortunately, no amount of alcohol consumption can substitute it! However, instead of buying expensive pre-packed meals and going for a copious amount of takeaways, here are a few pointers to get you into the kitchen and enjoying cheap, great food (depending on how well you cook, obviously).
Online Shopping in groups:
Before we make it into the kitchen, you could save a fortune ordering your food as a flat/house. It is easier to make the most of bulk buying deals (3 for 2, etc.) and if there are 3 or 4 of you, it will cost you about £1 each for delivery. Plus, bulk buy on alcohol to get the best deals delivered to your door, instead of buying an expensive 6-pack from your local off-licence every time you are pre-drinking.
What’s more, usually the leading supermarkets have great deals for your first online order. Save £15 when you spend £60 online, for instance – which you’ll easily do if you’re shopping in a group. Check out our current offers on groceries in our household section here!
Flat/House Cooking Rota:
As students you are likely to have a small kitchen, so everyone cooking each night is going to be a nightmare. So some or all of you (depending on how big your group is) should agree to cook for each other and have a specific night for each person. It is automatically cheaper because you are cooking in greater bulk, plus it means you get a couple of nights off cooking each week. People usually make more effort cooking for others, so it is a great way to get a variety of nice meals and be sociable while you do it.
This can be difficult to organise because everyone is so busy. I wouldn’t recommend a group of 7 trying to do it every single night of the week - a group of 3 or 4 would be best.
Herbs and Spices:
If someone turns up to university with dozens of herbs and spices you probably think they’re going to be one of those rare characters! But this person is actually onto something. You can get packs of spices for about 10p and a jar of herbs will cost you about £1.50 (and will probably last you most of University). These can be used to make an average pasta or chicken meal, great. Even if you have a few packs, there is so much you can do with them and they are so much cheaper than branded products like Uncle Ben’s ready-spiced rice.
If you have absolutely no idea where to start, I would recommend grabbing a jar of mixed herbs and some sort of jerk-cajun spice just to get the ball rolling.
Plan your meals:
Before you go to do your big shop, have a think about what you are going to cook in the next few days. Instead of buying a random selection of stuff and hoping you have a meal, buy stuff with a plan of doing something with it. For example, if you are going to buy a tub of mushrooms and bacon for a pasta bake, think about having a fry-up a couple of days later to use up the left over stuff. It’s easy to let stuff go out of date, especially when you are just cooking for yourself, and this is just throwing money away! So be a ‘man with a plan’ (or a ‘woman with a plan’) and you’ll only spend money on the food you actually need.
We know you need to treat yourself sometimes! Maybe for a house/flat meal, a birthday or just because exam stress has got you down. When you do, make sure you look for an offer that is running to get the best value for money. Most universities are surrounded by reasonable restaurants which will all be competing for your business. Check if they do student discounts or cheap lunches, etc.
Plus, you can always check out Student Hut’s offers section, with huge savings on many restaurants local to you and high-street restaurant chains. Check them out below...