Student Shopping & Eating...Quick

OK so this is probably more of a topic that needs starting in a couple of months when the new semesters start, and parents are packing their kiddies off to uni...but
Hows this for a topic. Student Meals and shopping to save money and Quickly

Reason..I was a student up until sept 03 and couldnt believe how much rubbish people I knew lived on (let alone how few knew how to cook!!!!!!!! :eek: )

Also your student loan (note I didnt say grant) doesnt go very far with all the socialising you have to do..
So basically the challenge is this..Shopping for one, for a week, fully balanced diet(PLEASE!!!) with each meal recipie taking no more than 20min to prepare.

and your budget is £20 or less (yes this is realistic! and dont expect them to go to a grocers or a real butchers either..think major supermarket only!)

Reason for time opening time..or neighbours on me cooking will take second or third or fouth place to these events :confused:

This is a subject close to my of my friends lived on nothing but cheese and ham toasties and golden Grahams for a year......Students need your HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  • xbox
    xbox Posts: 7,797 Forumite
    Oh dear, brings back too many memories
  • yanda
    yanda Posts: 70 Forumite
    Aaah, student meals..brings back the good old days of deep fried everything with a 4 pack of fosters for dessert..Here's my go at a week on £20, with the secret being that you make enough to eat for lunch the next day and always buy value brand.


    breakfast : toast
    - toast
    - butter
    - jam

    lunch : cheese on toast

    dinner: Spag bol
    - small portion of mince
    - cheap tin of tomatoes
    - tesco value pasta sauce
    - garlic paste
    - 2 onions
    - portion of pasta


    breakfast : toast
    - toast
    - butter
    - jam

    lunch: leftover spag bol

    dinner: chilli
    - small portion of mince
    - cheap tin of tomatoes
    - tesco chilli beans in sauce
    - garlic paste
    - 1 onion
    - portion of rice


    breakfast : toast
    - toast
    - butter
    - jam

    lunch: chilli

    dinner: tuna and pasta bake
    - tin of tuna
    - cheap tin of tomatoes
    - cheese
    - 1 pepper
    - 1 onion
    - portion of pasta


    breakfast : toast
    - toast
    - butter
    - jam

    lunch: sausage sandwich

    Dinner: Fahitas
    - cheap turkey steak
    - pepper
    - onion
    - wraps
    - garlic paste
    - chili sauce


    breakfast : toast
    - toast
    - butter
    - jam

    lunch: wrap

    dinner: stir fry
    - cheap turkey steak
    - pepper
    - onion
    - soy sauce
    - chilli sauce
    - honey
    - rice


    breakfast : toast
    - toast
    - butter
    - jam

    lunch: cheese on toast

    dinner:tuna and jacket potato
    - tin of tuna
    - mayo
    - cheese
    - jacket potato


    breakfast : toast
    - toast
    - butter
    - jam

    lunch: cheese on toast

    dinner: bangers and mash
    - sausages
    - potatos
    - milk
    - butter
    - gravy granules

    well, thats it! breakfast is a bit samey but I never used to eat brekkie every day anyway, so this can be avoided if wanted. Costwise it works out at the following which isn't too bad as some ingredients are used on more than one meal

    bread (2 loaves) 2 x 40p = 80p
    butter = 60p
    jam = 60p
    mince (2 small portions) = £1.80
    cheese = £1.50
    tin of tomamtos (3) = 90P
    Garlic paste £80p
    bag of peppers = £1.20
    turkey steaks = £2.00
    bag of onions = £1.00
    wraps = 99p
    big bag of pasta = 80p
    rice = 99p
    sausages = £1.30
    bag of potatos = £1.00
    chilli sauce = £1.00
    gravy granules = 70p
    pasta sauce = 60p
    tin of tuna (2) = £1.20
    chilli beans = 50p

    comes to £20.28! you might have to nick someone elses soy sauce and honey, but then thats the advantage of shared living ;)
  • Lucie_2
    Lucie_2 Posts: 1,482
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Oh Blimey! Long time since I did any student cooking, but we did used to eat reasonably well in our house. Most of the time we cooked & ate together (4 of us), which probably did save quite a bit of cash.
    1) Get your Mum to buy all you essentials before you go back - basically anything that won't go off. Ketchup, salt, pepper, worcestershire sauce, tobasco, sugar, dried pasta, rice, cooking oil, soy sauce, tea bags, coffee, tins of baked beans, tomatoes, kidney beans etc. Plus foil, clingfilm, freezer bags, washing up liquid & kitchen roll.

    2) Use turkey breast rather than chicken, it's much cheaper & if you're drowning it in curry sauce or similar you won't be able to tell the difference.

    3) All the other usual moneysavig tips - shop for BOGOFs, meal plan, pad dishes out with cheap lentils/beans/veg, rubber chicken & the like.
  • raeble
    raeble Posts: 911 Forumite
    Where are you shopping? Buy more stuff in the value range sainsburys & tescos have a big range as do somerfield, you could spend about £10 a week on all that lot. With the chilli beans - I would assume that they were just kidney beans - you can buy these dried which usually works out cheaper than tin, soak overnight and cook without salt, then add salt when you are cooking your chilli.
    For example value spread instead of butter - sainsbury's is 24p for 500g, value tinned tomatos around 20p. Frozen sliced peppers, cheaper than fresh - in sainsbury's these are 65p for 750g. I assume that the others would have them at similar prices. Tuna fish - I never pay more than 40p for a can in brine.
  • Lillibet_2
    Lillibet_2 Posts: 3,364
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Hows this? Vaguely healthy & avoiding value lines where possible so could come in chaper for the less fussy/less organically concious etc

    Prices from Tesco web site :

    X1 Colmans Sausage Casserole Mix 40g0.64
    X7 Granny Smith Apples Class 1 Loose 1.12
    X7 Loose oranges 1.33
    X7 Bananas 1.05

    X1 Tesco Value Sweetcorn 325g 0.21
    X1 Tesco Pink Salmon 212g 0.60
    X1 Tesco Cooked Sandwich Ham 125g 10 Slices 0.74
    X1 Courgette Loose Class 1 0.32
    X1 Colmans Four Cheese Sauce Mix 35g 0.37
    X1 Tesco Tuna Steaks In Oil 198g 0.67
    X2 Tesco Healthy Living Baked Beans 220g 0.38
    X1 Green Pepper Loose Each Class 1 0.63
    X1 Tesco Value Pasta Quills 500g 0.19
    X1 Tesco Value Chopped Tomatoes 400g 0.17
    X1 Beef Steak Mince 250g0.97
    X1 Tesco Pasta Sauce Tomato & Onion 120g 0.51
    X1 Tesco Value 2 Pizza Bases 600g 0.99
    X1 Tesco Value Long Grain Rice 1kg 0.52
    X1 Colmans Turkey Casserole Mix 50g 0.48
    X1 Tesco Organic 6 Pork Sausages 300g 1.69
    X1 Tesco Organic Mushrooms 200g 0.74
    X1 Tesco Onions Loose Class 2 0.26
    X2 Tomatoes Loose Class 1 0.22
    X1 Tesco Medium Mature Cheddar Small 1.39
    X1 Tesco Free Range Eggs Medium Box Of 6 0.84
    X1 Tesco Organic Thick Sliced Wholemeal Bread 800g 0.53
    X2 T Healthy Eating Longlife Semi Skimmed Milk With Vitamin A+D1ltr 1.10
    X1 Tesco Hi Fibre Bran Breakfast Cereal 750g 0.96Total Cost : £20.46

    To produce the following meals :

    Breakfast (daily) :
    Hi-Fibre bran with semi-skimmed milk

    Lunches :
    Cheese on Toast with 2 slices toast & 1/2 grilled tomato OR 2 cheese & tomato toasties
    2 poached eggs on 2 slices toast & 1/2 grilled tomato
    Mushroom & Onion omlette using 1/2 pack mushrooms, 1/2 onion & 3 eggs
    Cheese & Tomato sandwich using 2 slices bread & 1/2 tomato
    1 tin baked beans on 2 slices toast
    Sausage & egg sandwich using 2 sausages & 1 egg on 2 slices bread
    Ham & tomato sandwich using 1/2 pack sandwich ham , 1/2 tomato & 2 slices bread

    Dinners :
    Sausage casserol made using 3 sausages, 1/2 onion, 1/4 pack mushrooms, sausage casserol mix & served with rice
    Cottage pie made using mash from hollowed out jacket potatos, mince, 1/2 onion & tinned tomatos
    Pasta served with 1/2 jar pasta sauce & roasted green pepper
    Pizza made using ready made pizza base topped with 1/2 jar pasta sauce, 1/2 onion, 1/4 pack mushrooms & 1 sliced sausage
    Stuffed potato skins (saved from cottage pie mash) with 1 tin tuna & 1 tin baked beans
    Potao bake made using par-boiled sliced potatos, 1 sliced courgette & 1/2 pack sandwich ham baked in cheese sauce mix
    Pasta bake made using 1 tin salmon & puree sweetcorn

    Daily Snacks :
    1 apple, 1 orange & 1 banana

    Leftover for next week! :
    3/4 bag rice
    1/3 bag pasta
    1 pizza base
    4 slices bread
    ? Potatos
    Post Natal Depression is the worst part of giving birth:p

    In England we have Mothering Sunday & Father Christmas, Mothers day & Santa Clause are American merchandising tricks:mad: Demonstrate pride in your heirtage by getting it right please people!
  • r.mac_2
    r.mac_2 Posts: 4,746 Forumite
    I graduated three years ago, but in September I am returning to full time education as a post graduate for three years - Think I am mad. So far this site has really helped me and so here are some tips I already knew and some I have picked up along the way.

    Toast and butter and jam

    tuna pasta salad (tuna, pasta, mayo and pepper)
    cheese on toast
    cheese/jam/tuna/ham etc sandwich
    baked potato with filling such as cheese/tuna/butter etc

    *NB take advantage of going back to your residence at lunchtime if it's close by. A good excuse for a break fromt he library. Alternatively make packed lunches. I've been doing this for work recently and it's saved me heaps (and more than halved my food bill believe it or not!)

    pasta with tomatoe sauce (tinned toms, onion, extra veg - does two portions)
    pasta with cream sauce (onion, creme fraich, extra veg, possibly some nuts or splash of wine)
    spag bol
    stroganof (meat or veg, creme friach, onions)

    *If you have a freezer, make good use of it by freezing extra portions. If not, try teaming up with a friend or flatmate a couple of nights a week - particularly a good option at weekends with a botle of wine as well!

    piece of fruit - supermarkets often sell bags of smaller apples/tangerines, approx £1.50 for about 8 -10 pieces
    basics range of biscuits are as good as branded. Empty into tuperware if feeling shy about packaging and to keep for longer

    drink squash and/or water instead of fruit juice
    I like a white wine spritzers in nice weather - use some cheap sparkling water to make a bottle of white wine go further.

    *For things like foil etc buy the supermarkets basic range. It really is as good as the branded stuff.

    If you have the opportunity to buy things in bulk and share with friends that's also a good idea. i.e. a BOGOF might not keep if it is on fresh fruit for example, but if you pool with a friend you can still benefit and not waste food.

    Price wise:
    Porridge oats - approx 60p a kilo - does lots of bowls at least 2 -3 weeks worth
    mince - approx 75p for several meals worth.
    bread - cheaper brands are fine for toast approx 40p a loaf
    tinned toms - value range are just fine approx 17p a can
    oinions - buy in 500g or kilo bags as keep well in fridge/cool place. approx 70p
    creme fraich - sm tub does three/four portions of pasta approx 60p

    *home baking is also a great snack and doesn't cost too much to produce. It is also a fun activity to get your friends involved in. You will also become very popular!

    aless02 wrote: »
    r.mac, you are so wise and wonderful, that post was lovely and so insightful!
    I can't promise that all my replies will illicit this response :p
  • Galtizz
    Galtizz Posts: 1,016 Forumite
    Not quite what you're looking for but I made THIS for a christmas present for a lad who had just moved into his own home but it would make a great gift to give someone going to Uni in September. I'm sure there are more recipes that could be added now.
    When life hands you a lemon, make sure you ask for tequilla and salt ;)
  • squeaky
    squeaky Posts: 14,130
    First Post Combo Breaker
    I've PM'd the Student Board Guide with the address of this thread because I'm sure he'd like to add it to his sticky which points at Old Style :)
    Hi, I'm a Board Guide on the Old Style and the Consumer Rights boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly and can move and merge posts there. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to [email protected]. It is not part of my role to deal with reportable posts. Any views are mine and are not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
    Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.
    DTFAC: Y.T.D = £5.20 Apr £0.50
  • juno
    juno Posts: 6,553
    First Anniversary
    Stuff in freezers had a tendency to go missing in our halls. Especially pies. But whoever ate them was nice enough to leave the empty box!

    And there wasn't mush freezer space anyway.

    I mainly ate pasta, and one of the other girls mainly ate something and mashed potato.

    And instead of getting parents to buy you things, get them to give you an Asda (or other local supermarket) gift voucher/card. And then raid the cupboards when they're not looking. And send off for all coupons, try me frees etc to both addresses!
    Murphy's No More Pies Club #209

    Total debt [STRIKE]£4578.27[/STRIKE] £0.00 :j
    100% paid off :j

  • catznine
    catznine Posts: 3,192
    I've been Money Tipped!
    Try to get together with the others for a shared meal. My daughter and her friends used to do this for their Sunday dinner and either each bought an ingredient (meat, veg, wine, pud) or put equal amount of money in the kitty.
    Our days are happier when we give people a bit of our heart rather than a piece of our mind.

    Jan grocery challenge £35.77/£120
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