If you were to ask any student what they missed the most about home when they moved into student digs, the answer would be unanimous, the home cooking!
When you enter the big bad world of student-dom no one quite anticipates just how much effort it is to cook for yourself, especially when it involves shopping for ingredients beforehand. And even worse, once you have finally got food in and are ready to get going with your culinary masterpiece, you have to wash up the pots and pans and plates before you even start cooking anything.
Whilst it is easy to live off beans and toast, kebabs and pot noodles, it’s not exactly nutritious. And alongside your new lifestyle of happy hours and late nights you are soon going to find that your energy levels are zapped and you become run down. You will also find, that just when you want to look your best, your skin and hair become lackluster and lacking in the necessary va-va-voom for maximum pulling potential!
There is no getting away from the fact that take-aways and students go hand in hand, usually on the way home from the pub! Whilst they are part and parcel of student life you just need be careful how often you indulge, not least because it will eat up a big chunk of your budget. It’s no surprise that most fast food is high in calories, but when you are eating it as a midnight feast it’s eventually going to be costing you a bigger pair of jeans!
Shopping on a budget is easy when you know where to look. Supermarkets such as Aldi and Morrisons often have great offers on, and if you shop late in the evening (and this applies to most supermarkets) you can pick up reductions on products nearing the sell by date. This is a great way of getting more for your money, especially if you have a freezer and can save some of your bargains for later.
It is also cheaper if you can cook big sauce based meals (such as a good old spag bol or chilli). They can also be bulked up with pasta or rice, making them go a long way. these are great meals to share with your housemates, and if everyone has a “speciality dish” you can take it in turns to cook for each other. Often, there is one house mate who is a lot keener cook than the others, if they are happy doing the cooking it can often work if the others take responsibility for the washing up or the shopping. Again, if you are feeling super-organised, you can freeze a couple of portions for a later date.
Nobody would ever suggest that student living is a time for haute cuisine, but it possible to broaden your horizons from the box of Cocoa Pops. But, if cooking is really not your thing, you have two options. Make friends with a budding Jamie Oliver or get on the phone and shout Muuuuuuuuuuuuuum!
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