Eating well on a budget

11th September 2018

Going away to university or living on your own? Cooking for yourself for the first time? Here are some essential tips for eating well when you are on a budget.

Basic foods to keep in

Rice, pasta, breakfast cereal, potatoes, canned tomatoes, stock cubes, vegetable oil, frozen vegetables, mixed herbs, salt and pepper, tins e.g. soup, baked beans, tinned fish, tinned chilli con carne, chicken in white store, tinned fruit, pasta sauces, eggs, cheese, milk, butter or margarine, frozen fish fingers, frozen chips, budget ready meals, frozen chicken and burgers.

Supermarket brand biscuits, crisps, chocolates.

Drinks – water, squash

Supplement drinks if you use these.

Shopping Tips

Shop at the supermarket or discount shop ‘£1’ store, not the corner shop where things will be more expensive, look for:

Discount shelves - here you'll find perfectly good food but at a knockdown price, normally because the shop wants to sell it off quickly or it needs eaten that day.

Own brand or saver products - most big stores have their own versions of products which may not be 'haute cuisine' but are a cheaper option.

Multibuy options – make sure you will use them before the ‘use by’ date, can be cheaper for snacks and store cupboard items.

Cook Books

A student cookbook can be a really useful investment. If you are going to university this year ask your CF dietiitian for a student cookbook as we have some available to give to new students.

Meal Planning

Plan your week’s meals in advance so that you know how much and what to buy and if you take supplements keep plenty in and reorder from your GP at least a week before you run out. Also try and take lunch and snacks with you to lectures as this can work out cheaper and will ensure you don’t skip lunch or between meal snacks. Try to have a regular meal pattern and if your day starts in the afternoon make sure you eat before you go to bed.

Remember each meal should consist of:

A source of protein – meat, fish, cheese, milk, egg, beans, nuts

A source of complex carbohydrate – bread, potatoes, pasta, rice, noodles, naan, wrap, couscous

Some fruit and /or vegetables

Food Hygiene

To ensure you don’t give yourself or your friend’s food poisoning;

Make sure you wash your hands before and after cooking, especially if handling raw meat or fish. Also make sure you wash any equipment that has been touched the raw meat or fish.

When cooking chicken or pork make sure these are cooked thoroughly, are piping hot and have no signs of pink meat in the centre. Under cooked chicken can cause food poisoning.

If reheating leftovers make sure it is piping hot before eating it and if using a microwave to reheat food stir well to prevent hot and cold spots in the food. DO NOT reheat takeaway food of any kind!

For more information about food safety and student cooking follow these links: