Eating healthy can be hard at the best of times, but it is made all the more challenging when you’re on a student budget.
Suddenly, that packet of pot noodle in the back of the cupboard that has been there since the beginning of time starts to look a hell of a lot more tempting than forking out for a fancy salad.
We get it, we’ve been there.
Luckily, we picked up some tips along the way that will help you stay on track with your food, even if you’re strapped for cash.
Keep it simple
Eating well doesn’t have to be complicated, despite what your Instagram feed might have you believe.
Rather than splashing the cash on fancy superfoods, staple vegetables, beans and legumes are cheap and make for a nutritious and filling meal. It might not be worthy of the gram, but it will save you a lot of money.
Make sure you’re getting enough protein
While a bag of crisps or a chocolate bar might seem like a cheap (and delicious) snack, you will probably find that you’re hungry again not long after, meaning forking out on more food. Making sure that you’re getting protein in every meal will help to prevent this and keep you fuller for longer.
You might think that protein is expensive; however, this doesn’t have to be the case. Foods such as chicken breast, beans, tinned fish and tofu are really affordable and make a great addition to your meals.
Make a meal plan
If you find yourself picking a meal deal up from your local supermarket because you have nothing in the house, making a meal plan in advance might be a really good way to save a few extra pennies (and eat healthier).
If you know what you’re having each night, and you have the ingredients in, there is no reason to pop into the corner shop for a sandwich and a chocolate bar on your way home.
Frozen foods are your new best friend
Yep, cooking for one is hard, especially when it comes to veggies. Buying frozen fruit and veg is a great way to prevent your food from going mouldy in the fridge and getting told off on your flat group chat. Not to mention, they’re super easy to prepare and have been shown to have just as many nutrients as they did when they were fresh.
No excuses not to get your 5 a day.
Cook in bulk
You probably went to uni with good intentions, but then fresher’s week hit, and cooking spag bol in bulk was the last thing on your mind. We get it. However, the chaos of fresher’s week is long over, so there really are no excuses now not to be cooking in bulk. Think of your home favourites, Bolognese, chilli, even a shepherd’s pie, and make a load of it. Any leftovers, leave it to cool and then chuck it in the freezer.
Cost effective, a lot less waste and your future self will thank you for it.
If you're looking for some inspo, check out these healthy vegan meal prep ideas here.
Make sure you’re giving your body what it needs
When money is tight, skimping on food might seem like a good idea, but your body needs fuel. Not eating enough is only going to make your fitness (and academic) goals suffer. Long story short, make sure your body is getting what it needs.