Ways for Students to Save Money on Food
Everyone has an opportunity to save money on their food shop, and as a student it’s more important than ever to help your money last at least until the weekend.
The good news is, saving money on your food doesn’t mean you have to make sacrifices. We pulled out the best tips to make the most of your money when you’re hungry, and help you eat like a king.
Set a Weekly Food Budget
Before considering how much money you can save on your food shop, it’s a good idea to work out how much you are spending. It might be scary seeing how much you spend, but it’s okay, realising you have a hangry shopping habit is the first step. Once you’ve got your food spends totalled up, give yourself a target you want to bring it down to.
Luckily there’s apps that can help working out your spends. Get yourself a Monzo or a Starling account. These online banks are super easy to set up, they are free, and they automatically separate all your spending into categories for you to work out where you’re spending all your cash. You can do all sorts of other cool things like splitting bills with friends, create savings pots for something you want to splash out on in the future, and free overseas spending!
Students Can Save Money At The Right Supermarket
Head To The Big Supermarkets
If you’re thinking about where to shop, get on down to the bigger supermarkets. I know. “Cba walking. I’ll just go to wherevers closest”. But you should think about steering away from the convenience store a few moments from your flat. Smaller supermarkets and convenience stores always push prices up, and when you’re doing a big shop this adds up to a surprisingly big difference. Always go for the budget friendly option and get yourself down to the bigger supermarkets.
Shop At Budget Supermarkets
Budget supermarkets are a student’s best friend. But honestly, if you get yourself down to Aldi or Lidl, you’ll save a huge amount of money. And while your there, the middle aisles are always the best place to find things you never knew you needed, that you now can’t live without.
For those that are stocking up on booze for the weekend, Aldi have won ‘Drinks Retailer of the Year’ award countless times, and for good reason. The standard of their spirits, lagers, and cocktails in a can, is on another level. Especially when you’ll find deals in there for half the price of other supermarkets.
Supermarket Student Discounts
As you probably already know, you can get student discounts at all your fav clothing, tech, beauty stores & loads more. Impressively, you can also save money at supermarkets! You can get a Co-op Student Discount for 10% Off. Iceland Student Discount offers £7 off £50 Spend, which will come in handy when you bulk buying or splitting the bill with your flatmates. Sainsburys have a brilliant offer giving customers £15 off your first online orders, you don’t even have to be a student to get that one.
Food Shopping & Cooking Tips for Students
Find The Best Times To Shop
If you’re heading the shops with your flatmates, it might get weirdly competitive when making sure you get the biggest discounts. The yellow stickers. It’s a treasure hunt. It might be a half price pizza, steak for pennies, or a lasagne that feeds 12. Who cares? It’s food, for a bargain, and you need it.
All the items that go out of date the following day get heavy reductions as time goes on. Stores want to reduce any chance of throwing food away, and want to get rid of the lot.
If you want to grab the best bargains, and rummage through countless yellow sticker treasures, try shopping later in the day. Some supermarkets do middle of the day reductions, some again around 4pm, and the best ones about 7pm in stores that stay open late. If you can’t eat the lot in the next 24 hours, freeze what you can and save it for a rainy day.
Buy & Cook Food in Bulk
Buying food and drink in bulk always works out cheaper. Whenever you’re in the shops make sure you buy the biggest packs you can. It’s good to double down on things that have a super long shelf life, like pasta, rice, cereal, and tinned goods. If you’re looking to buy lots of veg, make sure you’re planning to cook big meals, like a chilli, pasta bake, curry, whatever you feel. It makes sure you don’t waste anything before they go bad, and then you can always freeze it all, separated out for one meal at a time when you’re having a lazy dinner in the future.
If you don’t think you’ll get through it all, no worries, split the goods with your flatmates. There’s always someone hungry that can’t be bothered doing a shop. If both of you can’t, get yourselves to do an online shop. Couldn’t be easier, and buying for two you’ll get a better chance of spending the minimum required for free delivery deals and discounts off your bill.
Cooking From Scratch
Thinking about cooking from scratch? You’ll be glad to hear it saves you loads and goes a lot further than a ready meal. You can buy the ingredients for 3 or 4 meals for sometimes half the money it would cost you if you were getting microwave or oven meals. Yeah treat yourself with a Friday night takeaway if you want, but give it a go. You’ll be impressed at what you can rustle up with a Youtube follow along recipe.
Students Can Get More Food for Less
Too Good To Go
Every day, delicious, fresh food sadly goes to waste at cafes, restaurants, hotels, shops and manufacturers. The great news is, the Too Good To Go app is fighting the waste revolution, making sure food gets eaten. You can buy tasty food, at a reduced price, that would otherwise have been thrown away. Simply choose a location, time of collection, the type of food you fancy, and it will give you a selection of the best offers available to you. Be speedy on your choice though, because it’s a super popular app and the good stuff sells out fast!
If you want to learn more about apps that help you make the most at Uni, check out our rundown of the Best Apps for Students.
Get Cashback On Your Shop
Shopmium is a super easy to use, and free way, to get exclusive offers on everyday brands found in your supermarket. Shopmium swap paper coupons for an app, gathering supermarket discounts all in one place. Find something you like, buy them in store, upload a pic of your receipt, and get your money back!
Get Rewards On Your Shop
Most supermarkets you’re going to use offer loyalty schemes and clubcards. You can collect points as you spend. You can get exclusive coupons or discounts on specific items, or even get money off your next shop! Get a loyalty card at all of the supermarkets in your area, you’re going to spending money there, so you may as well get some money back when you can. As with all loyalty cards it’s tempting to get carried away and buy stuff just because you get a reward or a coupon. Try to make sure you only get stuff you know you’ll get through, otherwise you might end up wasting food, and wasting your hard earned cash on stuff you don’t need.
We gathered all the supermarkets together all in one place for you to find the supermarket you want to get a Loyalty Card or Clubcard at. Click Here & Get Yours Now.
More Advice on Student Life
We hope this has helped you! If you’re looking for more advice and information on how to make the most of your time at University, check out our Uni Life Advice Hub!