Going away to university is an adventure. Lots of great new experiences, way more freedom, late nights and busy hours.
But it’s also the time of the dreaded freshers flu, having no money and no lovely home cooked meals.
I’ve been away from home on and off for years. I went to boarding school and even though meals were prepared for us I did do some cookery and baking classes. Yet I was still really unprepared for making all my meals, sticking to a budget and eating healthily.
It’s taken me three years of being at university to fully grasp budgeting my food bill. At the moment I’m really focusing on trying to eat better, do more exercise and avoid being ill at all costs!
With autumn and winter embracing us now, it’s getting cold out there. I much prefer to have soup most days for lunch or as a ‘on- the-go’ meal on my way to uni. It is also cheap, simple and convenient to make your own.
Here I had an unfortunate situation where an Asda delivery went wrong and I ended up with 3 bags of more expensively branded Frozen veg and no space for them in the freezer! Disaster! So, I defrosted them and turned them into soup.
Frozen Veg Soup:
- 1 kg Bag of Mixed Veg (whichever ones you like!)
- 1- 2 stock cubes.
- Salt and Pepper for seasoning
- (add in anything else you like, like some lamb or chicken to make your own favourite recipe with veg soup!)
- Pour the bag into the pot.
- add in 2 stock cubes.
- cover with water just above all the veg.
- leave to cook for an hour and a half on a medium heat stirring occasionally and smelling the wonderful smell.
- Then blitz it using a hand blender! ( or leave it as is if you like chunky soup!)
Each serving depending on what brands you buy can work out at about 30p- 70p. Even though this can be pricier than a regular tin, it’s a lot healthier for you, it’s fresh and can be frozen too if need be!
So how much can you save? I decided to do a little maths here! I chose 3 days a week as I know most people won’t want to eat the same thing every day, this is just for the basic soup recipe not including any yummy extras!
How much will it cost a week?
30p a serving x 3 times a week- 90p
45p can of soup (own store brand) x 3 times a week- £1.35
95p can of Heinz- x 3 times a week- £2.85
And Over a semester?
Homemade: 90p x 12 weeks (an average semester) – £10.80
Store Brand: £1.35 x 12 weeks- £16.20
Big Brand ie Heinz: £2.85x 12= £34.20
So potentially a saving of about £23.40 a semester. It isn’t a significant change but if this idea is applied to most meals- making your own rather than just buying the shop made food will generally work out cheaper in the long run and bring your food bill down dramatically so you can spend it on more important things like going to town or shopping!
One thing I’m slowly coming to grips with is : Small changes can make a big difference when you’re living the uni lifestyle!