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How to make your food budget go further

Our tips for keeping your food costs down

Grocery bills, takeaways and eating out all add up - here are our tips for saving money on your food and drink bills.



Plan ahead

Look up batch and bulk cooking ideas - you don’t have to eat it all one go, the freezer is your best friend for giving future you healthy ‘ready meals’

Plan your meals for the week before heading to the supermarket - if you’re looking for inspiration to mix things up, there are plenty available online.

Don’t shop when hungry - you’ll only end up buying a lot more food than you’ll actually need

Close up of guests drinking at table
The Courtyard - Southsea Castle - City Guide 2022



Make your money go further

Look out for ‘reduced’ stickers — head to the reduced section in supermarkets for the best deals, you’ll normally find the biggest selection in the evening

Pay attention to the ‘price per kg’ on labels when food shopping to get the best value for money

Avoid food wastage - after you’ve spent your cash on food, the last thing you want is for it to go off and have to be thrown away! Don’t forget how to keep different foods fresh.

Freeze food if you don't think you'll use it in time - for example a loaf of bread can make weeks’ worth of toast.

Put lids on pans while cooking to keep the heat in, and keep the oven door closed when checking on your food.

Take and reuse leftovers - if you do eat out, don’t be afraid to ask for a ‘doggy bag’ for your leftovers - after all you’ve paid for them already! Meat and veg from other meals can be repurposed into dishes like bubble and squeak or soups.

When in campus cafes, don’t forget to show your ID card to benefit from the loyalty scheme and bring a reusable cup with you to save even more money.

Go meat-free — meat is often the most expensive part of a meal. Replace it with cheaper alternatives like tinned beans and lentils.



Reduce temptation

Eating at home is almost always cheaper than eating out. You could even make your own pizza for a couple of quid - and it’ll taste better than many takeaways!

Take packed lunches into campus with you - grab yourself some tupperware or sandwich bags and start bringing in your own food. Whether it’s leftovers or a quick sandwich, it doesn’t take long to pop in your bag.

Delete the food delivery apps - they can be a lifesaver at times, but having them on your phone means it’s often too easy to be tempted into spending money with them. Removing them from your phone can be a quick win.

Drinkswise prepare your tea or coffee in a flask and buy a reusable water bottle you can keep topped up during the day.



Sharing is caring

Cook meals together - even if it’s one meal a week together as a flat or house, you’ll save energy (not to mention money on your food bills and time and energy) by sharing.

Buy larger quantities of food, if you have the room to store them, and share ingredients like cooking oil, spices, pasta and rice with your housemates

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Get help with managing your money

The Student Finance Centre offers information, advice and guidance on managing your money, including making sure you’re getting the right support from your student funding body, and benefits you're eligible for. We also give out grants to students facing financial difficulties, which you don't need to pay back. Contact us via: