Many students with limited resources blame their budget for not eating well. In my opinion, that is just another excuse – and can be placed right in line with “I don’t have time to cook” and “I can’t afford a gym membership”.
It is all about prioritising.
If you want results for all your hard efforts at the gym – giving your body the fuel it needs should be on top of your list, even if you’re on a tight budget.
Below you will find some simple tips on how to eat food that is good for your body and mind, at prices you can afford.
Do you want a healthy, happy body that can handle all the stress and hard work that comes with studying, that can do a 10k after a long day and can handle the occasional trips to the local pub after class at the same time? Well, then you have to give it loads of good-quality food with all the nutrients it needs.
Perhaps there are other things you can cut back on? If you write down exactly how much you spend on fancy coffees, drinks and black cabs on an average week, I think you´ll be surprised.
Take a few minutes each Sunday to plan your weekly grocery shopping. If you make a list, it will be easier to stick to, and by only shopping once a week you avoid buying loads of stuff you don’t need.
And never go shopping when you´re hungry!
3. Fresh vs. Frozen food
Fresh food is always best, no arguments there – but it is also more expensive. Some foods you can actually buy frozen without compromising too much on the flavour and quality, and it can save you a lot of money.
If you fancy sushi, then of course buy fresh – but if you´re making fish pie, frozen can be a good (and much cheaper) alternative. Vegetables and berries are also a lot cheaper to buy frozen, and they will last you a lot longer.
Another great tip is to eat seasonal vegetables, as they tend to be cheaper.
4. Buy large quantities
Carbohydrates such as rice and pasta can be really cheap if you buy in large quantities – especially if you pop in to an Asian or Italian shop, the same goes for different nuts, seeds, spices and herbs.
Also, buy large quantities of proteins such as chicken, fish and meat, and put them in individually sealed bags in the freezer.
5. Do your research
Prices can vary a lot from store to store, and you can save a lot by doing some research. I’m not saying you should run up and down the high street to find the cheapest rice cakes, but you can save big on purchasing the more expensive stuff such as fish, meat, chicken and dairy at the right place.
Also, when in store, check the kilo price and not the price per item, as that can be very misleading.
6. Avoid useless supplements
If you exercise a lot and want to live a healthy lifestyle, it is easy to get caught up in all the advertisements for different food supplements. I would recommend a daily intake of omega 3 if you don´t eat a lot of oily fish, and perhaps a box of protein (it is a cheap and easy way to boost your protein intake) but you can get most of the other nutrients your body needs by eating healthy and balanced food.