The issue of knowing what to eat and how to make it has preoccupied many a student mind over the years. For many of you, it’s the first time in your lives when you are responsible for shopping and feeding yourself. Fortunately, thanks to a whole load of food bloggers and TV chefs, there is a raft of advice available, teaching you how to manage a student budget and eat like royalty (almost) while you do it. Here are some of the best tips we’ve seen…


Avoid the ready meals

While money is definitely an issue when it comes to student diets, time is also a big factor, hence the appeal of quick and easy read meals. There are many reasons why you should give these the swerve though. Firstly, many are loaded with salt. Also, they’re expensive per portion and generally lacking in anything fresh or nutrient rich. Instead, think of about three different things that you can make quickly on particularly busy days. We suggest 1. An omelette 2. Pasta with freezer peas and grated cheese, and 3. Cous cous and lentil salad (half a tin of lentils, some cous cous, and whatever else you can lay your hands on).


Go veggie

Decent meat is expensive, so choosing to go vegetarian, even if it is just for three or four days a week, can make a big difference to your diet and your budget. You will need to research some decent protein alternatives – pulses, nuts and tofu are all cheap and healthy, as well as being easy to incorporate into meals. This veggie burger recipe by Jack Monroe costs just 17p a portion, and we can also vouch for the Mushroom, Lentil and Ale Pie at 34p a plate.


Buy bulk

Buying in bulk is almost always cheaper, so putting together a shopping list with your housemates is sound student budget advice, as well as being good for harmonious living. Staples such as rice and pasta can be bought in ginormous bags that could keep you going for weeks.


Batch cook

And while you are bulk buying, you could also share some bulk cooking. Classics like spaghetti bolognese, vegetarian chilli and curries can be rustled up en masse with little extra effort. Then you can just portion them out and stick them in the freezer for when time and money are lean.


Don’t skip meals

It may feel cheaper to skip a meal, but you are likely to feel so hungry later in the day that the pricier food in the student shops and cafes becomes too hard to resist. Eating breakfast, lunch and dinner helps to keep your blood sugar levels stable and stave off any cravings.


Treat yourself

If you have been eating your pulses and cooking up your batches then you definitely deserve a treat once in a while. Many restaurants and cafés in and around universities will offer student discounts, and Leeds is no exception. Apps like UNiDAYS and Student Beans are good to keep an eye on for local offers.


For more information and advice on student life in Leeds, and for the latest property listings, browse our website.