Thrifty student shopping for one
There is a lot of advice around now for students, from people who have been there, done that and are still trying to pay their student loan. My memories of being a student are a little vague now, but I did go shopping with two students this week. One problem with the big supermarkets is they have offers that are suitable for families with a commercial size freezer. 2 packs of chicken for £6 is good, unless you are short of money or freezer space, then Tesco expect you to buy one for £4.00. That is £10.62 a kilogram compared to £7.96 with the offer.
Is this discrimination against students, single people and elderly people who live alone? I don’t just check offers on websites like some writers, I get out there and look for myself! I went shopping with two students this week! I wish I had gone to Aldi now, but we needed lots of things like a can opener and cooking things, so we needed a larger supermarket. I decided on Morrison’s mainly because they do cooked food and a good selection. Their prices weren’t good and neither is their website. The only real bargain I saw was a cheap electric kettle for £5.00. We spent too much money and didn’t get everything we wanted. The can opener wasn’t very good either.
The first thing to buy as a student or anyone who lives alone is your staple foods. For me that is potatoes, you might prefer bread. My international students wanted rice. We need protein foods and a good source of protein is egg. We bought 15 and 14 of those survived the journey back to the halls of residence! You can get 15 for £1.25 in Aldi and Asda, I think Morrison’s was a little more expensive. Free range might taste a little better, but is it worth paying twice as much for them?
You can also look at other sources of protein like pulses, peas and beans aren’t as good as meat. The protein doesn’t contain as many amino acids as in meat and eggs. Milk and cheese are also good sources of protein and calcium and milk is fairly good value. Grated cheese on a baked potato with some vegetables is fairly easy to cook (use the microwave) and good value.
You need fruit and vegetables too. We are in the final days of summer here in the UK, but it feels more like winter. The colds and other winter illnesses have started already. You need vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C is essential and so buy the cheap fruit, but also buy fruit juice. Orange juice and blackcurrant juice are both good sources of vitamin C. You might like to buy some paracetamol or ibuprofen just in case you get a cold or headache too; get those from Poundland if you have one close by. There is some tummy bugs around too, like norovirus. The best anti-diarrheal you are likely to find is Imodium; ask for it by it’s generic name in a pharmacy – loperamide hydrochloride (2mg). If you ask for it using the generic name, the pharmacist should advise the cheapest one. The same can apply to acne treatments (the ones advertised on TV are the most expensive)
Be smart when cooking. If you have a slice of bread that’s going a little stale, toast it. If you have left over boiled potato, put it in a plastic container in the fridge and then fry it later in a little sunflower oil, sprinkle with a little pepper for flavour, or give it a squirt of tomato ketchup when it’s fried golden brown. Left over rice can go off easily, keep it away from uncooked meat and always wash your hands well after handling uncooked meat and poultry. Left over rice can be kept in the fridge and stir fried later with onion, egg and veggies to make a nourishing and healthy egg fried rice. Make good use of frozen vegetables, a portion (80g) of frozen peas costs as little as 8p. Peas contain protein, fibre and vitamins and so are good nutritionally and they are frugal.
When you use the oven, try to make good use of it. Cook extra chicken to eat cold later in the day, for example. Also in winter try cooking soups and stews with whatever vegetables are in season. You will find stew packs in most supermarkets.
The Aldi super six this week are 39p each. You need broccoli for the vitamin C and celery to make chicken and celery soup. The onions and carrots would make a good soup too! I’m not so sure about the lettuce, but the spring onions would be good for stir fry.
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