Student cooking basics: Top tips for student chefs

Here’s some top money saving tips and cooking basics for students heading into the kitchen, probably for the first time.

Learning to cook and generally feed yourself at University is rather fun, especially when often on a tight (to non-existent) budget. Here’s our ways to cheap, homemade food for students…

Buy in bulk

You can save cash by buying lots of cupboard staples in bulk, especially things that will keep well such as pasta or tins. Other foods that you could consider buying in bulk include sauces and oil, chocolate and sweets and crisps. Plus kitchen roll!

Make use of spices, herbs and seasoning

A few cheap spices and herbs can turn even the most boring meal into something more interesting and tasty. You can also buy ready made spice mixes that require you just to simply add them to your food as is.

Plan ahead

Plan your meals in advance to save money by avoiding waste and by making sure you buy only what you need. It’s possible to live off just £10 a week with a tight weekly meal plan. Make use of cheap food that you can use in various meals such as pasta, potato, onions, peppers and mushrooms.

Love your freezer

You can store a lot more foods than you think in your freezer so make use of it! Top freezer tips include freezing food as soon as possible after purchase and dividing into meal sized portions.

> 8 surprising foods you can freeze to keep longer

Don’t waste good grub

Know the difference between Best Before and Use By dates: The former foods can still be eaten after the date shown! Use your common sense (and nose) to judge whether or not something’s gone off. Although it’s probably better to be safe than sorry with high-risk foods like meats, eggs the dairy.

Even if food has begun to turn it can still be used: For example, overripe bananas make for a great banana loaf while stale bread can be fine for toast or for desserts like bread and butter pudding.

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