Grocery Shopping 101

Moving out to live on your own can be difficult to get used to at first. Not only do you have to need to wake yourself up on time, remember to eat and get yourself to your lectures on time, but you also need to remember to go food shopping regularly to prevent starvation.

Before this year, I managed to avoid it as best I could. But, as time went on, I realized I couldn’t live on noodles and granola forever. Below is my advice for living, thriving and surviving on a student budget.

  1. Make a list
    Before leaving to go to the supermarket, you need to know what stuff you need. So, make a list. I recommend searching for recipes and going from there (shout-out to this American pancake recipe for impressing my friends and fooling them into thinking I can cook)
  2. Find a store
    Worcester has some really big places to shop, including Asda, Sainsbury’s, the Co-operative, Aldi and Iceland. The variety means you can find everything you need at reasonable prices. Of course, you could just do all your shopping online, too – but if you’re like me, you probably really need a reason to get outside once a week.
  3. Don’t panic!
    If you’re new to the whole “cooking” thing, chances are you copied down some ingredients from a recipe that you have never heard of before. When you get into the store, you might not be able to find some specific ingredients. Fear not! In these cases, it’s helpful to have a backup plan and a short list of staples that will get you through the next week. Things like bread, peanut butter, jam, milk and pasta would be on my list. They’re cheap, taste good and last a while.
  4. Eat, drink and be merry
    Now that you’re an expert at grocery shopping, you can turn your mind to other things. Like learning how to crochet, or play the theremin. Or cleaning the bathroom. Or, you know, lectures.

Do you have any advice for students shopping for themselves for the first time? Let me know in a comment!