One of my concerns before starting university was that I would struggle to eat healthy due to not being at home to enjoy the nutritious home-cooked meals. I aimed to find several ways to make eating healthy on a budget that little bit easier and tastier!
The first tip is to buy salad items and prepare them yourself! I would always go straight to the ready made salad to find that it would be out of date within a few days of purchasing.
I then decided to buy a lettuce and wash and chop it into tubs, add tomatoes and cucumbers and I would have several days worth of fresh basic salad ready to take out for lunches.
Another thing that really helped me to save money was buying frozen meat and fish instead of fresh, or buy fresh meats in bulk and freeze in portions. I personally found that frozen foods were cheaper than fresh and often just as good.
One of the things I was terrible for as a student was snacking. I was always tempted to pick up a packet of crisps or a chocolate bar in the canteen between lectures.
I found that switching my snacks to something like apple slices with peanut butter or carrot sticks with houmous helped me to save the pounds in my purse and on my waistline!
Rather than splashing out on fizzy drinks or sugar-filled juice, I started to drink water for most of my drinks, or maybe add a splash of own-brand sugar free squash if you’re craving something sweet.
You might be tempted to go out and enjoy meals in restaurants or fast food, but a great way to bond with your housemates is to pool together and buy ingredients and cook as a group.
This is a really good way to make friends, it’s a lot healthier than eating out all the time and it saves you money as well.
I found that it would save me time and money to make big batches of food – so it might be a good idea to make a few extra portions for the freezer too! (TOP TIP you can refreeze meat if it is in a different state – so if you have frozen raw chicken and then cook it into a curry or casserole, it would be fine to freeze that!)
A really handy tip is to buy cheap boxes of herbs and spices! These can make the blandest of meals taste great and they keep for a long time in the food cupboard.
A final tip for a healthier lifestyle is to aim to take a walk each night with your housemates or friends. It’s a really good idea to take a break from studying and get out into the fresh air and it makes for another great way to bond with your housemates and make friends.
Walking is one of the best forms of exercise and best of all it’s free! Use this as an opportunity to explore a new city (if you have moved away from home) and make some new memories!
Although maintaining a healthy lifestyle whilst at university might seem unrealistic, it is definitely possible! A healthy lifestyle = a healthy mind, so you might find your grades perk up as your body does!