So it’s your first time on your own, living away from home. You’re nervous; you don’t know the first thing about looking after yourself… and you’re hungry. Don’t worry! Honestly, we’ve all been there.
First of all, it’s important not to fall into the trap of living on ready meals. Ready meals are actually way more expensive than cooking for yourself, and unless you’re buying really fancy ones, they aren’t good for you.
Secondly, if you want to save both time and money, you need to cook in bulk. Don’t go mad: cook about 6-8 portions at once and no more. If you then freeze and reheat what you’ve cooked this can comfortably last you a week, but it’s good to have variety in your diet so I wouldn’t recommend just eating the same thing all year. Even if it is tempting.
The best foods to cook in bulk include chilli, stews, pasta sauces… pretty much anything you can then add pasta or rice and veg to. If you have access to a local fruit and veg market you’ll find that it’s fresher and cheaper to get food from there than a supermarket; having said that, some supermarkets do certain deals for cheaper fruit and veg. Tesco, for example, sell ‘perfectly imperfect’ fruit and veg at a better price- always go for that if you can’t get to a local market.
Another bright idea for eating on a budget is sharing. This sounds unlikely and obviously only works if you buddy up with someone you trust to cook edible food, but at the end of the day if you do all the cooking for one week and your pal does it for the next, not only do you get a nice variety but you’re only paying for one week’s worth of food and getting two.
Hopefully, this post gave you some handy tips – good luck!