By Stacey Anderson, The Linc
Daily media coverage of the recession and the credit crunch leaves many students feeling helpless for a solution to the problem of how to pay for food and rent whilst also maintaining a social life. Rethinking what to buy and where to shop are small lifestyle changes, but they can produce loose change to pay for some drinks at the weekend. These simple steps will give you more for your money.
The Food & Beverage Industry states: “For every £8 that is spent in Britain, £1 will be at a Tesco.” While large supermarkets may seem more convenient, supporting local food vendors can be more beneficial. Lincoln’s market is open Monday through Saturday and sells a variety of fresh vegetables, fruit and meat for less money than most supermarket chains. For instance, loose potatoes cost around 30p less per pound, and you can also save over £1 on fresh raspberries and strawberries. The market butchers also offer deals such as five packs for £10 on chicken, pork, mince and sausages which can be frozen for later meals.
Use a shopping list
For items that must be purchased from the supermarket, plan ahead and take a list. Supermarkets are set up not conveniently, but cleverly. Milk and bread-two essential items-are usually located at the furthest point away from the tills, forcing you to walk past everything else and impulse buy as you go. Before leaving the house, decide exactly what you need for the week and, most importantly, do not deviate from the list.
Cook like a family
It’s better to cook large meals together with your flat mates instead of being tempted to spend money on takeout or eat bland microwaveable meals. Buying food in bulk will also save you more in the long run. For example, instead of each person purchasing a small bag of pasta costing £1.24 each, it’s better to get together and buy a 3kg bag for £3.46.
A survey by recycling organisation WRAP shows that “UK homes discard £10.2b of avoidable food waste every year.” This is easy to prevent by planning how much food you and your flat mates need for the week and keeping leftovers. Even if you are not a fan of reheated meals, one of your flat mates is sure to be grateful when they come home hungry after a long night out.
Look for sales
Special offers in Lincoln include Somerfield’s five per cent discount card for students and Iceland’s bonus card that offers free food delivery on purchases over £25 as well as special deals and coupons posted to your home. The internet has made it easier than ever to keep an eye out for deals, as you can browse sale items on supermarket web sites before you shop.