Grocery Shopping as a Student
Once you have arrived at your university or college room, it is a good idea to start thinking about food. If this is the first time that you have lived independently, then it may be extremely tempting to rush to the nearest supermarket and buy all of your favourite foods. Although this sounds delicious, it does have its problems and can be extremely expensive in the long run.
However, creating a student weekly shopping list doesn’t need to be dull work. At Beaumont House, we want to share some of the ways that you can make the most of your weekly shops.
Check the Discounts
It’s easy to overlook student discounts, but they are really worth paying attention to. With free apps such as UNiDAYS and StudentBeans, you can easily check which shops are offering student discounts. You might also want to consider investing in an NUS card. Although you have to pay a small fee for these cards, the discounts can rack up, especially if you’re hoping to do a lot of your weekly shopping in shops such as the Co-op, which offers a 10% discount to all owners of an NUS card.
Although it may seem pointless, having a student weekly shopping list can be a massive help when you go shopping. With a list, you will be able to create meal plans and make sure that you’re buying enough (but not too much) food. Shopping lists can also help you budget; if you’re tight on money for the week, then you can write down exactly what you need to buy and how much you are willing to spend on it. If you have any money left, why not buy yourself a treat?
Learn How to Budget
One thing that you’ll quickly learn when you begin to shop independently is that food can be very expensive. You may think that a few bags of pasta and some jars of sauce won’t cost very much, but these things add up - very soon, you can have some very expensive shopping trips on your hands. This is why it is a good idea to plan your meals ahead. Set yourself a maximum spend for your student weekly shopping list and really try to stick to this limit.
Forget about the Brands
A common pitfall of student shopping is to buy the brands that you already know. For example, when faced with a couple of shelves of washing up liquid, you might decide to go for the Fairy Liquid brand because it’s familiar. This isn’t the worst decision in the world, but it can be expensive. After all, a well-known brand doesn’t necessarily mean that the product will be better quality. Instead, we recommend purchasing the supermarket own brand, which tends to be much cheaper.
If you are keen to budget your student weekly shopping list, then it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with a few money-saving practices. One great idea is to buy in bulk; although they can be difficult to carry home, larger packets of staples such as rice and pasta can save you a lot of money. It’s also a good idea not to buy yourself too many pizzas and ready meals. These meals can look extremely tempting, but they are probably only going to last you for one meal. It’s a far better idea to buy foods that you know will last for at least two days, or perhaps even the entire week!
Create a Reward System
Constant budgeting and planning ahead can seem like a lot of hard work, but this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to enjoy your favourite foods. We recommend saving the ready meals, pizzas, and takeaways, as well as perhaps the odd chocolate bar, for when you feel as though you have earned it. Student life can be a lot of hard work, which is why a lot of students choose to create a reward system for themselves. If they have finished another long, tiring week, then, on Friday, they can treat themselves to a takeaway pizza. This way, they are able to enjoy their favourite foods whilst keeping themselves motivated.
We hope that you have found this list helpful; following our advice, you should really be able to make the most of your student weekly shopping list. At the same time, though, remember not to overthink it. If you are on a budget, it’s still important that you eat a well-balanced diet, which means that you will still need to fit in your shopping visits, even if you’re short on time.
If this is the case, you could look into home deliveries. This way of shopping can make it easier to buy in bulk, and also to budget, as you will be able to see how much you are spending before you reach the till. Bear in mind, though, these delivery options do cost extra, so it’s a good idea to think about whether the convenience is really worth those extra pennies.