Food Friday: A Freshers’ Food Guide
By now you have probably moved in or are soon to move into your place of residence for the upcoming academic year (if you’re living away from home). In the next couple of weeks the food that your mum cooked in bulk for you will finish and you will be left to your own devices. This may be the first time in your life where you are completely responsible for your meals so here are a few tips to get you started.
This saves both time and money. Buying things in bulk means that the need for you to purchase them frequently decreases, so less trips to the supermarket are required. Also, it is often more cost effective to buy things in larger quantity packs as you tend to get more value for your money. Key foodstuffs to bulk shop include:
- non- perishable food staples such as rice, pasta, sugar, flour and oats
- cooking oil
Familiarise yourself with basic dishes.
The reality of student life is that things can get hectic pretty quickly. More often than not, the thought of coming home after a busy day to start cooking can seem like a drag but if you have 3-4 simple go to meals under your belt you can cook them in rotation. A few simple dishes that don’t require a lot of prep time include:
- Stir-fry (vegetable/chicken/beef)
- Spaghetti bolognaise
- Cous cous
You don’t have to have masterchef status to achieve this, less is more.
There is rice at home!
For real. Money management is essential whilst at uni. If you’re living away from home you’ll have to pay bills (and rent) as well as manage your general living expenses. Constantly eating out can accumulate costs that you could have used to buy rice (and other groceries) that will last you longer. I had my local Chinese takeaway restaurant on speed-dial, they knew me. At one point it got so bad that when I’d call to make an order they would recite my order to me before I could even place it. The irony of it all was the fact that there was rice at home yet, I would still order rice because it was convenient. It’s okay to treat yourself now and then, but be mindful that it doesn’t turn into an expensive habit.
Establish yourself within a community.
There’s nothing like breaking bread with brethren. Whether it be Church, a campus fellowship or just a group of friends establishing a yourself within a community has its perks. Churches tend to cater to their students with weekly student lunches after service and student fellowships often host a variety of events such as cookouts for their members throughout the year. Apart from free food, there is so much more to be gained; surrounding yourself within a community ensures accountability, not just for your Christian walk but for other aspects of life such as your academics and general well-being.
Be a bargain hunter!
One of the perks of being a student is the vast amounts of discounts that are available. Be sure to carry around your student ID card, create a Unidays account (if you haven’t done so already) and get an NUS card for further deals and discounts. Don’t be afraid to shop around and use your student status! Let there be absolutely no shame in your game, if a student discount is not explicitly specified be sure to ask, most restaurants offer some sort of student deal.