Before you even get to university you hear your friends telling you how they've been living off takeaways of pizza, burgers and kebabs and now they have no money...so it's beans on toast for the rest of the semester. If you're anything like me, the very idea of no greens for a week scares you, as does 'Freshers 15'. So I've put together some tips and ideas for staying healthy at university without breaking the bank.
You've probably heard about it already, but meal prepping is a deal breaker. It's both a money saver and time saver. By preparing your meals and freezing them this enables you to simply defrost a meal at 3am instead of the calorie laden and expensive pizza that your flatmates are thinking of grabbing. Additionally, cooking your fresh produce within a couple of days means you won't be wasting anything at the end of the week, they will still be fresh. Hear are some meal prep ideas:
Breakfast - Overnight Oat: Simply prepare a large tub of oats and milk and keep it in the fridge. Serve yourself a portion and top with something that takes your fancy (peanut butter, frozen berries, banana). Can be heated up if desired!
Lunch - Rice bowls: Simply prepare fried rice and heat up. Top with chicken or vegetable of your choice, or eat alone!
Dinner - Chilli Con Carne: A basic Chilli con Carne can last for weeks in the freezer and is easy and quick to defrost as well as super yummy. Very simple to make. Can be served with a Jacket potato or some of the fried rice you've already prepared!
How you shop can also mean you're able to buy healthy food on a budget. Instead of purchasing branded products, save money on luxury food items by cutting some prices and instead spend the saved money on the healthy stuff such as fruit, vegetables and whole grains.
They themselves don't have to be expensive, many supermarkets do offers on seasonal vegetables every day, so stocking up on those is a good shout. However another option is to buy frozen vegetables that often come in a variety of assortments, allowing you to keep them stored much more easily in your reasonably unhygienic uni fridge. These can also be cooked in minutes unlike fresh produce but have been proven to offer the same nutironal value.
Alongside the money you can save on veggie's, buying products such as pasta and rice in bulk means they last you much longer. This goes back to freezing your food. By cooking your weekly meals and freezing them your base foods last all week and you're able to simply add the toppings you've pre-prepared as you fancy.
Any more tips on staying healthy at university? Let us know!