Use more food seasoning
One of the most basic and easiest cooking tips for students is to add a bit of spice to your meals, weather you’re making an Indian curry or even just to make something like a can of beans or a pack of noodles more flavorful, a bit of seasoning can really make the difference.
Paprika, Cajun pepper or chili powder will bring a nice kick to pretty much any meal, while herbs like dried oregano are great for any Italian pasta dishes.
While salt and pepper are the main cupboard essential, it’s definitely worth figuring out what other herbs and spices you like as they can completely change how you cook and eat.
Start meal planning
If you don’t want the temptation of getting a takeaway or buying food while you’re out, planning meals in advance is a great way not only to save money, but also to eat healthier and more nutritious meals.
A good way to meal prep is to decide everything you’re going to eat at the start of the week and then go on a big supermarket shop to get everything that you’ll need. This includes breakfasts and lunches, not just dinners. That way you won’t find yourself getting a subway or other food while you’re out as you’ll have everything you need at home to make great lunches.
Try one pot recipes in a slow cooker
Cooking in a slow cooker is very handy because the meals you make can be divided into different portions and eaten throughout the week.
It’s also easy because you can quickly prepare what you’re going to cook in the morning or early afternoon, then when it gets to the evening you can relax because you’ll already have dinner sorted with minimal effort, taking the stress away after a long day of Uni work.
Stock up on basic cupboard supplies
When you’ve been cooking for a while, you’ll notice there are a lot of recipes that have similarities in the base ingredients.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to stock up on some of the staple ingredients, such as: rice, pasta, salt and pepper, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, onions and garlic, potatoes, baked beans and bread.
It’s a lot easier to throw together meals if you already have most of the ingredients in your cupboard.
Start freezing food
There are lots of things you can freeze that you probably didn’t realize you could. It’s a great way to save money by not wasting food and you can bring leftovers in for lunch.
Here are some examples of surprising foods you can freeze: cheese, milk, bananas, berries, eggs, garlic, bread, potatoes.
If you live in halls or struggle for freezer space in general, a good trick is freezer bags instead of boxes, because they take up a lot less room. Then you can defrost them as and when you need them
Hopefully these tips are helpful for students who are looking to cook on a budget at university. Homemade dishes shouldn’t be boring, and there are lots of ways to make delicious and nutritious meals without spending too much money.