Student lifehacks: how to spend less on food

If you’ve managed to splash most of your student loan already this month, but don’t know what you actually bought, it was probably just food.

Have you ever been unable to justify spending that £20 on a new top but had no problem spending just as much on a takeaway or eating out?

Of course you have. That’s classic student life.






Here are some things you can do to cut down on your food bills:

1. Sleep until lunchtime


This is just logical – you save money on one meal and have an excuse to miss that dreaded 9am lecture. It’s a win-win.

2. Leave your card at home


Just take enough money for lunch and ignore that voice in the back of your head telling you that there might be an emergency situation which requires the use of your card (it’s lying to you).

3. Bulk buy essentials

You eat a lot of pasta? Great, because most of the big supermarkets do a 3kg bag for under £3. If you can’t picture it, think of the size of a sack of potatoes and you’re there.

4. Budget supermarkets

Find out where the nearest Aldi or Lidl is. It’s almost unbelievable how much money you’ll save buying your groceries here instead of buying brands.

5. Take food with you

If you know you’re going to be at college or university over lunchtime, why not pack a lunch? You know you’re going to like it, because you made it.

6. Make a budget


This is hard because nobody ever sticks to their budget. However, knowing you have a budget will help you control your spending and hopefully you’ll still spend less than before.

7. Take advantage of family visits


The likelihood is that cooking your own meals every day will get boring and you will want to go out to eat instead. If you know a family member is visiting you, suggest going out for dinner. They won’t expect you to cook for them in your tiny student kitchen and, if you’re lucky, they’ll insist on buying your meal because you’re a poor student.

8. Find the discounts

Think Two-for-Tuesdays at Dominos, 20% student discount at Frankie and Benny’s, and 25% student discount at Chiquitos. Always check offers when ordering food online and always ask if a restaurant does student discount – most big chains do.

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