Lifestyle Uni Life

Rethink your shop: a week of cheap and healthy food

It’s that time of the trimester when life starts to become incredibly busy. During these crazy weeks of assignment deadlines and exam preparation, we often stray further from our usual routines each day. For a lot of us, the first part of our regular routine that is thrown out the window are our healthy eating habits.

When we are time poor we are far more likely to buy tonnes of takeaway, sugary snacks and fast food to keep us going. Unfortunately for many of us, we also have to cut down on work hours in order to get through our study load, which means we have less money to spend on quality food.

What many students don’t realise is that there are many cheap and easy recipes available to get you through week-to-week.

To show you that it’s possible, I have created two shopping lists. The first is a generic student weekly food expenses breakdown which consists of many unhealthy but cheap and easy foods. The second list is a week’s worth of nutritious, brain powering foods for the same (well, cheaper) budget!

Food expenses list #1

  • 2 x 5 packs of Maggi noodles – $6.00
  • daily takeaway coffee/tea – $20 (5 days of uni x $4.00 per coffee)
  • 1 x pack of four Red Bull – $6.00
  • 2 x frozen meals – $10
  • 3 x bought lunch at university – $30
  • homemade spaghetti (2 dinners, 2 lunch) – $8 ($4 mince, $2 pasta, $2 pasta sauce)
  • 2 x Pizza Hut pizzas – $10
  • snacks (muffins bought at uni, fruit etc.) – $10
  • toast and spread – $5.00
  • 2 x smoothie – $10

Total: $107

Food expenses list #2

Vegetarian korma (2 lunch, 2 dinner) = $7

Ingredients:

  • 1 x jar Coles brand korma sauce – $2.40
  • 1 x packet Coles brand frozen stir-fry veggies – $2.20
  • 1 x can Coles brand chickpeas – $0.70
  • 1kg Coles brand rice (use 2 cups for cooking) – $1.50
  • 1 x brown onion – $0.20

Just follow the recipe on the sauce jar and you’re set!

 

Lentil spaghetti (2 lunch, 2 dinner) = $7.10

Ingredients:

  • 1 x can Coles brand lentils – $0.90
  • 1 x packet Coles brand spaghetti – $1
  • 1 x jar spaghetti sauce – $2
  • 1 x brown onion – $0.20
  • 1 x punnet cherry tomatoes – $3.00

Find the delicious recipe here!

 

Mediterranean Baked Sweet Potatoes – (2 lunch, 2 dinner) = $6.40

Ingredients:

  • 4 x medium sweet potatoes – $3.00
  • 1 x can Coles brand chickpeas – $0.90 1/2 tsp each cumin, coriander, cinnamon, paprika (Coles brand mixed spice will do) – $2.50
  • cherry tomatoes (from lentil spaghetti, above)

Find the delicious recipe here!

Other

  • bag of apples – $3.00
  • 2 x flavoured sparkling water – $3.00
  • muesli bars – $3.50
  • nuts – $9.00
  • oats (for breakfast) – $3.00
  • milk – $2
  • instant coffee powder – $5.00

Total = $67

That’s a saving of $40 a week!

So, there you have it, a total of 6 days’ worth of delicious, healthy meals! They are perfect for winter and will get you through the final weeks of the trimester. The meat-eaters out there may have noticed the lack of meat, but never fear – for just an extra $10 you can buy a kilo of chicken breast to cook and add into the meals. But there are plenty of nutrients without the meat.

Take your lunch, snacks and coffee powder to uni and you’ll be saving money in no time! Plus, eating healthy home-made foods will help your brain work 10 times better than when it’s being fuelled by fast-food.

What’s your favourite low-cost healthy meals? Let us know below.

Until next time – Hayley

 

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