5 tips to cheap student meals!
Living life on a budget is fun! Sometimes!
Until it's the end of the month and you're left with 100Kr and the need to buy groceries that will last you for the last week and a bit of the month.
It's your first time living away from home. You may have spent a kroner or two more on øl (beer) and pizza than you expected. That's okay. There's no judgment here. Safe space vibes.
Here are your 5 kroner stretching tips for when your wallet seems a little too skinny and you don’t want to be skinny as well.
1. Invest from the start.
A good meal starts with the spices, baby. Make sure you prioritise the flavours from the start. Get in the basics, spices and herbs like paprika, bullion, curry, coriander, cardamom, vanilla, basil, and cinnamon. The sooner you buy these seemingly random ingredients, the sooner the grocery bill seems a lot smaller. Also, your meals taste a lot better which is what it's all about.
2. Learn what you love
You shouldn't cook something just because it's cheap. Cook what you enjoy eating and over time you will save money since you will never pay other people to cook it for you. I learned to cook pizza as a life or death priority when I moved from home. Maybe the first 10 weren't good. But since then I have made some banging (aka, amazing) pizzas. Learn what you enjoy to eat and you will always be able to improve and make good food.
3. Keep an eye out for meal deals
Budget supermarkets like Aldi and Rema1000 have a rep for being the best on the market for cheap food. This is not always true! Sometimes more expensive places like Føtex or Bilka have the best deals going in the market. (Bilka, according to secret sources, has the best bulk buying options.)
4. Plan for the future
Meal prep and build up stock. Ultimately, what you're looking to build is a good inventory and pantry of reusable and non-perishable products that can be used across a wide range of dishes (dishes to be decided based on personal preference). But prepping for the week ahead or buying food based on the best discounts you can see going for the week ahead is always a good idea.
5. One man's trash is another man's treasure
In cases of extreme financial distress, other options include the fællesskab køleskab in the centre of Aarhus. This is where businesses and individuals put out food they would otherwise throw away for policy reasons but is still okay to eat! There is often some fresh fruit and veg in there that is absolutely okay to eat. If you really want to embrace the `no food waste´ lifestyle. ´Skralding´, as it is known in Danish, is the act of going through the bins outside supermarkets. The food is often perfectly fine and can still be eaten for days afterwards. Just be sensible, and make sure you're not entering any private areas when doing it.
- Enjoy yourself! Ultimately if you are smart with buying deals and meal prep you will always be able to eat the food you want to eat and enjoy the food you buy.
- However! It will require you to plan some food ahead of time and buy those discounts. Remember, discount stores like Aldi and Rema1000 are good but shops like Føtex and Bilka will sometimes have the best bulk discounts. Exploit those discounts like you've never exploited discounts before.
- If you are sensible and smart you will be okay. Always. There is always good food and good deals going. But eating out in Denmark is objectively expensive so learning to cook what you love eating is the best idea for your budget long term.
- Get out into the world of making food. Have fun and remember that learning to make your own food is worth it in the long term. No one wants a parent that can't make a lasagne at home. (this recipe is both good...)
With a bunch of experimentation and some hard-earned patience, you too can learn how to best use your budget for some well-earned tasty nutrition!
If you like what you read, and want some more student-led inspiration, go and check out some of the other posts. You're also always welcome to jump over and chat with us if you have any questions.
Rob P, AP IT and Technology
About Rob: An electric skateboard fan, VR enthusiast, and ready to change the world through IT - you can chat with him here.