If you are studying in Australia, then no matter your circumstances you are going to have some limitations on your free time and perhaps your disposable income. If these limitations start to affect the quality or quantity of food you eat, then you might suffer adverse health consequences that are only going to be detrimental for your physical and mental wellbeing, as well as (ultimately) your academic performance.
If you want to eat well while studying, and pay less while doing it, take heed of the following advice.
1. Plan ahead of time
Planning what you are going to eat is one of the simplest ways to minimise the cost since you will be able to look at your diet objectively and see where the most significant expenses are. When you’re hungry and picking something off the shelf at a store, it’s much harder to make a value judgement.
It’s a good idea to do some research into some simple yet healthy and tasty recipes you can whip up at home with just a few ingredients. This will make it easy to ensure you get something nutritious and filling when you’re low on time or money.
Being spontaneous and following your cravings can help make life enjoyable, but it’s also not the cheapest way to go about things. Try and limit your impulsive eating to weekend dinners with friends and find more economical alternatives for your weekly meals.
2. Don’t shun ‘imperfect’ fruit & veg
There are plenty of supermarkets that offer ‘imperfect’ pieces of fruit and veg at lower prices. There’s nothing nutritionally wrong with these pieces – they just don’t look as appealing as others in the bunch and are wastefully discarded.
If you want to save money and reduce food waste at the same time, then going for these ‘imperfect’ and oddly shaped fruits and vegetables is a great idea.
3. Reduce pantry waste
If you have a messy or overcrowded pantry, then it will be difficult for you to know what you have left and how much of it there is. Without accurate information on the contents of your pantry, you are more likely to end up wasting money doubling up on ingredients you already have.
When you have an organised pantry, you can do a quick check before going to the supermarket so that you only buy the things you need.
4. Don’t neglect leftovers
Every time you throw away leftovers that you could have stored in the fridge, you are losing money. Leftovers from last night’s dinner can be tomorrow’s breakfast and lunch, meaning that one meal can then be stretched into 3 or even more, helping you to save money.
Many people will deliberately cook more than they can eat so that they’ll have leftovers they can take to class for lunch. While everyone else is running off to stand in a line and spend money at lunch, you’ll be sitting pretty with healthy food you already made at home.
5. Team up with friends
You’ve probably had to team up with people a few times already for your academic activities, so why not team up with people for your cooking as well? Lots of students just like you are struggling to eat well and budget while they study in Australia, so teaming up with them to share tips and do group cookouts can be a great way to keep you on track and away from expensive temptations.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to use some of the above advice to eat healthier and save money while you are studying in Australia.