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Food and shopping

Food & Shopping

Meal Planning and Preparation

Planning and/or preparing your meals in advance can help save you money by:

  • Buying bulk ingredients that can be used across several meals (e.g. a bag of potatoes).
  • Having the option to bulk cook and freeze meals.
  • Reducing the temptation to order a takeaway.

The National Association of Student Money Advisers (NASMA) has created a useful Meal PlannerLink opens in a new window to help you schedule your weekly meals.

You may not know which meals suit your taste buds and which are budget-friendly. If this is the case, why not take a look at Save the Student's Weekly Meal Plan: 28 Cheap and Healthy IdeasLink opens in a new window which provides recipe suggestions and prices per portion.

Food Shopping

Make sure to plan your shopping trip so that you are not running around throwing anything into your trolley. This means you can also plan not to shop on an empty stomach, as research shows you are more likely to buy more food when you are hungry!

Shops will often reduce their items at certain times of day, if you can get in to do your shopping at that time, you may pick up some good deals.

Did you know that by looking at the price per unit on product labels, you can easily see whether a bigger pack of the same product is better value for money or not? The following document from the Competitions and Markets Authority explains clearly how to understand Unit PricingLink opens in a new window. Also, remember to check the use-by date as it's only worth it if you are going to use the whole product before it goes out of date.

Have you also thought about swapping out some of your branded food items for unbranded ones? This can save you £££s at the checkout!

Discounts and Online Food Shopping

Many supermarkets now have reward schemes such as Tesco ClubcardLink opens in a new window, Asda Rewards,Link opens in a new window Sainsbury's Nectar CardLink opens in a new window, and Morrisons MoreLink opens in a new window. They each offer different rewards for their customers and could save you some money on your food shop.

If you have your shopping delivered, have you considered using the cheaper off-peak slots or buying a subscription? If you are living with flatmates, why not get your food in the same delivery and split the cost? You can find out more hints and tips, as well as a supermarket delivery price comparison in the following Save the Student article, Cheapest Online Supermarkets 2023Link opens in a new window.

There are other ways to save money on food online, such as cashback apps and coupons:


You can save a lot of money by cooking, rather than ordering takeaways. There are lots of online budget recipes available such as:

You may also be able to save money by improving your knowledge on:

Eating Out and Takeaways

While it is important to avoid spending money daily on takeaways they can be a nice treat and don't have to break the bank. When you next feel like a takeaway, check out the following Save the Student article for a list of helpful tips to save money -11 Ways to Save Money on TakeawaysLink opens in a new window.

The Too Good to GoLink opens in a new window app can see you get a takeaway bargain as vendors sell off a surprise bag (at a reduced rate) of their products that they would have ordinarily had to throw out. A variety of vendors are involved in this, from grocery stores to restaurants and coffee shops! If you are interested in cutting down your food costs and waste further, you might also be interested in the Olio Link opens in a new windowapp which allows users to share food for free!

When heading to campus, you can save money if you bring a packed lunch with you instead of purchasing it on-site. Check out our Small Sacrifices, Big RewardsLink opens in a new window webpage to find out how small purchases on the go can add up! If you do decide to buy food on campus, you should check out the Warwick Retail Offers Link opens in a new windowfor food offers, discounts and competitions.


Smart Shopping

It can be hard not to spend money on items when you really want to. Martin Lewis' Money Saving Expert website has coined two good mantras to utilise in these situations:

1) Do I need it?

2) Can I afford it?

1) Will I use it?

2) Is it worth it?

If it's a no to any of the other questions, then best not to buy it. You can print out a copy of these mantras to fit in your wallet to prompt you as you go to grab your bank card - Money Saving Expert: Free Money Mantras Card.Link opens in a new window

Shopping Around

Being sensible with your money doesn't mean you can't spend it at all. When you're making a purchase, either big or small, it is always worth shopping around to make sure you're getting the best deal. A great article with over 40 tips about keeping costs down while shopping online is Money Saving Expert's Cheap Online ShoppingLink opens in a new window.

Remember, always check for Student DiscountsLink opens in a new window on any purchase or financial product!

Choosing Financial Products

When comparing financial products, such as a mobile phone contract, read the small print carefully to make sure that you understand exactly what is included or excluded from the cost. Don’t assume that all offers are the same!

Remember, always check for Student DiscountsLink opens in a new window on any purchase or financial product!