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Meal prep on a budget

A blog by Modhurima, Student Money Assistant

One of the most effective techniques for keeping your food budget under control is to plan, prepare, and portion your meals ahead of time. By meal prepping, you can be sure to fuel your body with the right amount of carbs, protein, and fibre to get you through those long university days. Meal prepping is not only good for your gut but also your wallet because it ensures you have a packed lunch whenever you need to be on the go, and therefore you don’t end up spending on expensive takeaway.

There are several ways you can successfully prep meals on a budget. Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Plan your meals: The key to successful and affordable meal prep is to plan out your groceries in advance. If you want to be safe, look up a few recipes online and jot down the ingredients before your weekly grocery trip so you don’t overspend on unnecessary food items. A great website to look at for healthy and budget-friendly recipes is The Meal Prep Manual.
  2. Use ingredients in different ways: When searching for recipes for the week, look up dishes that have several overlapping ingredients to get the most out of your resources.
  3. Buy cheaper ingredients: If you want to stretch every penny, shop at Aldi or Lidl as they tend to be cheaper than Tesco or the other supermarkets. If you are on or near campus, walking the extra few minutes to Aldi instead of simply going to Tesco would save you a reasonable amount of money in the long run.
  4. Mix & match to add variety: If you think meal prepping is not for you due to the lack of variety, this tip is for you. You can make your meals interesting by prepping a few dishes and combining them differently each time. For example, you may have some chopped vegetables for salad, boiled eggs, rice, boiled pasta, and some sort of protein, let’s say, roast chicken. You can then combine the pasta and vegetables to make pasta salad, vegetables and chicken in a tortilla to make a wrap, have boiled egg with rice and chicken, or simply dice an egg on your salad with some dressing for a light lunch!
  5. Get discounted takeaway: It is unreasonable to stick to a routine without any breaks. To keep your budget in check while meeting your cravings, check out Too Good To Go to get amazing discounts on food and possibly save the planet from more food waste!

For further money-related support, contact Student Funding Support by email (, phone (024 7615 0096), or come to the Wellbeing Reception in Senate House (10 am-3 pm Monday-Friday).