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What I eat as a student to stay on budget

Home / Student blogs / Radka Feichtingerova / What I eat as a student to stay on budget

Published: October 30, 2018

Money, for most, is at the forefront when it comes to issues as a student, and it’s very easy to feel overwhelmed when faced with the supermarket shopping aisles. However, with a bit of creativity and some pre-planning, you can live and eat well whilst keeping to a budget. Here is an example of what I eat in a day to achieve this.



My ultimate breakfast food is porridge. Thanks to its purse-friendly price and ability to fill you up for hours, this really is a cupboard staple. The choice is yours when it comes to toppings and you really have the freedom to be creative. From coconut chips, and cinnamon (a personal favourite) to chopped nuts and honey, porridge really is what you make of it and can take on so many forms that you never really become bored.

A box of porridge (supermarket own) will set you back around 0.70p and the instructions on the packaging are really easy to follow. Use milk for a creamy treat or create your porridge with water to save money and you’ve got yourself a cracking breakfast that you can even eat on the go.

student breakfast


I eat a lot of salads, they're so quick to make and again you can dress them up so many ways depending on what you add to them. Easy enough to put in a Tupperware and pop in your bag to take to University, and cheap enough to keep your bank balance in check. 

Salads don’t really require a recipe, it’s more a case of throwing everything into a bowl and adding a dressing of your choice. My favourite is beetroot salad with feta cheese, some optional extras are seeds which provide a good boost of energy and nutrients.

healthy salad


A great student tip is to buy and cook in bulk so you always have leftovers. Reheating a hearty meal for lunch or dinner saves time and energy and it’s always handy to be able to just pull something out from the freezer when you need.

One of my favourite recipes is chickpea stew but you can, of course, add meat if you’d like.

Chickpea Stew 

Shopping list:

                  – 1 can of chickpeas, drained

                  – 1 tbsp olive oil

                  – 1 medium onion, minced

                  – 2 cloves garlic, minced

                  – 1 red pepper (or red bell pepper), chopped

                  – 1 medium tomato, chopped

                  – 1 carrot, diced

                  – 1 tsp dried parsley

                  – 1/2 tsp dried basil

                  – 1/2 tsp dried oregano

                  – 1 tbsp tomato paste

                  – liquid from the chickpeas can

                  – 1 cup of vegetable broth 

                  – 1/2 tsp sea salt

                  – 1/4 tsp (Cayenne) pepper



Drain your chickpeas but keep the liquid as you’ll need it later on

Chop an onion and some garlic and fry it in a little oil.

Add the peppers, tomatoes and carrot and in a separate pan, create your broth by adding one cup of warm water and some vegetable stock.

Add your chickpeas to the pan with the vegetables in and give it a good stir

Once simmered, add your stock and the chickpea water as well as some seasoning.

After a few squirts of tomato paste, you’ll then want to reduce your heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes until thickened.

Serve with rice, couscous, quinoa or bulgur for a healthy meal.



Three meals a day can be enough for some, but I like a few snacks in between to keep me going.

Greek yoghurt with granola is a quick and easy option and the best part is, it requires no cooking.  Simply spoon your yoghurt into a bowl and add the toppings of your choice. I like granola, but similar to porridge, the possibilities are endless. Here are some other budget-friendly snacks;

  • Humous and pitta
  • Fruit
  • Rice cakes
  • Packet noodles
  • Nuts
  • Cereal bars
  • Popcorn


I hope me sharing an example of what I eat in a day to stay healthy has inspired you. There are lots of student-friendly recipes online and the best thing to do is experiment till you figure out exactly what you like. Shop nearer closing time to get those yellow labels and look out for offers to make your money go further. We’re lucky to have lots of bargain shops here in Sunderand, Home Bargains, B&M’s and the Pound Shops just to name a few and they often have named brands in store.

I regret living on only ready meals during my first year and really wish I’d become more responsible and creative sooner.

What are some of your favourite recipes?

Topic: Advice and tips

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