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Eva's Blog: Saving your wallet (and the environment)

By UofGBlogger 08 Jan 2020

As bad as it sounds, food is often not a number one priority when it comes to student life. With other ‘investments’ we often go to instant meals to save money. However, there are ways to eat well even on a small budget…


Shopping list
Make a shopping list before you hit the road. Most of the time, people who go shopping without a list get overwhelmed and buy stuff they don’t need. Moreover, make sure you are certain about what you have at home. Buying too much of something can lead to basically throwing your money away.

Look for deals
On the other hand, don’t get caught up in the deals. Ask yourself whether you really need the item. Don’t just buy something because it is cheap.

Look at prices
Just because something looks cheaper, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is. Check the prices based on weight (in the small print), not only on the main price, the bigger item might in fact be cheaper.

Side note: Bring your own shopping bag everywhere you go.


Cooking is a crucial step in living alone. You might say you don’t have time or simply don’t know how to cook, but you will need to learn it eventually. So why don’t you start now? It is a (mostly) relaxing, very helpful skill that can save a lot of money. Let’s be honest.. instant meals are a bit pricey and you can't survive on noodles forever.

Expiration date
It's important to know the sell-by date on a product just informs the store how long to display the product for and when it's at its highest level of quality. This means once it's hit that date you don't have to throw it out straight away, it will still be edible for some time after. 

The more you throw away, the more you will need to buy.

With products such as fruit, vegetables or pastries, you can see if they have gone off or not. But with apples or potatoes, these were used to feed people for the whole winter and should survive more than a few days if stored correctly. 

Cooking plan
Try to make a cooking plan, using ingredients that you already have. You will minimize the food waste, manage your time and have yummy meals for days.

Whilst cooking, you usually end up with more food than needed. No matter if it was intentional or not, don’t throw it away. Nearly everything can be reheated and eaten, so why not save time and energy and just leave the food for the next day?

Side note: Often times there is a jar or packaging left after cooking. Try to reuse it in some other way (for leftovers or storage) or recycle it if not possible.

Using technology

OLIO is an eco-friendly app with more than 1.5 million users. They share unwanted food and other products, for nothing in return. If another user is interested in the listing, they just need to pick it up!

In addition, OLIO started a program with Food waste heroes. These people pick up unsold items from businesses such as Pret a Manger or Tesco and redistribute it. Not only do you not have to pay anything for high-quality food but you're also helping the environment.

Too good to go is an app focused on fighting the food waste problem. They partner with various well-known businesses where you can pick up meals that they haven't sold from that day for a discounted price. (I got, two portions of sushi from Yo! Sushi for £3.50!)

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