A student’s guide to eating well on a budget

Eating a healthy balanced diet not only helps us look and feel good, it helps us to stay healthy.


If you’re heading off to college or university, the chances are you’re living away from home for the first time. It’s now up to you to make sure you don’t waste away. And what’s worse, you’re expected to do it with only a fiver, a two-ring hob and a toaster.

If up till now you’ve avoided the kitchen on a matter of principle, here are a few tips on how you can avoid the hunger pangs and eat healthily on the tightest of budgets.

Top tips for healthy meals on a student budget:

  • get organised, with some planning you can eat healthy meals on a budget
  • buy store brands instead of well-known ones. They’re usually cheaper and taste just as good
  • prepare your own meals rather than getting a takeaway. It is usually cheaper, healthier and a great social activity to do with housemates
  • canned or frozen fruit and vegetables can be cheaper than fresh and just as healthy. They also contribute to your 5-a-day
  • shop locally and compare prices. Local shops and markets can be cheaper than the supermarket
  • vegetables are often cheaper than meat, so why not try cooking a few more veggie meals
  • portion size, try not to eat more than you need
  • pasta is both filling and cheap. Go for whole-grain options if possible
  • buy seasonal fruit and vegetables; they will be cheaper and can be frozen to eat later
  • take your own lunch; its a lot cheaper, and you have control of what you eat
  • eat a good breakfast; porridge is a great cheap and healthy choice. A good breakfast means you won’t be tempted to snack later
  • share your shop. Two-for-one deals can be a good buy if there is two of you to split the portions and the cost.