Maddy McKenna highlights the key ingredients for cooking success on a budget.
Starting uni is a challenging time for everyone. Not only do you have this new sense of complete independence, but you have to survive (and thrive) by yourself. Unfortunately for most, this does include cooking. Yes, cooking can be hard and time-consuming. But, once you get the hang of it, it can be great fun. So let’s start with the basics.
First things first – learn to make delicious pasta and your fave sandwich. Bread and pasta are cheap, and to cut costs you can even bulk buy pasta and freeze the bread. Alternatively, buy staples such as eggs, milk, bread and even fruit as a flat to cut down on wastage and costs. Then just buy your toppings and you have yourself a delish meal in under 10 minutes.
Find even 2 or 3 recipes that become your go-tos, and you might just even impress your parents.
Next, buy a student cookbook! It may seem unnecessary, but trust me. Find even 2 or 3 recipes that become your go-tos, and you might just even impress your parents. Risotto and a stir-fry are so easy to change depending on what ingredients are in the cupboard, as you only need rice, noodles, chicken stock and some kind of veggies. Vegetarian is usually cheaper (unless you buy meat substitutes) but splurge on meat if you want. Another staple could be fajitas. They are so easy to make, with chicken or just peppers and mushrooms, and taste amazing. There is also the convenient option to buy a pack, and they make a lot so are great for a flat meal or future lunches.
Check how to reheat. You do not want food poisoning.
Lastly, learn to cook in bulk. Just double or even triple what you think you would eat and save the rest for tomorrow. This works well for curries, noodles … basically anything you can think of! Just refrigerate when the food has cooled and double check how to reheat. You do not want food poisoning.
Oh, and don’t forget! Always have some frozen food on-hand so you’re not tempted to order a Deliveroo.