What do I do about food?
With all of Warwick’s accommodation being self-catered, there is one very essential part of moving to university that I wish I had learnt sooner: how to make good food, and what constitutes a good meal while at uni. If I could go back to before I started here, I would have definitely tried to get into a good habit with my food, and learned some good tips to keep me going, which is exactly why I’m writing this blog. Hopefully you’ll find this useful, as I would have!
1. Meal Prep
I did not expect my university life to be as busy as it was, especially during my first few weeks at Warwick (and the rest of it, as I soon learnt). I found that often I didn’t have time to stand in front of the stove for an hour each day to make a meal, leaving me to fall back on ready-meals or very unhealthy food – not what I wanted to do, and definitely not the best for someone on a budget. Learning to meal prep meant I spent a few hours on one day getting ready for the week ahead, but it saved a lot of time (and surprisingly, fridge space!). Limited storage space meant it was easy to find boxes and containers that would fit on the shelf in the fridge and freezer, and meant this could happen straight after the weekly food shop.
2. Pay attention to portions!
This is a tip to save both your budget and reduce food waste. When you’re looking at buying ingredients, especially fresh produce, I found it was worth it to look for loose fruit/vegetables rather than packaged. Often I would buy the prepacked food and then never use half of it, leading to it simply going to waste – meaning I lost money in the process (which was important for a tight budget!). I did a project on food waste and it was incredible to see how much was just thrown away each year by a family, and how much money that could save someone, so I tried to translate it into my life this year too.
3. Learn a few key recipes
While university is a great time to experiment with different recipes and flavours in your cooking, learning a few recipes by heart will save you on those days that you’re too tired to put energy into cooking but still want something filling and warm. Whether an easy pasta sauce, spaghetti bolognaise, or even just a good fajita mix – something that you can just throw into the oven/onto the stove and make is a lifesaver; plus if you ever have friends round it means you can make something quickly that everyone would appreciate!
I hope you’ve learnt something from these tips – and happy cooking!