Student life: 4 tips for healthy eating on a budget

Vie d’étudiant - 4 astuces pour manger sainement avec un petit budget

Many students find themselves in a delicate situation when it comes to their diet. Most have difficulty reconciling their food budget with their need to eat healthily. Enjoying a balanced meal and saving money at the same time may seem difficult, but there are some simple, practical tips to help you get there. Here are 4 ways to eat better and more cheaply as a student.

1. Planning meals in advance as a student

One of the best ways to save money on food is to plan your meals in advance. It may seem tedious, but it’s actually a great way to save money and eat healthily at the same time. By organizing your menus in advance, you can buy the ingredients you need in sufficient quantities and spread leftovers over the next few days. As a bonus, you’ll avoid any food waste!

To prepare meals in advance and eat well, it’s also important to take the seasons into account. Seasonal fruits and vegetables are often cheaper and fresher than imported ones. By giving priority to seasonal produce, you can save money while enjoying tastier, more nutritious menus.

To find out which fruits and vegetables are best eaten in which seasons, you can visit dedicated websites. Some even offer a calendar of seasonal fruits and vegetables in mainland France. By adopting this practice, you’ll be eating healthily and limiting your environmental impact by consuming local produce.

Fruits and vegetables in season are richer in vitamins and minerals. As a student, consuming them will boost your immune system and help you fight fatigue.

💰 If your budget is tight enough to buy them fresh, there’s an alternative: frozen. Even if these products are frozen, they retain all their nutritional benefits and are often very affordable.

2. Avoid processed foods to eat better

Industrial foods are often more expensive than fresh, unprocessed products. Added to this is the fact that they contain food additives, sugar and fats that can be harmful to your health. That’s why it’s best to avoid these industrially-produced products wherever possible. The best option for healthy eating at the best price is to focus on fresh produce such as vegetables, fruit, pulses, wholegrain cereals and white meats. Not only are they healthier foodstuffs, they’re also more affordable.

You also need to learn to eat more starchy foods. At every meal, rice, bread, pasta or semolina are important. Why? Because they’ll give you the energy you need to avoid fatigue and drowsiness during the day.

While fresh produce and starchy foods should be favored, fish and meat can be costly if consumed in large quantities. Admittedly, these foods offer excellent nutritional value, but the downside is that they are expensive. You can opt for economical and innovative solutions, such as Freshopp’s anti-gaspi boxes or fruit and vegetable baskets. You can also replace them with eggs and dairy products.

3. Prepare your own meals to save money

Preparing your own meals is a great way to save money, while having greater control over the quality and quantity of the ingredients you use. By preparing your own menus, you can also choose the healthiest cooking methods, such as steaming or baking (and avoid frying).

If you’re a novice in the kitchen, don’t worry, there are plenty of online resources to help you learn to cook. Websites such as Superprof offer low-cost online cooking lessons. You can also consult books or blogs dedicated to the culinary arts to find recipes that are easy to make and, above all, very economical.

You can also download mobile applications specially designed for cooking. They’ll help you come up with ideas for dishes that are both simple and delicious. At the same time, you’ll be able to vary your menus each week and avoid falling into monotony.

4. Buy food in bulk to avoid waste

Buying in bulk is a great way to save money on groceries, especially if you’re a student living alone. By buying in bulk, you can have the quantity you need, without having to pay for packaging. What’s more, foods bought in bulk are often less expensive than those packaged individually. This alternative is also more environmentally friendly.

Buying in bulk is also recommended to considerably reduce food waste. You’ll be able to try out new products by buying them in small quantities. That way, if they don’t suit you, you can give them to others without having to throw them away.

Eating healthily while saving money, even on a tight budget, can be a real challenge. However, by planning your meals in advance, avoiding industrial foods, practicing the anti-gaspi reflex, preparing your own recipes and buying in bulk, you can easily achieve this. Feel free to try these tips and find out which ones work best for you.

👋 Find all our seasonal and anti-gaspi good plans on our Facebook page and don’t hesitate to share your good plans with us to fight against food waste!
⏭️ Also read: Food preservation tips to avoid waste.