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I'm now in my final year of studying at uni and because I went vegan around the time I started my course, over the past few years I have picked up a good few tips on how to be a vegan student on a budget. I am here today to share those tips with you and hopefully give you some insight on how it's so easy and definitely affordable as a student. I also posted a video about my tips here.

1. Be prepared. 
This is a common theme throughout this list of tips, because being prepared saves a lot of money in general. Thinking ahead pays off, and by doing things such as prepping meals and bringing the necessary food and drink with you, you're looking after the pennies so the pounds look after themselves. Also, homemade goodies are likely to contain fewers additives + preservatives, so it can be healthier too. 

2. Make a routine shopping list.
And stick to it. Also, don't go to the supermarket hungry. We've all made that mistake before...

3. Have some go-to meals.
Do your research and have some easy 5-minutes meal ideas in your arsenal that you can make when you want something wholesome + satisfying (things like curry, stew, soup and so on).

4. Go to farmers markets.
If you go to university in a city or town, which you most likely do, there will probably also be a farmers market nearby. These are great places to get lots of good quality produce cheaply, as well as also supporting local farmers.

5. Avoid corner shop prices.
Seriously. At all costs. Because they are so convenient, they are also very overpriced. Again, be prepared so that you don't have to resort to using them in desperate times.

6. Shop late in the day to get best reductions on food.
If you are going to resort to hitting up the cornershop, work out when they reduce their fresh produce to get some absolute steals. For instance, the other day I went to Tesco on a Saturday night (because I'm a crazy party animal) and I got a huge loaf of organic seeded bread for 20p! I just cut it up and froze it when I got home so that I can use it for toast when I have a toast-related-emergency. You know how it is.

7. Invest in tupperware.
To store your creations, to transport your meals - yes, you need containers. They really do come in handy. They can be from any brand you feel comfortable supporting, or just any container you can afford, but you need some. Trust. 

8. Make meals and take them with you.
I mentioned this earlier a little bit, but honestly, take food with you! Not only does it eliminate the risk of there being no vegan option on the menu so that you have to resort to ordering chips out of desparation, it also saves so much money. Take snacks with you as well - apples, carrot, hummus... whatever floats your boat. 

9. Bring drink with you.
Similar thing, bring a drinks bottle and fill it up on campus as opposed to buying bottled water. This reduces your plastic usage and saves dollar at the same time. I'm currently using a Contigo flask and my S'well water bottle.

10. Take a flask with you.
You can either use it to bring hot drinks to campus, or if you do want to buy a coffee whilst out then you may be eligible for a discount as most coffee shops want to encourage you to reduce your plastic usage. Win-win.

11. Take non-dairy milk with you.
This one is obviously optional, but if you're unsure whether places offer non-dairy milks, sometimes I bring a bottle of soya milk just in case. 

12. Buy own brand or UHT non-dairy milk.
This is again down to personal preference, but often the supermarket own brand non-dairy milk are a lot cheaper than the leading UK non-dairy brand Alpro (although Alpro does have a distinct taste, I agree). UHT milk is often cheaper too, available to buy in bulk and lasts a lot longer. UHT is the stuff not found in the fridge and is packaged in a slightly differently-shaped carton. It has been heat treated so that it doesn't need to be refrigerated. People have different opinions on the nutritional value of it, but it's still an option.

13. Make your own plant milk.
Making your own plant milk can save a lot of money but + it's so easy! I made it myself on my instagram here and can confirm that it tasted great and didn't separate in hot drinks. You can also freeze it in ice cube trays to make it last longer. However, the recipe does require a blender, which could be a drawback if you don't have one at your uni house.

14. Make bulk meals and freeze them for convenience.

15. Don't buy coffee out daily (if you can help it).

16. Try not to buy food on campus.
Although in some places it's subsidized for students, often it's pretty overpriced and, in my experience, not that great.

17. Buy ingredients in bulk. 
Things like pasta, potatoes, rice, lentils and so on are really cheap if you buy them in bulk and pulses can be even cheaper if you buy them dry. Definitely check the world food section of your local supermarket for some great feals

18. Freeze your bread.
The dreaded mold on your loaf is never a good discovery to make, so why not freeze your bread and  then thaw or toast it as needed?

19. Protect your pesto.
Put a layer of olive oil on your jar of pesto once opened before you put it back in the fridge. This creates a protective layer and keeps it from going off. Then just pour the excess from the jar before you want to use it next time - I love using it to fry veg it gets infused with the basil of the pesto and tastes really good!

20. Buy frozen fruit + veg.
Convenient to prepare, contains more nutrients, saves you money and reduces wasted produce. No brainer really.

21. Connect with other vegans through Facebook groups or your university societies.
Creating a plant-eating community around you will really help you feel supported in your dietary preferences and lifestyle choices, so I definitely recommend seeking out like minded people online or through your Student Union.

22. Go easy on the fancy superfoods. 
Here is where the massive price tag lies, and although these fancy superfood powders and seeds may be good for you, they're not 100% essential. If you want to add them into your diet, maybe ask for them as Christmas or birthday presents as a special treat? That way you get to try the hype, whilst also keeping an eye on the purse strings.

23. Go easy on substitutes
Whilst supermarket own-brand vegan mince meat is cheap as chips, substitutes like vegan cheese can be quite pricey as well as majorly processed + unhealthy. So maybe purchase these additions to your pantry in moderation.

24. Avoid takeouts.
My advice is to keep some packaged or unhealthy food in the house to stop yourself from ordering Deliveroo or takeouts, because that's just money down the drain.

25. Stock the basics. 
The basis of most cooked meals are the same - so ingredients like veggie stock, garlic + onions are important to have handy. Make sure you have these in your cupboard for when you're cooking or meal prepping.

26. Add good things to bad things. 
I use the term bad loosely because, to me, any food that tastes good and makes you feel good is good. But you know what I mean - bad foods as in those high in preservatives or artificial nasties. These foods may be made less bad and more healthy if you add nutrient-dense ingredients to them. For instance, one of my favourite things to do is add nutritional yeast into my baked beans when I'm making beans on toast. It adds a very subtle flavour + tops up your Vitamin B12. Also, nutritional yeast is so affordable and easily accessible on Amazon or in Holland and Barratt.

27. Shop seasonally.
Buying fruit + veg that is in season saves you money because it's in plentiful supply and therefore usually cheaper. Also, it tastes the sweetest because it was grown in it's ideal conditions. There are lots of charts online of when it's best to buy what, so definitely give them a gander at some stage.

28. Make it fun. 
Of course shopping to a budget is important, but it's also important to treat yourself now and again. Go visit a vegan cafe or restaurant and pick up a bite to eat once in a blue moon. It might inspire you to make your own versions of the menu, or you might just get a nice cooked meal without having to lift a finger. Always nice.

29. Read vegan recipes books and magazines. 
There are loads of plant-based books on the market now, you'll be spoilt for choice with so many to choose from. Also, vegan lifestyle and recipe magazines such as Vegan Life can now be found on the shelves of stores. I love the Vegan Life magazine and definitely recommend it for a good read.

30. Stay inspired. 
Make sure you don't loose sight of the wonderful world that is vegan eating. Read blogs, follow vegan instagrams, watch YouTube recipes. You can check out my personal favourite vegan food channels here. I hope they give you some inspo when you're having a mental block on what to cook for tea, just like they do me. 

Do you have any tips of your own? Let me know below!


1 comment:

  1. This has been such a useful post! I'm going to bookmark it so I can keep returning to it :) xx

    Yasmina | The July Journal