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How to Eat Well without Being Out of Pocket

Even though at uni you’re surrounded by friends and mates, you sometimes find yourself on your lonesome for an evening meal. Everyone slinks off back to their flats or halls to rummage around in their cupboards and attempt to make something edible.

Don’t feel like a Billy No-Mates – cooking for one is brilliant. You get to experiment with recipes, do trial runs ready for that important date and if it all goes wrong, well, no one’s around to find out. Plus you can make that curry as spicy as you like it and that toad in the hole as big as you want.

You have free range over what you devour. And when you get that recipe bang on, when you make something that tastes fantastic, you can give yourself a big pat on the back.

How to handle lack of money and lack of time in meal planning

Everyone knows students are constantly short of money, but what about time? Well, after the mid-morning lie in, two-hour lecture, aimless wander around the library, afternoon pint and football/netball/computer games, you have very little time left in your busy day, especially for making something to eat before you go out to the pub in the evening.

Some days you don’t have time to think, let alone cook, and although microwaveable ready meals may seem the answer, they soon make big holes in your bank account, not to mention your health, as many of them are packed full of fat and salt. So here is a recipe to keep to hand so that you can make a meal in minutes.

Pasta in a Flash-sta

Preparation time: 1 minute

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Serves: 1

Salt

1 mug of penne pasta

Handful of cooked chicken

3 spoonfuls of sun-dried tomato pesto

1 spoonful of mascarpone (optional)

  1. Pour boiling water into a saucepan and put on the hob over a high heat. Add a pinch of salt and the pasta. Place the lid back on to bring back to the boil quickly and stir.

  2. Cook the pasta for about 10 minutes and then drain through a colander.

  3. Add in the cooked chicken, sun-dried tomato pesto and mascarpone, if using. Stir everything together, spoon onto a plate and serve.

Ten ways to eat on the cheap

  • If you don’t have much spare cash but you don’t want to starve to death, consider these options as a good way to get fed!

  • Work in a restaurant or the university catering hall

  • Enjoy ‘Early Bird’ menus

  • Pick up supermarket magazines

  • Cook in a group

  • Charge your flatmates for washing up duties

  • Buy supermarket-own brands

  • Minimise your leftovers

  • Use cheaper cuts of meat

  • Visit the market at the end of the day

  • Make friends with catering students

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