Healthy eating on a budget

Healthy food

With the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) recently celebrating Healthy Eating Week, now couldn’t be a better time to improve your diet and put healthy eating back on the menu. Healthy eating is essential for all age groups, but for students starting or returning to college soon, eating healthier meals can have more of an impact than you think.

According to Options for Youth, students who are well-nourished learn better. Their research also found that eating healthy meals has been linked to achieving higher grades, with improved memory, a higher level of alertness and speedier processing of information all possible thanks to a fibre and protein rich diet. Increased energy and stamina, improved sleep and concentration, and a lower risk of chronic health problems are further benefits of eating a healthy and balanced diet.

For college students, particularly those living away from home during their studies, healthy eating has to be done on a budget. Making healthier, tastier and better choices at breakfast, lunch and dinner is possible, whatever you choose to spend at the checkout.

Shop smarter

Improving your health and wellness all begins at the supermarket. With so much temptation out there, doing a healthy shop on a budget isn’t easy. Budget food shopping doesn’t mean heading to the frozen aisle to stock up on pizza either. Fresh vegetables, seasonal fruit and butcher-bought meat will help make the most of your budget and keeping your healthy, balanced diet on track. Shopping in the evenings can unlock further price reductions. Shopping with a list will also help you to buy food cost effectively whilst sticking to a specific weekly meal plan.

Make food last longer

Use-by and best-before dates have been hitting food headlines in recent years, and for good reason.  Getting to grips with these could save you a small fortune as Steve Nowottny, consumer and features editor at, explains in this article from The Guardian:

“Every student should learn the difference between a use-by date, which is a health warning, and a best-before date, which is usually just the manufacturer’s view of optimum quality. Use your eyes and nose to check – but food that has passed its best-before date is often fine to eat. There are even stores that specialise in selling food beyond its best-before date at a discount… and Approved Food does this online.”

Reducing food waste isn’t just great for the planet, it’s great for your pocket too. Use all your senses to prevent food waste and eat leftovers for lunch where possible. Don’t fancy your leftovers for lunch? Many food items are perfect for freezing, so stick them in an airtight container or freezer bag and put them on ice.

Go meat free on Mondays

“Meat-free Mondays” is one food phenomenon that shouldn’t be underestimated. Eating more veg and less meat, courtesy of some tasty vegetarian recipes, is a great way to keep costs down. Cooking with pulses, like beans, peas and lentils, also provides a tasty vegetarian alternative that’s kind to your budget too.

Where to look next:

  • To find out more about our A Level and GCSE courses, click here
  • We have possibly the best boarding in the UK – have a look at boarding at CCSS
  • Our student profiles give you an insight into what life is like for students at CCSS
  • If you’re interested in seeing which universities our students go to, click here.

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