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Being a student can be incredibly expensive. Just the cost of books these days makes our heads spin! Hectic class schedules and extensive assignments end up draining students and hardly leave any time for part-time jobs. With almost no extra source of income and the constant pressure of meeting deadlines, getting through university on a healthy and balanced diet can be a challenging task.
We’ve outlined some easy food-swaps that won’t burn a hole in your pocket and will help keep your health in check as well.
While meat is usually the hero and the most delicious component of every non-vegetarian dish, it is also the costliest. Meat is rich in nutrients and has high protein content. Avoiding meat without replacing it with suitable alternatives can lead to lower protein levels, lesser intake of essential nutrients and most importantly, leave you feeling hungry!
Beans or eggs are a great replacement instead of meat. They are cheaper and offer a similar profile of proteins and nutrients. Beans & eggs are versatile and can be cooked in a number of ways to ensure you’re never repeating a dish too soon and have endless options at hand.
If you can’t go off meat or chicken, try choosing the cuts of meat that are less expensive. Choosing ground meat instead of pricey steaks is definitely one way to cut down on your budget. Similarly you can opt for chicken thighs or legs instead of the breast to get costs down without sacrificing quality.
If you use a slow-cooker, you can usually cook most of the inexpensive meat cuts without denting quality or taste as the slow-cooker ensures you don’t lose out on any juiciness or tenderness of the meat.
We tend to snack mindlessly when we’re occupied with important tasks. And we usually end up eating the most convenient foods that are within our reach – biscuits, cookies, chips, chocolates, etc.
Fruits are an excellent swap for snacks. Not only are they inexpensive but also a much healthier alternative. Fruits are packed with antioxidants, nutrients and essential vitamins. Toss those fluffy packs of chips from your grocery cart and load up on some fruits like pomegranate, papaya or watermelon the next time you go shopping!
Frozen berries are an amazing alternative to their fresh counterparts. The berries are picked at peak ripeness and frozen immediately leading to no loss in nutritional value. They cost much less than fresh berries or in-store smoothies.
Berries like blueberries, raspberries or strawberries are packed with antioxidants and rich in vitamins. And ofcourse, they taste delicious!
Many branded companies promote cereal as the healthiest version of breakfast. However, the truth is that more often than not, most of these cereals are loaded with hidden sugar. We suggest replacing the expensive, sugar-laden cereals with oats.
Oats are a rich source of fibre and protein. They will keep you full and energetic throughout the day and they make for an ideal breakfast along with some milk and nuts. Oats are much cheaper than branded cereals and will surely help in bringing down your weekly grocery budget.
Tofu is popular as one of the best sources of protein for vegans. And for good reason – Tofu packs an impressive 8g of protein per 100 grams. Tofu is extremely versatile and can be cooked in a number of different ways. Tofu can be used in curries or baked or even stir-fried.
It’s an excellent replacement for the lean chicken meat which has a similar flavour and nutritional profile. Tofu costs upto 50% less than chicken. Tofu is widely available across stores, relatively easier to cook and is delicious – making it a winning choice for your palate and your wallet!
We’re accustomed to many brands and the assurity they offer in terms of quality and taste. However, we often end up paying a hefty price tag for the brand name rather than the actual food we’re consuming.
Experimenting with in-house store brands at your local grocery store can be a great way to reduce your grocery overheads. You can try the local brand for a week and stick with it if it satisfies your taste and quality preferences.
We hope these tips help you get through your time at Uni with some reduced stress and substantial savings. At Gaston, we understand and value your relationship with food and are well-aware that there is no blanket one-size-fits-all solution to find the perfect balance between budgets and food preferences. As you navigate through this path, Gaston is by your side as your go-to meal partner.
Gaston finds the best meals around you as per your dietary needs and preferences. Download Gaston now and order affordable and delicious meals!