There’s life beyond baked beans

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Baked beans — Photo by Daniel West/stock.xchng

The student stereotype insists that once you fly from the nest you are condemned to a diet of baked beans (with toast if you’re lucky) for the duration of your university life. However, this could not be further from the truth as with some careful budgeting, it is possible to eat delicious and healthy meals to give your brain the boost it needs to keep your eyes open during those dreaded 9am lectures.

Do your budget and stick to it! — Photo by Paige Foster/stock.xchng

Firstly, know your budget and most importantly stick to it. Value brands are great when attempting to keep the cost of your shopping trolley to a minimum. Another ingenious way to avoid the baked bean diet is to organise group shopping trips with your housemates as not only does it cut costs but it also cuts the cooking load too. Also, supermarkets and market stalls reduce items massively nearer to closing time.

Lancaster’s biggest supermarket, Sainsburys, closes at 10pm Monday to Saturday. So why not take a trip down the supermarket aisles around 9pm to check out the array of discounted food and grab yourself a bargain.  Finally, keep an eye on websites such as MyVoucherCodes and Money Saving Expert for vouchers offering discounts on food and other tasty treats for you to enjoy.

Despite money constraints limiting how high you pile your supermarket trolley, you can still create delicious meals with a helping hand from five store cupboard essentials.

  1. Salt and pepper. Simple but effective and can be added to any meal to instill a taste explosion.
  2. Chopped tomatoes. This relatively inexpensive ingredient can be added to cooked mincemeat along with some salt, pepper, crushed garlic and basil to make a tasty bolognaise sauce or add to a pan with some red and green peppers and an onion to make a salsa sauce that goes great with chicken, hot or cold.
  3. Stock cubes. As well as making the art of creating gravy an easy task, this ingredient’s versatility makes them a store cupboard must have. Boil your vegetables in some vegetable stock before adding a tin of chopped tomatoes and seasoning to make a tasty soup or add a beef stock cube to mincemeat to make a rich and delicious sauce that goes great with cottage pie.
  4. Oil. This cooking ingredient is as essential as dry frying will only set off the smoke alarm, much to the annoyance of all your housemates.
  5. Pasta, rice or potatoes. These three carbohydrates make a great accompanyment to all meat and vegetable recipies and are a must for keeping you fuller for longer inducing better concentration levels.

So there you have it, with a few tricks up your sleeve you can stay clear of the baked bean diet and let’s face it, your housemates will appreciate your flatulence levels being kept under control too.

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