Five ways to eat cheaply as a student

Five ways to eat cheaply as a student

Your weekly food bill can quickly stack up if you rely on ordering takeout meals all the time so even if your cooking skills are limited here are five ways to eat cheaply.

1) Shop at budget supermarkets

Shopping at budget supermarkets rather than expensive ones is a good way to reduce your food bill.

Cheapest supermarkets in the UK


Tips on saving money

Regular promotions

LidlLidl reduce the prices on fresh produce and ready-meals that are due to expire soon at the end of each day, by up to 50%.The ‘Too Good to Waste’ box costs £1.50 and includes mixed vegetables that are a bit damaged but are perfectly good to eat.
AldiAldi sell more than food and have weekly special buy items such as homeware and clothes.Every week Aldi has a promotion on a selection of fruit and veg for 69p
IcelandIceland run a £1 and under promotion on the website that includes fruit, veg , frozen food and household cleaning items.  Get a £5 discount and free delivery with your first shop worth £35
TescoSave time and money and get your food delivered for six months for a one off fee of £47.

Tesco’s “£3 meal deal” gets you a sandwich or salad, a drink and a snack (usually a bag of crisps, a chocolate bar or fruit.


Sign-up to “More for Students” to get extra discounts and offers.

Run special offers every week via the website and in store.


2) Buy from websites that sell “Best Before Date” food and drink

If you want to save lots of money on your food bill and have the storage to buy items in bulk, don’t mind buying items that have slightly damaged packaging or products that are near to the “Best Before Date” then you should check out these three websites.

Bargain Foods

Bargain Foods has a Trust Pilot rating of “excellent” and specialise in discount food and household goods from leading brands that you will recognise. They stock a huge range of food & drinks, household & toiletries products, gifts etc and on average customers save upwards of 20% on their shop.

You can get a 10% discount on your first shop by quoting GBMSTUDENT10  

Star Bargains

Star Bargains, which has over 1,900 reviews on Trust Pilot and a consumer rating of “excellent”, stocks top quality food and drink brands at bargain prices because it deals with big companies that have unsold stock or the items are near to their “sell by date.”

Approved Food

Approved Food stock over 2,000 products from well-known brands and include ex supermarket & department store stock. As specialists in surplus and short-dated food and drink that is either near or just passed its ‘best before’ date the average customer saves £60 per month.

3) Subscribe to recipe boxes

If you’re not a good cook you might be tempted to eat out, buy ready-made meals and order takeout food, which can get very expensive and is unhealthy for you.

A good alternative is to subscribe to a weekly recipe box that gets delivered to you and includes everything you need, along with instructions, to cook delicious meals. The portions are enough for two people so the added advantage is you can cook once and have a meal for two days.

Our favourite recipe boxes include:

Recipe Box



HelloFresh – offers 31 recipes, some of which can be cooked in 21 mins. They offer vegetarian options but currently don’t have vegan options. The ingredients are pre-portioned and the subscription can be cancelled with a weeks notice.


The price of your delivery depends on the type of box you order and the meals or add-ons you select each week, but typically each portion costs you £4.


Get 50% off your first box and 20% off your second, third and fourth boxes!

Mindfulchef are known for creating healthy recipes that are low in calories and are nutritionally balanced. They have 1,000s of recipes including ones suitable for vegans and vegetarians  The ingredients are sourced locally so your delivery will be super fresh and you will be contributing to reducing the carbon foot-print of the food industry.

£6 per portion for recipe boxes for one

£7 per portion for recipe boxes for two

Get £10 off your first and second boxes on Mindful Chef

4) Sign-up to apps for free food

Yes, you can get free and heavily discounted food by signing up to these apps.

Karma and Too Good ToThese two apps offer discounts on food that shops, supermarkets and restaurants might otherwise thrown away. This is a great way to reduce food wastage and also get your food and meals cheaper.



OLIO is an app that allows you to find people living locally giving away food & other household items to their neighbours, all for free.


5) Get restaurant discount cards

OK, we understand being a student is hard and sometimes you just want to go out for a nice meal. Well, you can do that and save money with discount cards.

Our favourite discount cards include:


Tastecard is a discount card accepted by 6000+ restaurants in the UK and Ireland offering in some cases a 50% discount, in others two meals for the price of one.

It costs £34,99 a year to subscribe to Tastecard but you can try it for 2 month for FREE.

International Student Identity Card 

With an ISIC card you will have access to 40,000+ different discounts. Covering everything from movies, attractions, online shopping, eating out, flights, accommodation, transport, and much more!

The discounts are not restricted to the UK and the added benefit of using an ISIC card is that it acts as your proof of age and proving your status as an international student in the UK.