Being a student, on a budget and having to cook for yourself is daunting; being a student on a budget with food intolerances is even more daunting.
Having now survived two years at university with gluten and dairy intolerances and not having to resort to busking or begging on the street for money, I thought I would share some quick tips on how to manage allergies without burning a hole in your pocket!
- Buy in bulk
Buying in bulk can make a huge difference to the cost of your weekly food shop, especially as stores usually give discounts on multiple purchases. A great thing about ‘special’ allergen products is that many of them have a longer shelf life than standard products so buying in bulk is never wasteful! Cooking in bulk will also avoid wasting any food; freeze your dish in separate containers for tasty, healthy, hassle free-suppers.
- Shop savvy
When that special day comes when your allergy-friendly food is on offer, buy, buy, buy! When soya milk is on offer (usually 3 for £3) I buy as much as I can physically carry home. It then goes straight in the freezer and is defrosted and used throughout the term. Saving a few pennies on each carton adds up to a big discount – as Tesco say, ‘every little helps!’
- Communal cooking
Cooking with, or for, your friends is really economical. It not only cuts down on food cost and waste, it also saves money on energy and water bills. Communal cooking is also a great source of inspiration; the girls in my flat constantly inspire me to try new recipes and are always up for tasting my gluten-free dishes. Just because you may eat differently doesn’t mean others wont enjoy it too!
For those of you with serious allergies, just be careful to avoid any cross contamination of food.
- Stay positive
Focus on what you CAN eat rather than what you can’t. When cooking, the world is your oyster… it may just be a gluten-free, nut-free or dairy-free oyster! Focusing on what you can’t eat will only leave you feeling deflated. Stay positive, do some research and get creative with the ingredients available to you – It will make cooking on a budget much more enjoyable!
Extreme Tech Challenge - Healthcare IT
Winner | 2018
CIS Excellence Business Innovation Award
Winner | 2017
Product Excellence Award
Winner | 2016
Food Allergy Awareness
Winner | 2015
Great British Entrepreneur Awards Silver
Winner | 2015