Student Cupboard Essentials: a Fresher’s Guide

First of all, a massive congratulations to you – you’ve done it! All of those hours spent revising and writing essays while your parents were checking that you were indeed studying and not playing FIFA or using your phone to talk about last night’s TOWIE have paid off and you’re off to University.

This is the start of a new chapter in your life and one that, for many, means moving away from home for the first time. Sure, you might have spent a week away on holiday with a group of friends having to fend for yourself, but this time it’s serious – you’ve got bedding to buy (and beds to make!) you’ve got appliances to buy and that presents another issue, you’ve got to learn how to use the washing machine and the iron!

You’ve also got to think about your budget and the food you’re buying. No longer can you rely on your poor mum to go out and do the food shop, waiting for her to leave the kitchen afterwards so you can raid the fridge, you’ve got to go out and do it yourself.

In your student accommodation you’re going to have limited space – you might all have one cupboard each and your own drawer in the fridge or freezer, unless you decide to share everything of course, that’s down to you. This means you’re going to be strapped for space and you can’t just buy everything you would normally – you won’t have anywhere to store it and foods will go off more quickly if they’re not stored properly.

For many this presents a whole new challenge in trying to ration, keep costs down and still manage to buy enough. You need to establish what foods and drinks are actually ‘essential’, the kinds of foods you’ll need on an almost daily basis and that won’t cost the earth at the same time.

It doesn’t matter if you’re the kind of person who skips breakfast and grabs an URBAN eat sandwich for your lunch while you’re in town, or the kind of person who eats every recommended meal religiously, there are certain foods that you need to have in your cupboards…

Beans
You quite simply need baked beans. They’re a staple part of most meals and can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner and can be cooked quickly and easily either on the hob or in the microwave taking no time at all – perfect for when you’re up late and in a rush to get to lectures or the library for your study group!

Pasta
Packed full of slow release energy in the form of carbohydrates, pasta can go with so many different things and is a great snack as well as being a main meal. A simple bowl of pasta with grated cheese could see you through until dinnertime, while it can be great to make a carbonara to impress your flat mates!

Fruit Juice
It’s always good to get the right balance of vitamins and minerals, so make sure you get plenty through your juice. Even if it’s a quick glass of orange, apple or pineapple juice before you head out in the morning, or a cold glass when you sit down with your dinner, it forms part of your five a day.

Salad and Fresh Vegetables
Your mum would want you to be having healthy meals, so make sure you do! Salad and fresh vegetables should be part of most meals you have and, despite common beliefs, taste very nice especially when fresh, (i.e. not the frozen bags of vegetables). You can buy vegetables relatively cheaply from supermarkets or market stalls but beware, they do go off quickly if you don’t eat them.

Breakfast Cereals
You should always eat breakfast to get your mind working for the day ahead, that’s what they say, so make sure you have a box of your favourite cereal to hand. If you’re not the kind of person to eat breakfast first thing in the morning, it’s a great and healthy snack for between lectures or before you head off to training or to the library.

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