Helpful tips on ways to save money on food and drink

Female students shopping at the Farmers' market on Whiteknights campus. Fruit in foreground.

Discover helpful ways to make your money go further when buying food and drink.

Balancing a budget at university can be challenging, particularly when living costs are rising. The University and RUSU have set up a joint task force this year to provide support and reduce the cost of campus life. 

Make sure to check out Cost of Living pages on Essentials, the University’s guide to making the most of your student budget, and RUSU’s Money Advice pages for more information about the financial support and advice available to you. 

We’ve also put together some helpful tips for ways to make your money go further when buying food and drink: 

  • Save money whilst also reducing food waste by signing up to the Too Good To Go Scheme. Our catering teams on campus offer customers part of the scheme the chance to purchase a “Magic Bag” for £3.39. This bag will contain approximately £10 worth of food items which are still in date but that would have gone to waste unless purchased on that day. 
  • Sign up to a Clever Cuisine Eating Plan for excellent value for money at 13 different eateries across the University’s campuses and halls of residences. The Clever Cuisine eating plans are inclusive for all students in catered accommodation and available to all other students either per term or per year. There are 3 meal plan options to choose from, with the Silver Plan starting at £15 per week. 
  • Enjoy a low-cost breakfast at RUSU! Breakfast is available Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings from 8am until 11:30am in Mojos. Breakfast costs £1.50 and includes tea, filter coffee, porridge, toast and spreads, and cereals. There are gluten-free and vegan options available. 
  • Visit the ‘Help Yourself Shelf’ in the RUSU reception to pick up some helpful items for free! 
  • Schedule in time for shopping rather than doing it in a rush. The Money Helper service found that people who shop while tired spend an extra £14.53 each time. If you schedule in your shop before closing time you might be in with a chance of picking up some last minute bargains too. Make sure to also check out these supermarket shopping tips. 
  • Make the most of your student discount. Sign up for a NUS TOTUM card, a student discount card and app that gives you access to offers on food and essentials, tech, travel and home delivery. Including an extra 10% off at the Co-op
  • Try some nutritional and low cost recipes. Check out online resources such as Student Recipes and BBC Good Food’s Student Recipes

For even more budgeting and money saving tips check out 55 ways to save money on food and the Eat Well, Spend Less food factsheet

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