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When I first started University I was so excited to start being more independent! Had absolutely everything planned out! Until I got there and had to do my first food shop.

But, what should I buy?!

If you’re the same, or if you just want some advice on what your fridge should be stocked with to ensure you stay away from the notorious ready meal then read ahead! I’ve tried to keep it as clean/healthy as possible but it’s totally adaptable to whatever you want/need :)

Fruit and veggies:

  • Bananas 
  • Berries (frozen berries are cheaper than fresh!)
  • Apples
  • Lemons (great as condiments or sliced up in hot water, too)
  • Mangos
  • Pineapple
  • Grapes (Try freezing them as a summer snack, too!)
  • Avocado
  • Onions (I always have onions in my cupboard!)
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Mushrooms

Basically any fruit or veg you like that’s in season! Click here for a great info sheet about when food is in what season!

Protein

  • Chicken/turkey
  • Eggs
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Cottage Cheese

Veggie/vegan protein

  • Tempeh
  • Tofu
  • Nuts and nut butters
  • Seeds
  • Beans
  • Quinoa
  • Lentils
  • Almond Milk

Grains and ‘good carbs’

  • Porridge/oats
  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Brown rice
  • Wild rice
  • Sweet potato

Any bread you want, make sure it’s brown/wholemeal at least. Ezekiel bread is also great

Fats and oils

  • Almonds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • All natural nut butters (no sugar and no added salt)
  • Coconut oil
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Flax seeds
  • Chia seeds

Dairy and non-dairy alternatives

(If you eat dairy, obviously)

  • Greek yoghurt
  • Semi-skimmed/skimmed milk
  • Cottage cheese
  • Organic yoghurt
  • Almond milk
  • Soy milk
  • Oat milk
  • Rice milk

Legumes

  • Edamame
  • Black beans
  • Chick peas
  • Lentils
  • Peanuts/peanut butter (yep, peanuts are technically a legume!)

Condiments and seasonings

  • Salsa
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Low salt soy sauce
  • Hummus
  • Raw honey
  • Stevia
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Mixed dried herbs
  • Freeze-dried basil
  • Lazy garlic
  • Paprika

Other necessities

  • Tea/coffee
  • Flour (any type you like)
  • Butter/spread
  • Ketchup
  • Canned beans
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Oxo cubes
  • Canned sweetcorn

Other general tips about shopping

  • Keep an extra loaf of bread in the freezer just in case
  • Keep a spare pint of milk in the freezer just in case
  • Start a weekly food planner to make sure you’re eating healthily and saving money on your food shop
  • If you’re having leftovers, it’s best not to re-heat pork, bacon or shellfish
  • If you’re not vegan/veggie, buy a whole chicken and cook it. You can use the meat for several meals such as sandwiches, curries, risottos, baked potatoes, salads etc.
  • Click here for a bunch of posts dedicated to help you with your shopping lists!

Part of my Student Survival Guide

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2

Welcome to the next edition of my Student Survival Guide!

I’m glued to my phone. I LOVE new apps and I’m constantly downloading new ones (free ones, I might add) to see which are my faves. 

So here’s my selection of apps that I think you students (or people on a budget, or people who just love apps) need! There are WAY more apps that I love on my best apps for students page :)

Disclaimer: I’m from the UK so I’m going to be posting apps that I’ve used and loved. If they don’t work/aren’t available in other countries I’m super sorry. These are all links to the Apple iTunes Store as well, but most of them are also available on Android.

Health and fitness:

  • 5k Runner: 0 to 5k run training pro (£1.99) Now I’m sorry to start off the article with a paid app, but it’s just SO good. And it means that you don’t need a gym membership or a treadmill! I’m using it currently and I couldn’t recommend it enough!
  • Nike+ Running (Free) I love this app, and the fact that it’s free is even better! I use it alongside 5k Runner (above) and use it to track my progress. I do need to get into the habit of using it more, though…
  • PumpUp (Free) I am still yet to use this app properly and regularly but it’s amazing! You can enter in where you are (home or gym), what area of the body you want to target, what props you have access to (weights, skipping rope, only you and your body etc) and a bunch of other stuff and it tailor makes a workout for you to follow! AND it’s got a fitness community on there for motivation and just to chat to! A+ seriously
  • Calm - Meditate, Sleep, Relax (Free) I used to use the app Headspace, and I admitedly did prefer it. But when I found out you only get the first 10 days free and after that it’s a monthly supscription I deleted it out of principle. Calm comes in a very close second and I still do love it! Especially seeing as it’s free!
  • SAM (Self-help for Anxiety Management) (Free) If you have anxiety like me, this app is brilliant. It really helps you keep track of everything and manage your anxiety well. MindShift is also a good, also free app for this!

Food

  • BBC Good Food (Free) I love this website and I love this app. It has SO MANY recipes on it, it’s in UK measurements (FINALLY!! I find it so hard to find recipe apps that don’t measure everything in cups) and you can search by a bunch of different catagories! Healthy recipes included!! You can save recipes to your favourites as well which is handy! It ALSO has cooking tips and tools, so if you’re not a great cook it doesn’t matter!
  • Can I Eat It? UK (£1.99) Okay so this is another paid app but oh my jesus it’s amazing. Ever wondered whether something is vegan/fairtrade/low sugar/organic or a bunch of other things but can’t be bothered/struggle to find out through the label? THIS APP IS FOR YOU! You just scan the barcode and it tells you EVERYTHING you need to know about the food. It also now has a section for drinks as well! There’s an American version of this as well!
  • mySuperList (Free) This is an app from the website MySupermarket which I used ALL the time at uni. You put in your shop and it tells you which supermarket the shop would be cheapest at, if any items you choose have a cheaper alternative, then delivers it to your door! So now you can do all this from your app! It’s seriously amazing for saving money on your food shop.

Money and Finance

  • RedLaser (Free) This app is great. You scan something in using the barcode scanner and it will tell you the price of the item and if you can get it cheaper anywhere else!
  • Money Dashboard (Free) Helpful if, like me, you sometimes lose track of your spending. You hook it up to your bank account (totally securely) and it keeps track of your spends and catagorises them so you know what you can cut down on buying.

Organasation and Productivity

  • Evernote (Free) If you haven’t heard of this already I’d be surprised. Compile notes, photos, anything you want and have access to them from all your devices. I use it all the time!
  • Wunderlist (Free) Similar to Evernote except purely for lists. I actually use this one more than Evernote because it’s just so handy to be able to access any lists I make from my iPhone, iPad AND computer.
  • IFTTT (Free) This app is revolutionary. It basically hooks up your device with tonnes of different apps and services and does stuff for you! For example, my phone now notifies me if it’s forecast to rain tomorrow and my Instagram photos automatically upload to Twitter as photos, not links! I love it.

Deals and Offers

  • Student Beans ID (Free) Student beans has a website as well and it’s amazing. Articles, offers, freebies, job listings, EVERYTHING a student could ever need. I’m so happy they got an app!
  • UNiDAYS (Free) Want to know where you can get student discount? Get this app! You get a ton of exclusive student discounts through it as well!

Miscellaneous

  • TED (Free) Stream/Download unlimited TED talks! I’m on this app all the time.
  • Buzzfeed (Free) I really don’t need to explain Buzzfeed to you, do I? Basically, you need it. But be careful, it’s easy to waste hours reading the articles!
  • Flipboard (Free) I love this app. It’s beautiful to look at and it makes saving and reading articles so easy! Feedly is also a great one for this.
  • Pocket (Free) I only recently discovered Pocket and I love it. You can save ANYTHING you read on the internet to Pocket and read it later, really handy for any essay/dissertation research articles!

If you have ANY other great apps for students or if you know any alternatives for other countries then reblog with the link!

Part of my Student Survival Guide.

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Most students (and other people who are just a bit strapped for cash) will be extremely aware of how much money most gym memberships cost and how much money they don’t have to spare on a gym membership.

BUT FEAR NOT!

You do not need a gym to be fit and healthy.

I REPEAT. YOU DO NOT NEED A GYM TO BE FIT AND HEALTHY.

I’ll start from the beginning.

Being ‘healthy’ isn’t just about being thin, muscular, eating 100% clean ALL OF THE TIME or whatever else you assume healthy is. Being healthy is a combination of physical health (eating healthy and exercising regularly), mental health (realising that treats are perfectly fine, as is not exercising sometimes) and spiritual health (loving yourself no matter how 'healthy’ you deem yourself to be).

Obviously mental health and spiritual health don’t necessarily have anything to do with the gym, though. And they will be both probably be discussed in more detail in a later post. Today, we’re focusing on physical health.

You don’t need an expensive gym membership to by physically healthy. All you need is a floor and some motivation (and some footwear if you’re doing anything outside or just want some beautiful workout shoes).

Body weight exercises mean you don’t need to buy expensive weights. Running outside means you don’t have to pay for a gym or buy a treadmill. There are endless options if you can’t afford a gym.

So I don’t clog up your dashboards completely with my incessant ranting, I have taken the liberty to collect together a bunch of posts and articles to prove that you do not need a gym to be fit and healthy.

No gym? NO PROBLEM!

Part of my Student Survival Guide

Welcome to the first ever post in my new Student Survival Guide

Eating healthy on a budget

  • Plan ahead. Make a list of meals you will be eating throughout the week and buy only food that you will need for those meals. That way you are only buying things you need and no impulse buys.
  • Go shopping later at night. It tends to be when the supermarkets put everything down in price, you can get some amazing discounts!
  • Or buy your food shop online. Websites such as mysupermarket allow you to enter your food shop online and tell you which supermarket is cheapest! They also have a great app!
  • Don’t go shopping when you’re hungry. You’re more likely to buy things you don’t need and unhealthy things.
  • Eat out as little as possible. Especially if there aren’t any student offers on. Check if there are any offers on in local restaurants using websites such as StudentBeans and UNiDAYS.
  • Prepare your own lunch, don’t buy it in between lectures. A £3 meal deal of a sandwich, bag of crisps and a fizzy drink may seem cheap at the time but it’s not at all healthy and the money slowly builds up. £3 a day, 5 days a week equates to over £750 year!
  • Stay away from microwave meals. They may seem cheap, but they are nowhere near as good value as buying your own ingredients and cooking something fresh. That, and they are NOT good for you.
  • Buy and cook in bulk. Buy meat and veg etc and make a stew that can be eaten for dinner all week. The ingredients that may seem expensive, will soon last you for a longer amount of time and will end up saving you money. 
  • Try frozen fruit. Frozen berries are great, and they are much cheaper than fresh berries. 
  • Eat a good breakfast. Oatmeal/porridge is really cheap to make if you buy a bag of oats and make it on the hob instead of instant microwave ones. That, and it releases its energy slowly so you will feel less hungry mid-morning and will be less likely to spend money on snacks.
  • If you must eat fast foods, choose wisely. Choose pizza with half the cheese, a regular size roast beef sandwich, baked potato, or green salad with reduced calorie dressing. Limit high fat offerings like French fries, fried chicken, or fish sandwiches and watch out for salad dressing!
  • Snacking doesn’t have to be expensive or unhealthy. People seem to think that healthy snacks are more expensive, but if you shop smartly then that’s not necessarily the case! You can get a bar of chocolate for 60p or you can get a bag of pre chopped carrot sticks for 50p-£1! You do the maths.
  • Limit your alcohol intake - If you drink alcohol, keep in mind that it supplies calories but no nutritional value. A light beer, a glass of wine, or an ounce of liquor each has about 100 calories. Also, the less you drink - the less you spend! Huzzah!
  • Drink lots of water - Your body needs at least eight glasses a day, and, if you exercise vigorously, you may need more. To remind yourself, carry a water bottle along to class and keep it handy during late night study sessions. And, tap water is free!
  • Find out if anywhere does student discount. Sometimes places don’t advertise it and you have to ask, so it’s worth asking!
  • Try going vegetarian. Not buying meat does often make your food shop a lot cheaper. If you don’t want to go fully vegetarian then just maybe try doing it when you do the shopping, and still eat meat if you go out for dinner etc.
  • Shop the outer aisles. Packaged foods are full of salt, sugar, fats and other unhealthy nonsense. Shop on the fresh aisles and save yourself money in the long run by cooking fresh! If you have to, though, try checking out the top and bottom shelves, because supermarkets tend to put their most expensive products at eye level.

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