If you don’t know the difference between a spatula and a fish slice and you’ve never had to use an oven before then moving away from home, needing to cook for yourself can be a little daunting.
Even if you opt to live in catered halls, chances are you’re going to find yourself having to rustle up a meal at some point during your first year. Being able to cook a healthy, nutritious and budget friendly meal is an important life skill and the faster you learn your way around the kitchen the better.
If you’re really not sure where to start, here are some basic, budget friendly ingredients that all students should be familiar with.
This is probably the staple food of many student diets and far more versatile than you might think. Of course you can just boil it in a pan and chuck a jar of sauce on top of it, but pasta has the potential to do so much more.
Why not try your hand at making a lasagne? Or adding small pasta, such as Orzo, to a soup or casserole to make your meal go further?
Not a fan of pasta? Rice is a good alternative and can be used for everything from a side dish for a curry, to a main meal when mixed with veg, prawns, or chicken.
If you don’t really like rice either, you can swap it for egg noodles, rice noodles, cous cous, or the new celeb fave, Quinoa.
Dried herbs and spices are the key to making a boring meal more interesting. There are plenty of varieties available, plus they’re cheap!
You could also try growing your own herbs on your window sill. They’re inexpensive to buy, easy to look after, and once you’ve got them you’ll never need to buy them again.
Probably the best way to stretch your budget and still make sure you get a healthy meal. Meat, fish, fruit and veg are all available in tins or frozen.