I can see some of you rolling your eyes right now but one of the hardest parts about being a student on a plant based diet is the budget. I've just finished my first year of university and one of the trickiest parts is getting the food shop right to the extent where you aren't having to keep popping to tesco during the week (because it gets expensive).
I mentioned in my post about First Year that Aldi and Lidl are my lifesavers and believe me they are. Fresh fruit and veg is so expensive and to be honest, the first half of uni I didn't tend to bother (frozen peas were enough for me) but it's amazing what you can get in Aldi and Lidl so I decided to do my weekly shop and show you guys what I tend to buy on a regular basis.
Things I buy on bulk at the beginning of the year are brown rice, oats, spelt pasta and things like canned goods (eg, chopped tomatoes, sweetcorn etc). Try and get these in one go so you don't have to worry about them for the rest of the year! It's also cheaper to buy in bulk especially with regard to pasta!
So above is a picture of some of what I tend to buy and because I love all my followers very much, I went around Aldi and recorded the price for each item because Aldi does not have an online shop where you can suss it out.
Here we go, Ellie's average weekly shop:
- 4 x Avocados £1.14 for 2. (Aldi does the best avocados. They're always ripe and so much cheaper than tesco!)
- 3 pack of Peppers 95p
- 3xcourgetts 79p
- Cherry tomatoes on the vine 85p
- Pre-prepared butternut squash and sweet potato £1.14
- Cucumber 50p
- Red onions £1.14
- 3 x canned sweetcorn in water £1.00
- 3x canned chopped tomato 31p each
- 1 x canned chickpeas 45p
- 1kg of spinach £1
- 250g blueberries 75p
- 500g mushrooms 80p
All for... less than £13.
And that is essentially the raw basics of my weekly shop. What I tend to do is head to Aldi in the morning on a Tuesday when they get their fresh stuff in and then if there is anything they don't have, I get from Tesco. This honestly saves me ridiculous amounts of money!
Obviously this is mostly fresh food, so I pick up my sourdough bread (vegan & GF) from Tesco as well as soy yoghurts, almond milk (the Alpro UHT unsweetened is my favourite because it's cheaper and brilliant), and any other essentials that Aldi doesn't have. I'd say that that's the downside of Aldi, that you can't guarantee what they'll have in stock but most of the time they're fairly regular with their products. I get my coconut oil from the world foods isle in Tesco because it's £2.99 compared to the standard £9.99 you can find in the oil section.
Aside from my weekly bits and bobs, once every couple of months I head to Holland and Barrett to pick up things like flaxseed, chia seeds, cacao powder and agave. Although my Tesco does stock these, H&B have really amazing penny sales which are worth keeping an eye on as it can save you loads of money. I buy a tub of chia seeds and I find those last me forever so although they're pricey, it's not like I'm buying them every week. H&B also stocks BoojaBooja which is a company that makes dairy free chocolate and ice cream which is definitely quite expensive but it's a nice treat.
I know this is such a long post but it can be helpful if you're starting university and aren't really sure of how to budget or just haven't had to buy your own food before so don't even know where to start!
Keep an eye out for my post next Thursday where I'm going to be talking about the kind of food I eat in a day using a lot of the ingredients from here!