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Save Money on Student Meals

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To develop the save money theme, this section has Student meals in mind.

Living away from home and in student accommodation at Uni is a challenge in itself, let alone having to think about saving money for college.

Money is bound to be short and anything that is designed to save time and effort as well is welcome. You don’t have to be a Student to need to save – just read on and pick up some tips for really cheap meals.

Just to prove that student food need not always be the traditional fry-up, take a look at the recipes below. This ‘fry-up’ is not always the healthy option and can be quite expensive.

Have a browse around and see what tickles your taste buds!

Here is a real student meal that makes that old stand-by mince go further and will save money.

  1. Fry some chopped onion, add the mince, and stock cube dissolved in water. Cook mince in the usual way but add a couple of tablespoons of porridge oats at the final simmering stage. This will bulk up the meat but is still nutritious and filling. Don’t forget to add plenty of thinly sliced carrots, swede and parsnips, or whatever left over vegetable you have available. The oats will take on the flavour and consistency of the meat.

Ringing the changes by adding a can of chopped tomatoes is another version. Also try adding pearl barley instead of porridge oats.

You can also use ‘Veggie’ mince, ‘quorn” style meat substitute for vegetarians in the same way which is full of goodness. (Check first though for any wheat allergies!) This product is also low fat. Contribution from Chrissie from Chelmsford, Essex. Thank you.

  1. For another really easy student meal using creamy mashed potato:

Beat two eggs together in a cup, add these in the final mashing with a little milk, butter, chopped chives, if available. Top with grated cheese. Place under a hot grill until brown. Chopped tomatoes and lightly fried onion can be added for extra taste!

To get your dose of Omega 3 oils, serve with sardines across the top of the browned cheese before serving. Yummy! Another contribution from Chrissie M. Chelmsford. Essex. Thank you.

Another quick and cheap student meal again based on creamed potatoes is as follows:

  1. Cream the potatoes with butter, milk and grated cheese. Place in an ovenproof dish, make two hollows in the potato mix with the base of a spoon and crack an egg in each. (Bang goes the cholesterol level!) Place in a warm oven and cook until the eggs are set. Serve with baked beans or a healthy salad. The choice is yours! Contribution from Helen in Essex. Thank you.
  2. Eggy Bread. Beat two eggs together in a cup or bowl with seasoning. Tip on to a plate. Dip thick sliced bread into the mix coating each side and fry these in a frying pan with a little olive oil in the base. Let each side turn golden brown. Remove from pan and keep warm. Serve with baked beans and fried tomatoes. A delicious supper that will fill a hole and save money!
  3. Left-overs soup. Buy a can of Heinz tomato soup, or Campbell’s vegetable soup. Add some thinly sliced sausages that have been left over from a previous meal, plus any left over vegetables such as tinned sweet corn, baked beans, sliced, cooked potatoes. Heat thoroughly, serve with some crusty bread and enjoy. A good way of clearing up ‘left-overs’ and it can be a very filling meal.


Household Goods – Learn How to Save Money

  1. Instead of expensive branded name washing detergents buy the cheaper supermarket own brand (Tesco make a good one that is about a third of the cost of the top brands) and add one heaped tablespoon of washing soda crystals when you are washing dirty working clothes etc.

This is what the manufacturer will use when making their own more expensive ‘dirt and grease removing’ brands and they will charge you accordingly! This is a really good way to save money on household items.

Caution. If you have a Siemens, Bosch or Neff machine do not use soda crystals as this will damage the coating of the drum.

  1. Don’t waste money buying the small hand-wash soap dispensers, which only contain around 250 ml of liquid soap. When you you have used the contents of your present dispenser just refill with Tesco Creme Bath (or similar). This costs just 49p per litre which should provide you with four re-fills.

It is just as effective as the expensive dispensers normally priced at over £1.00. A tremendous way to save money on a household item. Thank you – Chrissie of Chelmsford, Essex.

  1. Although spray-on polishes are quick and easy to use where furniture is concerned, it is far kinder to the wood to use an old-fashioned beeswax type polish. (Tesco sell one). Just rub in and polish using the old sweat shirt dusters (Tip No. 9.)

This method actually saves on time etc. because it will only be necessary to polish your furniture once every six months – a light dusting is all that will be needed between times. If you get any finger marks showing, just rub extra hard with your duster and think ‘save money’ as you do it and it will make the elbow grease flow! Many old-fashioned tips on household items put the ‘modern’ products top shame.

  1. Do not buy window-cleaning sprays – make your own. Use the old empty sprayer; fill with 2/3rd cold tap water and 1/3rd white vinegar. Use as normal. Old screwed up newspapers make good window polishers (The Daily Telegraph is just the right texture!)
  2. Another home mix for cleaning windows is one pint warm water with a heaped tablespoon of cornflour mixed in. Pour into an old spray bottle, shake well and use as a normal window cleaner spray.
  3. Mix Borax with lemon juice (Tesco’s own brand is OK.) into a fairly stiff paste and keep in a small lidded plastic container. this is excellent for cleaning sinks and baths. It will really make them shine.
  4. Instead of kettle descaler, use white vinegar instead. About 6 tablespoons of vinegar will be sufficient. Add water up to the ‘scale line’, boil it up, and leave to stand overnight.The result is amazing. Rinse the kettle out before re-using.

You will probably find that this cheap method lasts longer than the shop bought products. Again, ‘old’ household tips proving their worth.

Some of our friends also recommend using Coca Cola for this job. Fill your kettle to the scale line with Coke and leave to stand over night. Rinse as above. It is possible to re-bottle the used Coke for future descaling use – not drinking!

  1. If you can buy either washing-up-liquid or household bleach in gallon containers, these will save you pounds when decanted into you normal sized plastic bottles.

Booker Cash and Carry are, at the time of writing, selling gallon containers of own brand Washing up liquid at £1.46. A tremendous saving when decanted into smaller sized bottles. Makro also offer good value on these types of items.

  1. Don’t buy expensive dusters and cleaning cloths. Just cut old sweat shirts and T’s and use them instead.

The material does not fray at the edge, so nothing further is needed – just cut and use. What a way to save money – hardly any effort.

  1. You will find that a dishwasher tablet cut in half (use a sharp knife and cut whilst the tablet is still in the wrapping) works fine. This is like having every alternate wash free!
  2. If you have to keep your freezer in the garage, always clean the outside of the machine with methylated spirits.

Just wipe the surface of the freezer with a small amount of methylated on a soft cloth (Tip No. 7) This will help prevent rusting. Don’t wipe the outside of the freezer with a water soaked cloth, as this will encourage rust to establish itself.

  1. Instead of expensive dishwasher cleaners, (normally £2.00 each per bottle) fill the dispenser with soda crystals and run through on a hot programme. Use a programme that does not have a pre-wash, or if this is not possible, run through the pre-wash then add the crystals. This household tip just concentrates on an item – washing soda – that has been around for ages and is so very useful. See the caution on tip No.1.

One super-conscious saver uses just soda and no dishwasher tablet for a periodical wash. She maintains her dishes are just as clean and she has also cleaned her machine at the same time. Top marks to Helen from Essex. Thanks.

  1. Taking this money saving tip one step further, if you use a dishcloth or brush, put these in the cutlery basket while using the soda wash.
  2. Try putting your oven shelves in the dish washer on a hot wash. If you have added some washing soda crystals these will help to shift the grease. See Tip No 12.
  3. Don’t buy expensive stainless steel cleaners use baby oil instead. Wipe over the surface of the item with baby oil using a soft cloth then just polish up the surface with another cloth. (Part of a sweatshirt – remember previous tip). Thanks to Guy from Norfolk for this tip.
  4. When you have finished colouring your hair, use the gloves provided for other jobs, i.e., gardening, housework etc. (L’Oreal gloves are fine for this).
  5. Be careful as you open your birthday and Christmas presents then you will be able to recycle the wrapping paper at a later date.
  6. Don’t buy hanging basket liners when you are making your baskets for the summer. Instead line the basket with an old knitted type sweater. It is easy to cut holes in these and insert the plants around the sides, and the knitted texture of the sweater retains the moisture.
  7. If you place a saucer or shallow dish in the base of the hanging-basket after you have fitted the old sweater lining, this saucer will help retain moisture when the basket is watered. This will make your plants happier and last longer.
  8. Don’t buy sprayers for the greenhouse, just wash out one of your empty domestic cleaning sprayers and re-use. Free!
  9. To save expensive damage to your vacuum cleaner stick a strong magnet to the front of the cleaner or cleaner nozzle – this will pick up metal objects before they cause damage. This is particularly good if you have a dressmaker in the home. It picks up the pins.
  10. Don’t buy expensive limescale tablets for your washing machine, use the cheaper ones from Lidl, sold under the trade name of Adritt Limescale Tablets or those from Tesco sold under their own brand name.

WD40 is a most unusual product with many interesting ways to solve a difficult problem and get the best out of the product. Take a look and see what it can do.

The need to save money will soon just become a habit and be second nature to you!

All these tips are designed for saving money. Many of them show how household items that have been around for ages, are still exceedingly effective.
Keep your money in your pocket, use these tips to their best advantage and give your credit card a well deserved rest.

If you find you need to buy a large consumer item, before spending your heard earned cash, take a look at this independent consumer site and seek out some good advice.

Take a look at all our ways to save money on food, and so learn how to save even more money.


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