Upskill · 6 min read

How To Meal Prep On A Budget


We get it - between textbooks, clothes, and those impromptu late-night pizza runs, your bank account may not look its best. But fear not, because, with a dash of budgeting savvy and a sprinkle of kitchen magic, you can rock the culinary scene without burning a hole in your wallet.

To really keep that student wallet happy, Prograd is here to the rescue. Find smart ways to earn, save, and invest by filling in our 20-second form below.

How To Meal Plan As a Student?

No student should have to live on instant noodles to survive, right? Hit up Prograd to be matched to side hustles that can help stretch that student budget. Say hello to a life of not living on baked beans alone!

It's time to step away from your daily pasta routine and get into meal-planning strategies. Why, you ask? Planning your meals is a great way to curve impulsive and unnecessary spending, helping to save you cash.

Outline your weekly meals considering what you already have and what’s in season. Seasonal eating isn’t just about being hip, it’s fresher, more nutritious and - best of all - way more affordable!

And don't stress if you're not a chef prodigy. Keep your meal plans on point by searching out some student-friendly recipes in cooking books and online. No need for a culinary degree; Pasta, stir-fries, and one-pot wonders are your new best friends. Easy to make, easier to devour.

For all the vegetarians and vegans out there, fret not. These days, it’s just as easy to incorporate the plant-based universe into your meal plans. These recipes are not only wallet-friendly but also Earth-friendly - what’s not to like?

Follow these recipes and, with time, you’ll get to know all the cooking basics. Master the art of boiling, sautéing, and roasting to easily level your chef game.

What To Look For In The Supermarket?

Once you have your meal plans ready to rock and roll, make a shopping list to take to the supermarket. A well-thought-out shopping list prevents impulse buys and keeps you on the straight and narrow, financially speaking.

When browsing those isles, keep an eye out for nutritious and affordable foods. This means looking out for low-price labels and avoiding ultra-processed and junk food.

Instead, load up on budget-friendly superstars like beans, rice, oats, and frozen veggies. They're not just kind to your wallet but will also keep you fueled through those marathon study sessions.

But let's be real. Everyone needs a tasty snack to get them through the day. Nevertheless, move away from the vending machine crisps and invest in healthy snacking options like nut and fruit bars or yoghurts.

Finally, hunt those isles for discounts and deals. if your supermarket of choice offers loyalty discount cards, make sure to also grab one ASAP! Your wallet will thank you for being such a savvy shopper.

To get even more savvy, pick up a side hustle today with Prograd and match with hundreds of hustle opportunities in minutes.

How To Eat Well On a Budget?

It’s the holy grail of financial food wizardry: budgeting for groceries.

Every student needs a sensible budget, but this doesn’t mean this budget can’t be stretched! Hit up Prograd and match to a plethora of wondrous side hustles. Watch that cash roll in and up that grocery budget in no time.

Create a grocery budget, stick to it, and resist the call of those flashy snacks to keep you and your bank account healthy and happy.

Another tip for keeping your supermarket receipts low? Say hello to bulk buying. The general rule here is that the more you buy, the more you save. Just make sure you have the storage space, or you might end up sharing your dorm room with a tower of canned beans!

If you do find yourself overrun with leftovers, become a preservation pro by investing in some affordable storage containers. That way nothing goes to waste and your leftovers can become a gift from past-you to future-you.

On the topic of leftovers, there are a couple more tips and tricks of the trade. Welcome to the magical realm of batch cooking. Prepare meals in bulk, divide them into portions, and voilà - it saves you from buying new food every day, and you spare yourself from cooking every night.

This can also help you avoid the bottomless pit trap by practising portion control. This helps prevent food waste in addition to ensuring your meals last longer, saving you from the dreaded midnight stomach growls.

How To Stay Safe In Your Student Kitchen?

Ever heard the phrase: “Tidy kitchen, tidy mind”? Make your kitchen the zen zone for good eating habits and stock up on those kitchen essentials - pots, pans, and utensils. The right tools make your cooking adventures smooth sailing.

Last but not least, let's talk about food safety. Keep raw and cooked foods separate, always wash your hands, don't leave perishables out, and don’t let those grim bin bags sit on your kitchen floor too long!


Eating well on a budget can seem tricky, especially for students who are constantly tempted by instant noodles and kebab take-outs. But strive for a balanced diet (a good mix of proteins, carbs, greens, vitamins, that kinda thing) and not only will your body thank you, but your wallet will love you for it too.

And if the budget blues are still playing, hit up Prograd. Fill in our super-quick form below to get that finance ball and side hustle game rolling.

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