What to buy on your first big shop

So you’ve just arrived at uni and your kitchen is totally empty bar a few pots and pans. Chances are that your parents have offered to take you on your first food shop - take full advantage of the fact that they’re offering to pay for the most expensive food shop you’ll probably ever do in your time at uni!  Article-size_foodshop_1 You’re not exactly going to get through condiments and sauces very quickly so buy big tubs and then you won’t have to buy them again for ages! The same goes for butter and cheese - it may seem expensive at the time but it’ll last you. When at uni, you should buy foods that are cheap but still filling and healthy. Eggs are an essential food because they can make so many meals and snacks - and they’re cheap and good for you. It’s a good idea to get some packs of cooked ham or chicken to make sandwiches and salads that you can take to uni with you. When buying fruit and veg, make sure you stock up on brain foods like blueberries and broccoli, as well as food that will keep you fuller for longer like bananas and sweet potatoes. And steer clear of any pre-cut packaged fruit because it’s much more expensive and it’s just as easy to prepare it yourself. And you should definitely buy bacon and sausages if you're a meat eater - you’ll need them to get through multiple Freshers week hangovers. Article-size_foodshop_2 Buying for just one person can be tricky because most meat is sold in big packs so it’s better to freeze these. Chicken is ideal because you can make almost anything with it; the same goes for turkey although it’s a slightly leaner meat so it’s a lower in fat. Pork and minced beef are both cheap meats that you can freeze for later and you can make plenty of tasty dishes with them like chilli or lasagne. It’s worth adding a frozen pizza or two to your shopping basket for those nights when you just really can’t be bothered to cook! Article-size_foodshop_3 Work on the basis that the simpler the food, the cheaper you can go. While you may be tempted by big brand soups or baked beans, you can definitely go with the cheapest pasta or rice on the shelf. On your first shop you’ll need to buy, salt and herbs and spices and oil - and then you probably won’t have to rebuy them for ages. Bread is one of the biggest essentials on this list; if you’re not into cooking then you’ll probably be living on a something-on-toast diet for the whole of the first term. Peanut butter and marshmallow fluff are both ways to liven up a snack. Spread them over rice cakes or enjoy them with chopped up fruit. Article-size_foodshop_4 When you cook for just one person for the first time, you will definitely make way too much. So make sure you come prepared with cling film and tupperware containers to save the rest for later! A cheese grater will be your new best friend as long as you remember to take one - no jacket potato or pasta dish is complete without some grated cheese on top. And make sure you take some washing up liquid for when all the cooking is done!

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