Money saving tips: Food & essentials

Plant based meal on a cream plate
Food in Falmouth
Type: Text

We've assembled eight money-saving tips to help you spend less and save more on food and daily essentials.


1. Plan your meals and your shopping trips carefully

There are lots of things you do to reduce the cost of the food you buy, all while eating healthy. Cook more simple meals from scratch using cheap and nutritious ingredients rather than relying on ready meals, make dinner at a house or flat to split the costs, do your food shop online to avoid temptation and much more. 

💡 For more tips on making your food go further, check out the Eat Well Spend Less booklet

💡 If you're really feeling the pinch, don't forget the Student's Union pantry is open to all students if you need some supplies. 

 2. Avoid eating out or getting takeaways

Eating out is always an enjoyable treat. But as this can be one of the biggest drains on your finances, we'd suggest limiting this to special occasions. 

 💡 Places where you can eat for free on your birthday 

 💡 Become a mystery shopper (our campus food outlets also regularly look for mystery diners, so keep your eye out) 

 💡 Use zero-waste food apps like Too Good To Go and Olio 

 3. Downshift to value brands

All supermarkets have their own branded items that are usually much cheaper than those popular brands, and you most likely won't be able to tell the difference! 

4. Always check the reduced section

Sometimes a good idea is to check out the discounted shelves or fridges in the supermarket to see if there are any good bargains. This can be a good way of picking up some high-quality meat or tasty desserts that you may not be able to typically afford. 

 5. Take advantage of student discounts

Many restaurants, bars, high street stores and small independent businesses will offer discounted rates for students, especially in a small student town like Falmouth. Always carry your student ID and ask about discounts before making a purchase. 

 💡 Get a TOTUM membership 

 💡 Find all the latest deals on Save the Student 

 💡 Apps from UNiDAYS, to Student Beans to VoucherCodes, also offer plenty of options 

 6. Shop second-hand

Buying second-hand allows you to save money while still acquiring quality, quirky items. 

 💡 Use apps like Vinted or Depop - it's good for your pockets and the planet. You might be able to make some extra cash on there as well! 

 💡 Pay a visit to the Kernow Library of Things (KLOTH) in Penryn to choose from a whole array of items you can borrow 

 💡 Find pre-loved tools and supplies still in good condition at the Swap Shop on campus 

 💡 Prowl the car boot sales and charity shops - over the summer, there's a car boot sale on Penryn Campus every Saturday 

 💡 Browse eBay, Gumtree, Freecycle, Facebook Marketplace before looking for brand-new supplies 

 7. Utilise cashback and rewards schemes

Cashback websites pay you when you go through them to spend with retailers or providers. So next time you need to buy something, check whether you can purchase it through a cashback site first. 

 8. Avoid impulse buys

It's a good idea to get into the habit of avoiding impulse purchases, especially when you're in university. Be sure to stick to a shopping list when you go food shopping and pause to consciously ask yourself whether you need something or just want it. 

Similar stories

Girl with long hair working behind a counter in a shop
Working alongside your studies

Money saving tips: Working while you study

27 March 2024

Get some top tips for finding a part-time job as a university student.

Money saving tips: Working while you study
Man finding a beryl bike on the beach
Beryl Bike

Money saving tips: Travel

27 March 2024

There are several ways you could save money on travel. Find out all our top tips below.

Money saving tips: Travel
Party scene with orange lighting
Student Life

Money saving tips: Student life

27 March 2024

It's important to make a monthly budget so you can enjoy your social life at University while also m...

Money saving tips: Student life
4 hands holding notebooks and documents
Study Costs

Money saving tips: Materials & equipment

27 March 2024

When it comes to saving money on your studies, there's a range of things you can do to cut costs whi...

Money saving tips: Materials & equipment
Wood panelled building with grey balconies and a purple wall
Glasney View

Money saving tips: Accommodation & bills

27 March 2024

We’ve compiled some smart money saving tips for our students to consider when it comes to bills an...

Money saving tips: Accommodation & bills