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If you’re reading this because you’re a new student at Bournemouth University or if you are reading to find out more about BU and student life, well done you for picking BU! Good choice, you clever clogs. I like you already.

You’re probably all stuffed after Christmas and feeling guilty about the sheer amount of chocolate you’ve consumed recently, but going to university teaches you so many things. Not only the degree that you’ve chosen to study, but lessons about learning how to take care of yourself and part of taking care of yourself is cooking – making sure you don’t starve while also not watching your whole loan go to Domino’s.

If you’re already a student, you may be worried about having to leave the comfort of home-cooking and remember how to cook again, but fear not! It seems scary, but once you have the basics under wraps, it is such an enjoyable past-time. So here are my tips:

  1. One of the upsides to cooking for yourself is being able to buy exactly the foods you like. No more forced Shepherd’s Pie. However, this doesn’t mean you can miss out on your five-a-day. Be responsible and make sure you’re buying a balanced weekly shop. Your energy levels and your jeans will thank you.

Simple, but nutritious!

  1. Have a few quick meals in the freezer. You’re going to get busy while at uni and it’s useful to have a few quick meals in, such as ready meals or microwave rice for when there are too many assignments to be done to allow for half an hour of cooking and preparing. Not to mention the washing up!
  1. Try cooking a new dish every week. Not only will it expand your cookery skills, but it will mix up your diet and you won’t get bored of the same repeated foods.

Beef and red wine stew – my first try making it! It was delicious and so easy to put portions in the freezer.

  1. Plan your meals for the week. I have been told that I can be, ahem, too prepared, but I always take a shopping list (including the prices of each item!) to the supermarket. This way, I know what I need and I don’t stray while still having delicious food. Being on a budget is totally do-able, but be organised.
  1. Okay, so I know it’s delicious and you will need the pick-up every once in a while, but limit buying take-away. It is harsh on the student budget.
  1. Cook in big batches. THIS is my golden rule. The big batches mean that you can keep the food in the fridge for the week until it’s gone, meaning that all you’ll have to do is microwave it. There’s no point in buying lots of food to only eat a small portion before it goes mouldy. I do understand the boredom of eating the same meal over and over again, but freeze portions for another week allowing you to mix up your food. Lasagnes and stews are great for big batch meals.

This Lasagne à la Sophie lasted me nine portions and I could get all the ingredients for under £10!

  1. Don’t be afraid to ring your mum for help. I’ve done it so many times. ‘How long does pork take to grill again?’

Eat up guys!

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