View Full Version : How much will my grocery bills cost? And how can I keep things cheap as a student?

08-23-2005, 07:19 AM
Hey everybody! Soon to be a university student and I'm trying to work out some budget information.

I'm 18, 6'4, a lean 83Kgs (~182lbs). I've weighed over 195lbs this year but I'm down a bit now. Ah well - soon get it back :evillaugh

Anyhow, I've been involved in sports for years through school and know my way around a weights room but I havn't done as much personal weight lifting as I'd like because of other sport and non-sport commitments. When I get to Uni i'm thinking of spending some dedicated time solely strength training/body building. I know my stuff and I have a solid grounding in weights already so I'm confident with a good gym at my disposal and an effective training plan I'll explode!

The big problem is... yep food. I might be put in a self-catering hall of residence and I need to know how I'm going to afford all the food I'll need. Also how much am I looking at spending per week/month on food?

Any advice on how much it will cost, how other students coped, how to get cheap food etc would be much appreciated.

BTW I'm British, so GBP prices would be brilliant but I can always convert USD prices. Thankyou very much in advance - I know WBB won't fail me! :) :) :)

08-23-2005, 07:31 AM
man... I normally don't say anything because I'm always up for trying to find out more ideas for keeping food cheap but this is about the 500th time I've seen this topic and this exact same topic is like 6 threads below the one you just made.

08-23-2005, 08:10 AM
drummer is asking for UK-specific information though, that's a bit different considering that the available foods are not the same as they are in N. America and the price of food is considerably more over here.

I didn't go to college in the UK but I've been living here for 4 years and often travel, which means I'm on the lookout for cheap options that don't necessarily require cooking facilities.

Whey protein powder is IMO the cheapest source of high-protein food. It's boring and can taste gross but it is cheap as hell compared to chicken breasts, fish and other lean protein. You can get it for as little as 9-10/kilo when it's on sale. Pretty much any source is fine, whey protein is of a piece nutritionally. Even Holland & Barrett is a pretty good value when they have those half-price sales on their whey protein. Taste is the big factor here...some whey protein tastes good, some is gross, and it's all a matter of personal preference anyway. If money is the controlling variable then you might have to suck it up and deal with less-than-ideal tasting protein powder as long as you can choke it down. ;)

If you have a fridge available, and you can stand it, cottage cheese is not too expensive. If you have a freezer and you can cook a bit, look into frozen fish portions--coley, haddock or cod--which you can heat up and cover with tomato sauce (or whatever). Fairly cheap, high protein, not too many calories. There is always canned tuna in water (or oil if you're bulking); not as cheap here as it is in the US but a decent value for the amount of protein you get.

If you don't have to watch calories then you have a lot more options. Just eat a ton of meat, whatever's cheap/on sale, and you'll be good to go. I have to really watch my weight for PL so I tend to focus on the lower calorie protein sources. :rolleyes:

A bit more expensive, and maybe not so practical depending on where your uni is located, are the small ready-roasted chickens they sell at supermarkets. If you're bulking you can eat the whole thing, if you're cutting then just get a half chicken or save the rest to eat cold later. No effort and good quality protein. (But be careful of the skin if you're on a severe calorie restricted diet.)

Starchy carbs (pasta, rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc) are cheap so there should be no problem there. Your protein is your most expensive macro.

If you need to manage a dining hall with cafeteria-style service, I'm afraid I can't help you there, but maybe one of the home-grown Brits can chip in. :)

08-23-2005, 08:39 AM
Tuna, Whey, Chicken, Oats, Rice is way way way cheaper then eating out. I can probably eat for $6-7 a day total.

08-23-2005, 08:54 AM
man... I normally don't say anything because I'm always up for trying to find out more ideas for keeping food cheap but this is about the 500th time I've seen this topic and this exact same topic is like 6 threads below the one you just made.

Whoa, ****, I'm really sorry about that! - Believe it or not I actually used the search function first; but obviously I missed that one.

Ok I have a fairly good idea of cheap protein sourcerw now; but I could do with some advice on how much I'll need to spend. Figures I've found on this forum seem to vary hugely.

Honestly; how much would a healthy, protein-rich 4-5000cal diet a day cost to maintain each month? Thats what I really need to know. Thought the best thing was to ask someone who already knows... :cry: