Hands up, who worries that their children will head out into the big wide world and live on baked beans and takeaway pizza?
We can’t teach your kids to grow money or write a top quality essay but we can give our top tips to help them in the kitchen when living in self-catered accommodation or a shared house.
Buddy up: Cooking for one is much less cost-effective than cooking for four. Why not buddy up with the rest of your flatmates and take it in turns to cook?
Plan your meals in advance: Unfortunately the fridge won’t stay stocked of its own accord. By planning what you want to cook in advance and creating a communal shopping list (and a communal kitty), you will find it much cheaper than popping out to buy the odd ingredient here and there. Although a big supermarket or online shop may feel expensive at the time, you will find it more economical over the course of a week. Shopping with a clear list when you are not hungry will help you stick to a budget.
Cook in batches and the freezer is your friend: Just picture it: deadlines are looming, you’re a choc-a-block with work, society commitments and a social life. You get home tired and hungry, what a blessing it is that there are still several portions of lasagne in the freezer, ready to be popped into the microwave. Voila! Delicious, healthy and wholesome food in a matter of minutes.
It can be difficult to get fridge space in shared accommodation so here’s another reason why batch cooking (and then freezing) is your friend.
Seasonal is cheaper: In this day and age supermarkets sell everything all year round so buying seasonal is not always the obvious choice. However, choosing seasonal ingredients is usually cheaper (and better for the environment!) because they haven’t had to travel so many miles and take much less effort to produce. Furthermore, seasonal food tastes better.
www.eattheseasons.co.uk is a great guide to what is in season.
A sharp knife is invaluable: You can find countless lists of equipment that is essential for day to day cooking. However, few of these are written with the student in mind. Save the lovely equipment till you move into your own home, and for now just settle for a few cheap choice pieces. If you are living in shared accommodation the likelihood is that your housemates may not respect your belongs. You may even find things go missing or are damaged.
The one exception – a decent knife that is sharpened regularly. Contrary to popular belief, sharp knives are safer. They make cooking easier and quicker. Keep it in your room though!
Brownies bring new friends: Okay, brownies won’t form friendships for you but the smell as they bake wafting through the halls will bring even the most reclusive to the kitchen. Plus, who wouldn’t want to come round for a cuppa when there are fresh brownies on offer?
If you know someone who is about to fly the nest for the first time and can’t even boil an egg, we can help! Our five day intensive Summer Cooking Camp in June, July and August is perfect for those needing to learn to cook before university, heading off on a Gap Year or post GCSE/ A-Level students on summer holidays.