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What Students Can Do To Save Money on Food While Studying Abroad

Studying Abroad

It is easy to imagine being an international student, but the reality hits differently. While the experiences of an international student are diversified, they often are marked by the many adjustments he makes to make a decent living.

Expenditure is quite high, even as a scholarship student and this is, especially, true when you come from a lesser developed background and/or region. So, it becomes all the more imperative to be cautious of your spending areas and food remains one high spending area.

We cannot live without food. Food is not just our physiological requirement; the lack of sufficient and good quality dietary regimes impacts our mental well-being.

For students, mental well-being and physical health are very important, and hence, there cannot be compromise on nutrition. That being said, food doesn’t come cheap. So, how do international students work on their food budget and habits? Well, I have a few pointers for you to take note of.

  1. Know your basic requirements
    Food expenses differ depending on your lifestyle. So, it is essential that you figure out your basic dietary needs to fix a budget. For example, if you have a heavy diet, then you will have to have more space in your food budget. Then, you will have to find out about places where you can find relatively inexpensive offers on your items. Another thing you will need to know is the frequency of food consumption. Students generally have a very erratic food schedule so consider yours carefully.

    If you will be skipping meals in the afternoon (which you shouldn’t) quite frequently, then you will have to find cheap alternatives for the same. This advice helps in deciding the meal plan at your university’s cafeteria.

  2. Student discounts can be lifesavers
    Most countries, especially the student-friendly ones such as the United Kingdom, run many student discounts on transportation, shopping, and food. You should know that UNESCO endorses the ISIC Card that is an internationally accepted student identity card and allows the holder to avail of many benefits including discounts on food items.

    An ISIC card is accepted in as many as 130 countries and can be of great use. Other than this, many grocery stores across the globe administer student discounts on select food items. Ensure that the moment you reach the place of education, you note down the places where you can get such discounts.

  3. Fight your temptation for junk food
    You are excused from buying a cheese-filled sandwich once in a while on your way to college. But, do not make it a habit. Junk food often comes cheap and is readily available. A major perk of junk food is, aside from its taste of course, that it is readily consumable. I get it that student life can be hectic, but if you don’t pay attention you will end up spending more on junk food than you expected. I am speaking from personal experience – once you let your guard down it will be a challenge to fight the temptation!

  4. Cook food
    Yes, cooking food means that you will have to spare some time from your busy schedule, but gotta do what you gotta do. Unless you intend to engage in unnecessary expenditure, you should most certainly consider cooking at home. This will prevent you from splurging on junk food; this also encourages healthy living.

    Moreover, the long-term expenditure on homemade food will be far less than on junk food. Also, to improve your savings, you should consider getting a roommate. Split the bills, and there will be more to save in pockets.

  5. Eat at community kitchens or campus cafeteria
    In many cities, community kitchens operate. These are centers where people come together to prepare and sell food at cheaper rates. At these centers, you can go and eat food once in a while or when your budget is a little shaken. Similarly, college cafeterias often offer subsidized food items to students; there are many specially curated meal plans depending on your schedule and dietary preferences as well. Eat at the cafeteria and get your own meal plan, especially when you live on-campus. Pay for what you eat; nothing more, nothing less.