Wednesday, 24 September 2014

UNI ADVICE: COOKING AND LIVING

For most moving to uni, and halls of residence the biggest thing to hit home to a fresher is all the responsibilities that come with moving out. Yes, no more fresh clothes in your wardrobe without blinking, no meals as soon as you get in set on the table, no one to bring you a cup of tea when you're thirsty. Living on my own, I know this very well and have learnt how to be self efficient but to some this is a big change. So here's my tips on how to survive halls or even when moving out of home!


NOODLES AND PASTA ARE A FRESHERS BEST FRIEND: Let's face it, you're not expected to become Jamie Oliver within a week of moving out. Starting simple is the best way to become more confident at cooking. I constantly was worried about burning something so I started with easy meals like pasta with sauces, noodles and soy sauce and easy fry meat. You can find some of my easiest recipes for student cooking here [LINK].

BUY FOOD FROM YOUR HOMETOWN: If you move to an 'expensive' city eg. London, food is genuinely more expensive this is due to shops being smaller and less choice meaning you have to buy expensive items. My hometown had much more choice, fresher foods and budget brand shops like Aldi and Asda. My shops when I lived in London were very 'commuter friendly' so if you needed washing powder, you had one choice of it. This does vary depending on the area but I lived in Angel, you couldn't be more central. When I would go back home I would hoard on Aldi like my life depended on it. 29p Pasta? Yes please! Check out their 'everyday essential' pages here for all your cupboard essentials. You can thank me later. [LINK]

VEG IS EASY: Moving out makes you feel like you can eat whatever you want without being pressured to eat your greens! But give it time, you'll miss the benefits of veg. I know that if I wasn't feeling good or I was tired making a hearty meal like Toad in the Hole (which is a great one to do as a flat) or a small roast which is easy as you can get lots of frozen veg and potatoes is great. Peas, microwave veg or steamed veg is really cheap and can sit in the freezer and be fine for months. I hated how quickly some veg passed it so fully recommend the microwave bags of veg that take minutes and are perfect to prove to your 'rents its not just McDonalds!

DEFROST IN THE MORNING: The amount of time my flatmates or I forgot to get our meat or food out of the freezer to defrost whilst we were in classes is crazy. Plan meals ahead and then make sure before you leave for a lecture in the morning to get the meat out and store it neatly and cleanly to have it ready for dinner in the evening.  Set reminders if you have to, but not having any dinner and having a substitute dinner is never the same.

DO NOT GO SHOPPING WHEN HUNGRY: This still applies as an adult, you're so much more tempted to buy offers and chocolate if you've not eaten. You'll think of the items you'd want in the next five minutes, not five days. Again plan ahead for the week, buying for the week or two saves you so much more money than buying everyday or every other.

HIDE THE GOODIES IN YOUR ROOM: I had a 'goodies' draw in my halls room as sometimes I wanted to hide away and not have to look acceptable to go to the kitchen. (Trust me, caring what you look like soon diminishes) Also at the fear of losing the good things in the fridge, which never happened to me in terms of food my flatmate I shared with is a good friend so we either shared things or we knew what was ours, but if you're unlucky be careful. If you NEED that chocolate bar at that time of the month, hide it, because we all know World War 3,4 and 5 will break out if someone takes it. Under bed storage drawers like these [LINK] are good for keeping extra stores of rice/noodles/soup too.



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