Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Still thinking...

I do mull things over and over sometimes, and I have to say that the £60 a week recommended amount for students to budget for their food at Aberdeen in self-catering accommodation is still going round and round in my head!

We all know that it can be done much more economically than that, because most of us feed families on that or less in a week.  True enough, the students may have more constraints on their time and facilities than we have, and may even have more limited access to supplies, but I am still sure that that is a big overestimation.

I have done some research, and there is a Lidl not far from some of the residences in Aberdeen, so that is a start.  I am sure that the EFG will make use of that, and not just buy convenience food in the local Spar all the time - even she was surprised at some of the prices on food in the shops, and knows that she needs to make some stuff from scratch.  I was pleased to see that Sainsbury's are all over the place in Aberdeen too, so I can use their cards where I load a card here with money and she has a card with her from which she can spend in the supermarket - I think that that might be useful now and again.  I don't know what the system is called but it is obviously marketed towards students and their families.

The YFG has a passion for prawn layered salads from supermarkets, but at over £2 a pop, they are a very rare treat for her - but even she recognised that if she chose to live on things like that when she leaves home, she will have to live on Cup-A-Soup every other day in order to finance her salad habit!  Thank goodness I have a few more years to work on her...

Building up the EFG's cooking skills to cover more meals, and her shopping skills to learn more about making the pennies stretch are both things we are going to tackle once her exams are over in June.

Thank you all so much for the advice you sent when I asked about managing on student budgets last week - you were so kind and helpful, and all those ideas will be filed away for future use.

Talking of saving money, I have advertised my chooks amongst my friends on Facebook as I really need to scale my responsibilites and commitments down somewhat.  I haven't had a lot of response yet, but I am hoping to move some of them on to new homes this Spring, so I have a little more time for other things.  We are also trying to get organised this week to clear out all the FH's beekeeping equipment - he isn't going to be doing much more carpentry and joinery, much less making any more equipment for local beekeepers, so the sooner we can get the shed cleared out of stuff, the better.  If we do decide to move, it will all have to go for sure - I am making lists to circulate amongst local beekeepers so that I don't have the hassle of advertising and selling through ebay.  I think we are going to sell what he has left at a hefty discount just to clear the decks........it feels good to be decluttering in this way, but it is not going to be a quick job!

5 comments:

Mindo said...

When my two went off to college I went to the local second hand bookstore and bought a couple of books called something like "3 ingredient meals" and "Cooking for One".

And, although we lived in the USA, they were true British kids and loved beans on toast! A simple and economical meal that I'm sure they had more than once a week. "Frugal Queen"'s blog has some good recipes, as does "A Girl Called Jack". Perhaps EFG could practice making some of those recipes before she goes away?

Morgan said...

Thanks, Mindo - my thoughts exactly! I have Jack's book and we are already using some of the recipes, and the EFG loves pasta, so that is all to the good!

Lyssa Medana said...

May be worth investing in a remoska depending on what is available, as you can cook just a bit. I've known students live on toasted sandwiches. She'll be fine as she has such a good example in you. loved the pics from Aberdeen. x

SusanM said...

Will EFG be self catering or having meals in the Halls? I was just thinking that if she's sharing a flat, she could share the food bill with her flat mates and cook a meal between them each evening. That would work out cheaper than cooking for one. They could even cook double and eat the same again the following evening. Also, she could make a packed lunch to take to Uni each day. My son was on a course at Johnson Hall last summer and while we were waiting for him, I noticed lots of students returning to the Halls with Sainsbury's bags.Cold and damp up here in the NE at the moment.

Morgan said...

Yes, Sybil, she could take our Remoska as I don't use it that much now that I have the little oven.

SusanM - yes, I think she will be self-catering. Good ideas, thank you. There were at least three Sainsbury's Local shops that we found on our walk around Aberdeen, and I know some staff at the uni were talking to us about Sainsbury's and saying that it is the local supermarket of choice. I am v glad that I have found a Lidl there too though!