It is hard to think that a lifestyle choice as popular as gluten free would
still be so challenging for a student. With a loaf of bread costing around
£2.50 compared with the cheaper glutenous Kingsmill white loaf for just
50p, you can start to see why gluten intolerance could really break into
our student loans. Having said this, it does not mean that, as a student
you are left just eating fruit for breakfast and a simple piece of meat and
a side of vegetables for lunch and dinner. You can be more creative than
that and still prevent a hole from burning into your student loan. It is no
longer the 1980’s, so there is much more to choose from than a measly
roll of prescription gluten free bread given to you by your local doctor
every week.
Considering that gluten free options will always be less popular than the
glutenous alternative, food is always left over in the supermarket.
Shopping at night allows you to pick up all the bargains. Food going out
of date soon will be sold at a lower price. If you plan to go out for food
shopping for a meal that same evening, then this tip can become very
handy. There are often loaves of bread that you can freeze and ready
meals to get you out of trouble.
Secondly, if you are going out for a meal, stick to restaurant chains.
They often have gluten free options, or meals that are naturally gluten
free. Restaurants such as Zizzi’s and Pizza Express even have gluten
free pizza bases and pasta. Another bonus, is that if you go on a
Monday or Tuesday, you can get 40% off your bill with your NUS extra
card.
My third recommendation would be to buy frozen food. Now, this may
sound like a challenge for two main reasons; the food may melt before
you get home and there will never be enough space in the freezer when
you are sharing with your flatmates. But trust me it will save a fortune
and it doesn’t take up as much space as you would think. Well, unless
you buy all the gluten free frozen food! Which, if gluten free, it is very
tempting when you find food you like. For those of you who want to be a
kid again, in ASDA, they sell 18 frozen chicken nuggets for £3.00. This
means that every little chicken nugget costs 17p. Combine this with
some boiled rice and veggies, you could have a meal that costs less
than £1.00, or combine this with some courgetti spaghetti to add
variation to your meals.
Now, this may sound odd to buy 18 chicken nuggets for one person, but
if you are prepared to eat the same meal again, sometime, over the next
week or two, it is very cost effective. This is not the healthiest option, but
it does get you out of trouble if you need a quick meal. Chuck them in
the oven for 20 mins, while boiling some rice and veg, you could have a
meal in under half an hour, without having to do very much.
If you know how to make risotto, it will be your godsend. For all those
leftover vegetables that are hard to put together, you can add them to a
risotto instead of buying more to supplement the leftovers. Alternatively,
you can plan this meal and buy the ingredients to make a risotto. This is
a great meal for leftovers, so for all those lunchtime lectures; a risotto
packed lunch is perfect. My personal favourite is the bacon and pea
risotto. Find the recipe here
https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1221/easy-risotto- with-bacon-
and-peas
Lastly, you cannot go wrong with stir-fry. Buy a packet of rice noodles for
92p and chuck in all your leftover meat and vegetables. Your gluten free
meals can cost less than you think and count yourself lucky, at least we
don’t have to visit the local doctor’s surgery every week to be presented
with a loaf of bread with a density heavier than a brick.
Beth Collins
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