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Student Cooking Tips: A Recipe to Success

One of the biggest shocks when moving out of home is going from those wholesome home cooked meals, made for you every day to budget student meals, made by you. We’re sure you’ve heard all about student meal horror stories, from instant noodles on toast to beans straight out of the tin and just pasta, lots and lots of pasta. Don’t panic, we’ve all been there and hey, sometimes plain pasta with a bit of cheese can go a long way!

Filled with tips, tricks and advice, we’ve put together this blog to prepare you for cooking as a uni student. So, before you reach for another packet of Super Noodles, have a read through this recipe to success!


  • The ability to fight the urge of ordering a takeaway every night
  • A dash of patience
  • A decent set of cutlery and crockery
  • A spoonful of can-do attitude
  • A sprinkle of ‘trust the process’

Step One – Don’t waste your money on cookbooks

Sure, the odd cookbook may be helpful once in a blue moon, but are you really going to use those 7 different Nigella Lawson books you packed? Probably not (if you do, we’d love a dinner party invite).

The following FREE resources will become your best friends, make the most of them:

  • BBC Good Food website – An absolute classic, from the basics to fancy-schmancy meals, BBC have got you covered. They even have a dedicated student section offering simple, low cost meals perfect for uni students!
  • Student Recipes website – Pretty self-explanatory right? There are countless easy-to-make recipes, helpfully split up into categories.
  • TikTok – 15 second recipes? Yes please. There are SO many TikToks out there, all you need to do is do a quick search. A few of our favourite recipe-focussed creators are @mealswithmax, @nishatcooks and @dishesbydaisy.
  • Cooking4Students YouTube Channel – We could scroll through this channel all day, it’s basically an A-Z of cooking with a bunch of handy playlists.

Step Two – Learn the basics

Learning the basics first will go a LONG way. Whether you learn this while you’re still at home or once you move in, once you’ve got these under your belt, you’re sorted.

Here’s some basic food we recommend getting some practice at making:

  • How to cook rice
  • How to cook pasta
  • How to boil/fry/scramble/poach an egg
  • How to create sauces (tomato sauce, cream sauce and pesto sauce)
  • How to make an omelette
  • How to bake a jacket potato
  • How to make pancakes
  • How to roast meat and vegetables

Step Three – Get to know your local supermarkets

There are lots of supermarkets within walking distance of both of our campuses, which means you have plenty of choice when it comes to where you shop.

Here are the supermarkets close to our campuses:

Bishop Otter Campus Bognor Regis Campus
  • The Co-op is a 5-minute walk from campus
  • Tesco is a 13-minute journey on our U7 bus (which is free for students)
  • Lidl is a 23-minute walk from campus
  • Sainsbury’s is a 25-minute walk from campus
  • Tesco Express is a 13-minute walk from campus
  • Morrisons is a 17-minute walk from campus
  • Tesco is a 20-minute walk from campus
  • Sainsbury’s is a 25-minute walk from campus

Step Four – Batch cook

If you’ve nailed a dish, we recommend batch cooking it! For instance, making four portions of your speciality spag bowl and freezing the left-over portions, you’re onto a winner! We know it sounds silly but knowing you’re coming back from a long day at uni to a dinner that’s already made can really make your day!

Step Five – Cook with your flatmates

Cooking with your flatmates can be a great way to get to know each other while saving money. Themed nights can be a really fun way of cooking as a group, fajita night is a popular choice! You could even go full Come Dine with Me style and take it in turns to make a starter, main and dessert.

Step Six – Nail the cupboard essentials

Investing in some essential ingredients can really help get the ball rolling when it comes to cooking your own meals.

Here’s a few things we recommend keeping in your cupboard:

  • Bread
  • Flour
  • Staple seasoning (salt, pepper, chilli flakes, garlic powder, basil etc etc)
  • Cooking oil (most recipes recommend olive oil)
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Chopped tomatoes (perfect for sauces, soups and more)
  • Sugar
  • Sauces (ketchup, mayo, brown sauce etc etc)
  • Stock cubes
  • Onions, garlic and potatoes!

You’ve got this, uni students! By the end of your degree you’ll be culinary experts!

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Date published

26 Jul 2022

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