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One thing we all have in common is the need to eat, and another thing we all have in common is the need to eat junk food.

The problem with junk food is... well you already know what the problem is: it’s bad for you and it’s often surprisingly expensive to eat a full meal.

So, while a late-night kebab is a rite of passage which no one should TAKE AWAY from you, what do you do for the rest of the week?

Here are some recipes and life-hacks which will leave your stomach and your bank account full, all presented in a nice infographic:

  1. Chop your leftovers into cubes of about an inch
  2. Cook the vegetables in oil and add salt and pepper
  3. Keep the heat low and make sure the vegetables cook through and absorb the flavour
  4. Once the vegetables are cooked add cups of stock water, until the vegetables are covered, place a lid on the pan and leave the soup to simmer for an hour
  5. If you prefer a creamy texture you can puree the soup with a blender

The reduced items sweet spot

We know what you’re thinking - your experience with reduced items has only been disappointing, but that’s probably because you got there too late or too early! Find out what time your local supermarket puts out their reduced items. It could be morning, afternoon, or right before they close. You can figure this out by trial-and-error, or just ask a member of staff. Not only will you make big savings on your food shop, but the selection of reduced items encourages you to branch out and try new things – which is what uni is all about! Cook what’s nearly out of date, and freeze the rest. You’ll be stocked up in no time.

Frozen vegetables

The simplest things can make the biggest difference, and the humble pack of frozen veg turns a measly meat pie into a meal worth plating up. For just a few pence per meal, frozen veg adds colour, flavour, and vitamins to whatever else you’re rustling up.

Whole chickens

They might look more difficult to cook than a chicken breast but it turns out they’re not! You can put a whole chicken in the oven and forget about it for an hour or so. When it’s done, you’ll have freshly cooked chicken legs, breast, and wings for less than the price of any part on its own. And you can even use what’s left to make chicken stock! Why aren’t you already doing this!

Tin foil – your best friend in the kitchen

Tin foil is great for two reasons: it’s cheap, and it means no washing up! It works as a baking tray and can be shaped into a parcel which keeps flavours in. Just make yourself a parcel and chuck in fish, burgers, corn-on-the-cob or a jerk chicken recipe. You’ll be amazed at the delicious dishes that emerge from your tin-foil creation! Whipping up one of these dishes might take a little longer than popping down to the chippy, but you’ll save money, stay healthy, and you’ll learn how to cook. Convinced? Do you have any student kitchen hacks you’d like to share? Tweet us – @comelivewithus