The biggest struggle of being both a student and a foodie is finding the funds to support your lifestyle. Eating good can be difficult when you have to pay for tuition, rent, textbooks and bills, but barely have the availability for a part-time job.
This week, I reached a low point in my life when I discovered I had $11 in my bank account. I’m now considering changing my name to The Broke Foodie. I’ve been alternating between pretzels and sleep-for-dinner for a few days now. Needless to say, I get the struggle.
I have some good news–there are ways to indulge without breaking the bank:
1. Take advantage of your student and/or alumni status
I’m currently in a unique position where I have an alumni card because I’m a recent graduate, but I still have my student card because I’m in a post-degree program. Both cards offer great food discounts at many chains and local favourites.
Remember that agenda you got in your orientation package? Or that student calendar you picked up at academic counselling, but never read. Think twice before throwing them away because there are literally hundreds of coupons found within the pages of these things that you’ve been missing out on.
2. Be on the lookout for prix fixe menus
For those times when you technically have money but shouldn’t really be spending it. Prix fixe just means “fixed price” in French. Restaurants, especially of the upper scale nature, will use prix fix menus to allow guests to enjoy a multi course meal at a discounted price.
There are entire festivals devoted to this style of dining. Londonlicious is a local food festival in which participating restaurants create special prix fixe menus specifically for the event. Usually running for about three weeks, foodies can explore the local dining scene, while eating three+ course meals for under $40. The next Londonlicious is January 11th-February 3rd, 2018.
3. Dine at restaurants that serve large portions
When I’m low on money, I go into survival mode and become quite resourceful. If you’re strapped on cash, but still want to eat out (story of my life), I suggest carefully choosing a place with large portions. That way, you can take your leftovers home and make a second meal out of it. Two for the price of one.
How do you save money as a student foodie? Comment below!