#Healthiswise but money is important
Unless you lost your phone on a boozy trip during Glasto 2017, you haven’t been lucky enough to escape the kitschy tumblr-alike posts of ʻʻHello, autumn’’; the ones with two hands snugged around a cup of Pumpkin Spice Latte and fuzzy socks in the background. For us, students, that’s not what September is about. The last day of August marks the beginning of the new academic year, which paraphrases as ‘tight budget’. Checking my bank balance, I now realise it’s about time to slow down with detoxifying cold-pressed juices with charcoal or raw chocolate ganaches with coconut nectar (cries a little bit), and start planning my vegan groceries and save money.
1. SHOP SMART. Sure, shopping at Waitrose or Whole Foods can bring some pretentious urban aesthetic to one’s Instagram feed, but when a small bottle of spring water infused with three stalks of asparagus retails for the minimum hourly rate, you need to stop fooling yourself and head to the nearest Aldi or Lidl. Another tip is to check out the local area to spot if there are any small Asian fruit and veg vendors, where, if lucky, you can grab almost two kilograms of bananas for a pound.
2. BYE-BYE TO BRANDS a.k.a. check the lower shelves. For most people go the easy way and scan only the eye level shelves, retailers strategically place more profitable products there. Why pay almost £4 for a packet of cereal when you can get an ASDA dupe for half the price? What shoppers don’t realise is that vibrant packaging comprises a large proportion of the price. For comparison, ASDA soya milk can be found for £0,59 whereas you will be charged almost three times the price for Alpro one.
3. DITCH THE ‘INFUSED’, ‘HAND-CRAFTED’ AND ‘ALKALIZING’. It’s delightful to learn that more people are jumping on the health wagon (because #healthiswealth), yet at the same time, I find it amusing seeing people purchasing food items that are ridiculously expensive. Indeed, nutritious food is a worthwhile investment that can solve numerous health problems. However, don’t go on spending money you don’t have on products that contain the trendy keywords – ‘superfood’, ‘micro’, ‘boosting’ – and do some research prior shopping. You’ll be confounded to discover that for the most part, the ‘detoxifying superfood’ cult is ill-founded and some commonplace produce, in fact, performs better than the glorified acai or goji berries.
Fun fact: only 14% of those who purchase gluten-free produce are actually affected by celiac disease. So, unless your stomach gets upset if you accidentally ingest something wheat, barley or rye-dense, keep munching on that carbolicious so delicious loaf of baguette.
University is not the best time to embark on the infamous Gwyneth Paltrow’s cleansing macrobiotic diet. For now, all we need to worry about is saving every penny possible. And we all know that money saved on food is money well spent on Messies.