A Week in Student Meals: Winter Edition

Now that the colder months have started to roll in (I say start, I’ve been freezing since September) we’ve been moving more towards warmer dishes like soups and stews to fill us up and warm us up.

You guys seemed to love my last post so I thought I’d come back with another what I eat in a week to showcase the delicious food we have had and more importantly how you can cook on a budget. I included how we shop each week and some helpful tips in my last post if you want some help in that department.

Like I said before, student cooking does not have to be continuous bowls of bland pasta or whatever you have in the freezer. Some careful planning before your week begins can revolutionise both your eating habits and your wallet. Don’t worry, if you are reading this and you aren’t a student these meals are great for family cooking or for storing in the freezer, cheap eating doesn’t mean it tastes horrible!


Soup and toasties have become a regular in our weekly food plan. It’s cheap, warm and gives you leftovers for lunches or another dinner. Plus its extremely easy to switch up (as you will see at the end of the week). Mara and I usually switch each week for making soup. Mara made this one which is a Roasted Sweet Potato and Tomato soup. It was super tasty and certainly packs a punch!

When making soup it is definitely one you can alter depending on what you have in the cupboard.


Now if you’re going to attach a meal to a student it will probably be a stir fry. However, there are many ways you can spice up a stir fry. To keep costs down we will purchase a stir fry pack from lidl and beef it out with any additional veggies we have left in the fridge. More often than not we don’t put meat in it either therefore the price is kept down.

How to spice up your stir fry: when cooking the stir fry we keep to some core ingredients no matter what type we are making; loads of garlic, ginger, honey, soy, sweet chilli sauce and some sesame oil. These are all great store cupboard ingredients which can be used for a variety of different dishes to add to your repertoire.

Spicing up a stir fry doesn’t always have to be in the cooking stage, toppings are just as important. We will often add sesame seeds, crispy onions (buy from most supermarkets), you can also add sriracha or a fried egg. Like I said before these are all ingredients we use several times during the week and are extremely versatile!


PASTA, PASTA, PASTA. But not any pasta, this is Pasta al Limone. You didn’t think a student would be having this now would you?! If you’re looking for something healthy I would probably skip this bit because the amount of dairy, more specifically butter and cream might make you cry. However I always say everything really tasty is rarely healthy ;).

I used Bon Apétit’s recipe which was fairly easy to follow and it really doesn’t take long to make but the flavour is great! We usually have butter in the fridge for baking and the parmesan (pre-grated parmesan found in lidl) was used the following week as well. So now you know the perfect way to spice up your pasta, enjoyyyy!


Personally, whenever I think of the perfect winter warmer meal it usually comes in the form of a stew. It never used to be my favourite meal (in fact quite often I would dread eating it) however my sister has found a great recipe where there is a nice balance between the richness of the meat and a tomato flavour.

I know a beef stew is hard to keep in budget however like I mentioned in my last post it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the reduced section, especially in lidl. That way you can freeze the meat and cook it when you want.

Kirsty uses this BBC Good Food recipe for her stew as it doesn’t include red wine, another great way to cook stew on a budget. She also misses out the bay leaf and adds extra Italian seasoning such as basil and/or Oregano. She recommends tasting it while you go so you can add a dash more of certain things incase you prefer it a certain way, plus seasoning is important!


Another meal you can’t beat to warm you up and make you cozy is good ol’ sausage and mash. I must admit Lidl’s caramelised onion sausages are another level of tasty! However, I can’t say this and not mention the importance of supporting your local butchers, especially after this year. So, if you can, go show them some love!

Mara simply fries off the sausages and pairs it with really creamy mash potato and caramelised onions. The perfect combination, trust me!


Image courtesy of Bon Apétit

If you couldn’t tell from the photo I had problems uploading my own however I promise I did have it that week!

Anyway, its another veggie meal and one of my new favourites. It’s Egg Fried Rice with broccoli and spring onions. The amount of flavour the sushi rice soaks up alongside the crispiness you get with frying it makes this absolutely delicious.

It is another recipe from Bon Apétit and once you get the hang of it, it is really easy. Although the recipe says you need to use a Skillet its not necessary. Just a warning that the rice will stick to the pan. It’s perfect for both lunches and dinners so great for meal prep if that’s what you prefer!


It’s time for more soup! This time it is one of my favourites, the reliable lentil soup. I make this quite often and usually wing it. However I still haven’t mastered getting it thick enough. Either way it tastes great. I went off of these recipes for a general idea if you want something to go off of.

Soup recipe 1

Soup recipe 2

I hope you enjoyed another look into what we eat in a week. Did you get any inspiration? Let me know below and if you have any recommendations of your own favourite winter warmer recipes I’d love to hear them!

On a side not, yes the Christmas tree is up, I think we all deserve some Christmas cheer a bit earlier than usual.

Make sure to tag me in any of your photos using the links below! We love to see some fellow student foodies!

Much love,

Sophie x

A Week in Student Meals

If I haven’t banged on enough in my food blog posts about the frustration about not knowing what to cook, there is also the added pressure to do it cheaply.

This, I know, can be difficult so I thought I would combine both ideas in one and provide you with what we ate as a flat for a week on a budget of roughly £25-40 a week (for three people, including snacks, breakfast, lunches, dinner etc.), which roughly ends up being £10-15 a week per person.

Keep an eye out along the way for some tips on how to keep your weekly shop prices down and what recipes are perfect for giving you some leftovers for lunch the next day.

It is important to note that my flatmates (Kirsty and Mara) and I share cooking duties throughout the week and therefore split our shop. This in itself is a great way to keep costs down, so if you can, I highly recommend doing this.


Homemade Fish Cakes

We pair our fishcakes with salad (which we buy in for lunches anyway), sweet chilli sauce and sometimes some peas or veg on the side.

Homemade fish cakes are one of the easiest and cheapest meals we make. Tuna for example is a staple in our cupboards and gets used for several main meals, therefore you’re not having to go out and buy fish (which I love but doesn’t usually come under our budget unless it is on offer). Plus this meal is super tasty!

Mara loosely used two recipes from BBC Good Food (we loveeee this website for our weekly meals). You can find all their fish cake recipes here.

Now if you have a sweet tooth and are looking for something chocolatey and easy then this recipe is perfect for you. Kirsty made a slow cooker chocolate cake which we paired with Lidls own Ben and Jerrys fish food (tastes pretty much the same at a fraction of the price). It wasn’t the best chocolate cake however Kirsty has recommended scouting about for some different options because the slow cooker reduces cooking time drastically! Perfect for students.


Cauliflower Steaks

We serve this delicious roasted cauliflower with pea puree (the fancy term for blended peas with stuff in it) – Boil peas (a decent bit because they’ll end up being blended), drain them and add two tablespoons of natural yoghurt, some herbs of your choosing (we have dried mixed Italian seasoning), season with salt and pepper then blend away – and serve with some couscous.

If you recently read my post on ‘My Most Loved Recipes: Savoury Meals and Sweet Treats to Boost Your Week’ then you would have already seen this recipe. Cauliflower steaks constantly gets repeated in our weekly meal plan (also another great tip – plan your meals, this way there is no last minute dash to the shops when you’re hungry). It is a firm favourite and a great veggie option.

I recommend adding more paprika and garlic granules when baking the steaks. You can find the recipe here.

Leftover Tip:

We usually bake two cauliflowers for three of us, which depending on the size and how hungry we are provides a small amount of leftovers. I then had a sushi bowl with the leftovers the next day. Sushi rice is a great one to make throughout the week for lunch because it will last you a few days – we have it for dinner at the end of the week if you are looking for a recipe.


Sticky Cashew Chicken (GF)

This was a new recipe Mara was trying and it was a hit! Chicken thighs are a great way of getting protein while not breaking the bank. From lidl you can get a tray of 5 for about £1.75.

Mara paired it with some noodles and broccoli and it tasted great! (there was even some leftover chicken which I had with more of the sushi rice the next day for lunch).

Find the recipe here.


Baked Sweet Potato

Baked Sweet Potato is another favourite in our flat, it gets repeated weekly and is a great alternative to the usual baked potato.

It is also a great opportunity to use up some things you have in the fridge/cupboards.

I microwave the potatoes for around 20 mins (pierce them with a fork first) and then bake them for an additional 20 mins in the oven at roughly 200 degrees (fan).

This is another occasion where we use tuna (we add mayo and then either red onion or apple if we want) because its always in the cupboard.

It also provides the perfect opportunity to use the couscous from the cauliflower steaks which we also had with a salad, some leftover sweetcorn that was in the fridge and some beetroot which is also a staple in our cupboards.


Corn Beef Hash

Corned beef is another cheap source of protein and potatoes are extremely cheap. So a win win.

Not the most appealing to look at I must admit but it is just what you need on a colder day. It very much reminds me of stovies (if you’re Scottish hopefully you’ll know what I mean), and reminds me of home.

You just need around 6-7 decent sized potatoes, all cubed and boiled until soft. Dice an onion and fry it in some oil, then add in the corned beef (break it up with a wooden spoon) and the potatoes. Fry unti it is nice and crispy.

I also decided when making this that I would spice up some ordinary baked beans by adding in some paprika, garlic granules and Italian seasoning. I like my beans over done (they go mushy) which means they go perfectly with this dish.



Now, who doesn’t love a good lasagne night, especially if it involves a side of dough balls or garlic bread! When having meat in our freezer we are lucky that we get to stock up from Costco however, we are also very good at finding a bargain. So, if you have a lidl close to you (which is our shop of choice) make sure to go earlier in the day because you’ll get great deals in their fridge section.

Tip: On the conversation of buying meat, we pretty much always freeze it, so you won’t need to worry about it going off. So if you see a good deal but its on its last day, don’t worry!

Kirsty loves making lasagne and is very good at it. She doesn’t really go by a recipe because they usually involve red wine, however she does recommend using a basic tomato base sauce, like a spaghetti bolognese (so any recipe should do) and then add a white sauce and lasagne sheets and top with cheese!

These dough balls were from M&S and were VERY tasty. Keep an eye out for Lidls ones too because they are also great!

This meal provided us with enough leftovers to have it again for our dinner on Sunday. So, a perfect meal to keep your costs down!


Sushi Bowl

The prettiest looking meal, in the sense of it being one of the most colourful ones! This is very much a recipe which can be altered depending on what you have in the cupboard.

Make some sushi rice (instructions should be on the package), chop up some carrot, cucumber, fry some broccoli in soy sauce, garlic and honey, chop up some tomatoes, add some beetroot and if you want bake some salmon. When it comes to the salmon, this is something we found on offer (on reduce) in lidl so we decided to bake it in the oven for about 15-20mins in a soy sauce, ginger mix with some lemon and then flaked it over our bowl. However, this is often something we have as a veggie meal so don’t worry if you don’t have meat – this will also reduce the price. I also add a fried egg to the top (seasoned with Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and paprika.)

When it comes to sushi bowls the toppings are just as important as the actual components to the main bulk of the bowl. Having sesame seeds, fried onions (this is pre fried and dried onions that you buy in a tub) and sriracha mayo are integral to the taste. Plus you’ll find yourself adding these things to a lot more of your recipes, trust me!

Tip: To finish off I thought I’d recommend what we always start with. Sit down before your shop and plan out what you’re eating when and who is cooking. This way you have a routine to your week and there is no last minute stressing. Additionally this is the perfect time to check what you already have in the cupboards, so you aren’t buying more than what you need plus you might be able to find a meal already available in your home.

It’s also important to note that all recipes are easily adapted. There is most likely some obscure ingredient somewhere or something you don’t have and that’s fine. The recipe will still be taste fine and substituting is always a great idea if you’re stuck. Google is your best friend!

So, that’s our week in meals! An assortment of veggie and meat meals, which can easily be interchanged depending on your preferences.

I think a lot of people have this idea that as a student you have to eat the bare minimum or beans on toast every night (not that there is anything wrong with beans on toast). But as three people who absolutely love food and cooking, that was never going to be an option.

It’s all about finding a balance and figuring out where you can spend more and where to spend less. Introducing more veggie meals and using what we already have is definitely huge steps we’ve taken to not only be more sustainable but also cheaper.

Feel free to let me know below if you want to see another blog post on our weekly meals. If you want some inspiration for lunch you can check out my previous post here.

Let me know if we’ve inspired you or you end up making any of the above recipes. We’d absolutely love to see your photos (tag me in my socials linked below)!

Much Love,

Sophie x