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Student Hacks: How much should a university student budget for food?

Moving away from home can be the most exciting time for students (independence finally!ūü•≥)¬†But, with independence comes the responsibility of budgeting and living costs. It isn't until you realise that your maintenance loan only covers half of your monthly expenses, then reality hits- being a student can be a bit expensive! But, how expensive? We reveal all¬†ūüĎÄ

What are the average student living costs?

Let's first put student living into perspective, student living isn't cheap. There are essential costs such as: rent, bills, clothes, course materials and food- these are essential for day to day living. And then there are those extra luxuries- takeaways, nights out, mobile phone, social events. (There is, however, a strong argument that all of the 'extra luxuries' are essential for the student lifestyle, so it becomes more about how far you can make your money go!) 

We've reviewed multiple national student surveys and carried out our own research with UK based university students to determine how much they spend, on average per month. These are our findings for the average student living cost in the UK for 2021:

Rent: £420 per month 

Groceries (Food): £125 per month 

Going Out: £50 per month 

Takeaways: £40 per month

Bills: £40 per month

Course Materials: £18 per month

Mobile Phone: £15 per month

Rent is, by no surprise, the most expensive living cost. At £420 per month, this is where 50% of the monthly costs are incurred! It is also noted that this doesn't include bills (such as electricity, TV licence) which are an additional £40 per month. Ouch!

Groceries are the second biggest expenditure at £125 per month (not including takeaways, which is an additional £40 per month!). On average, students are spending £30 on a weekly food shop, or £41 per week on food including takeaways. 

The third largest expense is those party nights. A huge part of university life, it isn't uncommon to think that £10 can go a long way into the night!

How much should a university student budget for food?

So, back to the original question: how much should a university student budget for food? 

Based on student feedback, we think that you should be aiming to spend £30 per week on a grocery shop. Students also like a takeaway or a portion of cheesy chips after a night out- so you should also keep £10 per week for these too! 

How can a Gastrostudent recipe box help with budgeting as a student?

Gastrostudent has been designed to meet the needs of  the university student. Gastrostudent recipe box can be purchased for 1 student, 2 students or 4 students- making it suitable whether you are living in a studio apartment or with flatmates.

We are the only recipe box to also include breakfast as standard in all of our recipe boxes- so that's one less thing to think about! It also means that you shouldn't have to go shopping either! Problem solved. 


Recipe box   What's included? Price per student Box price
1 Student

5 meals & 5 breakfasts

£27.95 £27.95
2 students

5 meals & 5 breakfasts   

(20 portions total)

£18.98 £37.95
4 students

5 meals & 5 breakfasts

(40 portions total)

£16.24 £64.95


Our portions are typically 25% larger than other recipe boxes, so that you don't feel hungry afterwards!

Gastrostudent recipe box prices have been designed to be affordable for university students, while saving you money on your weekly grocery shop. 

With Gastrostudent, you have a choice of a fully flexible subscription- which you can cancel at any time (we don't take your payment details before your order!) Alternatively, you can purchase the recipe box as a one-off with the option to pay in 3 instalments with Klarna. 

Each recipe box you purchase you earn reward points which can be saved up for a future discount or even a free recipe box! 

That's why we're the UK's leading student recipe box.

Click here to claim your 15% discount today

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