It can be all too easy to forget to feed yourself properly in the student drinking culture. A pint or a Jager-bomb is a much more enticing return for your student loan than tinned tuna. Also, the continual rise of food prices is showing no sign of slowing down, let alone reversing.
The problem is your brain can’t function on alcohol alone. A balanced, healthy diet of quality food ensures your body and mind function optimally – essential if you want that degree. So you need to save some pennies for nosh.
Don’t fall into the trap of relying on ready meals – they have little nutritional value, may not contain what they claim (just look at the horse meat scandal) and cost a lot more than cooking from scratch.
So can you afford to dine in style without breaking the bank? The answer is farmers markets. Many students forget they exist, yet they are a great way to get quality food at an even lower cost than supermarkets. This is because they cut out the middle man and work directly with farmers meaning they don’t have to pay any extra fees to supplier companies.
As the prices are set by those running the stall and not some head office based thousands of miles away, you are afforded the chance to haggle. In an effort to keep you a regular customer they will often give you a cut price deal, if you ask.
Another great thing about them is there are no queues, so you get your food faster. It’s also a fantastic way to support your local farming community and help keep a struggling industry afloat.
Luckily, Nottingham has a range of options for you.
Recently, Kerry’s Fruit & Veg stall has popped up outside the Bonnington building on Nottingham Trent’s city campus. It’s a great time saver as you can stop off on the way to lectures or on the way back from a mammoth session in Boots Library. The prices are great – last week they had two punnets of blueberries on offer for £1.50. Tesco usually charge £2 for just one. They also have a reward scheme – each time you spend over a fiver they put a stamp on a loyalty card. When you’ve collected nine stamps, you’re then eligible for £5 off your next purchase with them.
If your shopping list is bigger then The Victoria Centre has an upstairs market which sells all kinds of things. Food-wise there are butchers, fishmongers, nut specialists and the usual fruit and veg stalls too. As they are all located together you have greater power in negotiating a bargain – it’s a buyer’s market.
There are also the official monthly farmers markets which are held outside in Market Square (in Nottingham) and other easily accessible locations. Here are the details of when and where to catch them:
- Beeston: 4th Friday of every month between 9am and 2pm
- Mansfield: 3rd Tuesday of every month between 9am and 4pm
- Nottingham: 3rd Friday and Saturday of every month between 9am and 4pm
- West Bridgford: 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month
- Worksop: 2nd Friday of every month
So then, don’t be a slave to the supermarkets! Eat well and prosper.
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