For many students in Nottingham, when money is tight and bills are rising healthy eating can be the last thing on an ever-growing to do list.

The current trend for ‘clean eating’ on social media can be expensive, with pricey supplements and unusual ingredients being out of reach for many.

Nottingham Trent University’s Kieran Goncalves has put together a healthy eating cookbook aimed at students on a budget, to try to show that healthy cooking doesn’t have to cost the earth.


The book contains a collection of recipes from the staff of Nottingham Trent’s Student Union. Kieran says healthy eating is possible on a limited budget and can improve your time at uni.


Limited budget and a lack of confidence in their cooking skills can prevent people from experimenting.

Avocado on toast was one of the most popular images on Instagram in 2015, with over 5 million posts bearing the #avocado tag, and there are over 38 million results for #eatclean.


Healthy eating doesn’t have to mean eating “rabbit food”, as many favourite dishes can be easily improved. Adding lentils to a bolognese will make it go further as well as more filling, or making a vegetable lasagne.

Many websites have popped up that celebrate student cooking, such as Full Thyme Student and Nine Grand Student offering recipes that won’t break the bank.

Student Shopping

For a lot of young people, a staple diet of beans on toast, instant noodles and takeaway offers are the norm.

We asked 10 students to describe their average shopping list, then went to three of the local supermarkets in Nottingham City Centre to compare the prices of individual ingredients with a convenient ready meal.

Penne pasta 500g 29p
Chicken 650g £3.49
Loaf of white bread 36p
Beef Mince £1.59
Onion 56p
Pepper 92p
Lettuce 75p
Milk 75p
Cheese 75p
Chicken Tikka Masala ready meal £1.49
Total: £10.95

Penne pasta 500g  59p
Chicken 650g £4.00
Loaf of white bread 50p
Beef Mince £2.00
Onion 65p
Pepper 96p
Lettuce 75p
Milk 75p
Cheese £1.40
Chicken Tikka Masala ready meal £2.30
Total: £13.90

Penne pasta 500g 85p
Chicken 650g £4.25
Loaf of white bread £1.00
Beef Mince £2.00
Onion 75p
Pepper £1.00
Lettuce £1.00
Milk £75p
Cheese £1.95
Chicken Tikka Masala ready meal £3.10
Total: £16.65

Aldi came out the cheapest, but the temptation to buy a ready meal for convenience may win out, even though chicken seems more expensive it will be cheaper long term as multiple meals can be made from it.