You’ve got the next six weeks of freedom ahead of you – use it wisely! Whether you’re thinking of going away to uni, taking an apprenticeship or just getting your own place sometime soon, learning to cook is an incredible life skill.
Trust us, the instant noodles get old real quick. (And we’re not talking expiry dates. Monosodium Glutamate will outlast us all.)
So now that you’ve got the time, why not learn something new? This summer is a great opportunity to help out in the kitchen, learn some recipes and techniques, and test drive a few dishes.
For recipe ideas, the internet is the ultimate resource. Think places like…
…for some every day, affordable, student-friendly meals. Or alternatively, if there’s something in particular you fancy giving a go, search for specific recipes and see which pretty picture catches your eye. Simples.
Testing out your culinary skills is also a great way to prepare yourself for future food budgeting – when you’re in charge of the cash, going crazy on a few Two for Tuesdays and packets of Oreos will leave your stomach and your pockets pretty empty.
If you know how much money you can allocate per week, you can start to think about how much certain ingredients and certain meals cost, and you can build weekly meal plans to help you stretch your cash. Pretty handy dry run of living by yourself, with your parents as a safety net in case you blow your budget.
As you learn new dishes, you can save up a few tried and tested winners. That way you can create your own bespoke cookbook to take to uni or your new digs, either digitally on a device or, if you’re more old school, you can collect written recipes, printouts and magazine cut-outs into a nice binder or book.
Another great idea is to create accounts for supermarkets, so you can get groceries delivered to your door. Accounts often come with good deals, and if you’re heading to uni where you’ll have free time during the day, you can book mid-day delivery that can be completely free.
This means you can bulk buy cheap cupboard staples like pasta and rice without worrying how on earth you’ll carry it all home.
Cooking together can be a nice way of picking up skills from mum and dad, grandparents or family members. But if it’s not their thing? Try self-taught recipes from YouTube chefs, where you can follow along, or find local cookery classes to join with a few mates.
Trust us, you’ll be everyone’s best pal at uni when you’re cooking up a storm in the kitchen while everyone else is trying to work out why their Pot Noodles melted in the microwave.
LUCY HARDING is the Editorial manager for Push. She is an English Literature grad and an MA Publishing student at UCL. She is passionate about international relations and cultural diversity, having worked closely with her university’s Erasmus society to support European students. She also spent a year abroad studying at California State University: Long Beach
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