Making every penny count!

While studying abroad can give you invaluable life experience, it can be quite costly. This blog from Student Ambassador Sonya San gives some great advice on how to keep your grocery expenses low to free up some of your budget for fun!

Photo by Carlos Pernalete Tua on

Some students might have a tight budget like I do when studying abroad. So here are a few tips that might be useful when it comes to grocery shopping.

As someone who eats a decent-sized and balanced meal 3 times a day, my groceries would typically cost around €18 – 20 per week. Of course, this comes with a lot of counting and consideration. It can be annoying to be converting everything to your home country’s currency when you first started out shopping at the local grocery store or supermarket. However, this is perfectly normal. If you are someone who snacks a lot, then you might want to have a slightly higher budget. Spending on unhealthy junk food can cost quite a bit.

Other than that, choosing the right grocery store may make a big difference too. Generally, Aldi and Lidl would be a more budget-friendly place to stock up your groceries. However, there are other supermarkets that would sell certain items at a low price as well. For example, I found that you could get the same weight of chicken thighs for a cheaper price from Dunnes compared to Aldi and Lidl.

Subsequently, do keep a lookout for discounted items. Supermarkets would reduce their prices for certain products that are nearing their expiry date, but this does not mean that they are entirely bad or inedible. There are also instances where they would sell 3 items for the price of 2. If you have a housemate that could share those food with you, why not purchasing it together so that both of you could safe up? On a side note, it can be tempting to buy discounted products but keep in mind that you should only buy what you need.

Furthermore, make sure you have planned a budget that you could spend on groceries. Personally, I have created an excel sheet and would record the amount I spend on groceries on a weekly basis. By doing so, I can have a better visualisation of my expenditure and it would be easier for me to keep track.

Lastly, spend according to your means so that you won’t be financially stressed and would be able to enjoy your time here in Limerick by making the most out of your experience!


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