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By Simon Thompson
 
     

According to a new report from PETA, students are now six times less likely to eat meat than their parents.

Vegetarianism, veganism and even just having few meat free days in the week, is definitely on the rise in the UK and across the world.

Young people are wising up to the environmental impact of consumerist dairy and meat farming; the cruelty of mass production of animal products and the health impacts of processed meats, opting instead for alternatives.

Not only is going veggie kinder on your purse as vegetarian/vegan options are much cheaper!- it’s also growing in popularity massively, meaning that there are now plenty of options available to young people opting for the lifestyle.

Here are a few tips and tricks on how to maintain a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, whilst on a student shoe-string budget of course!

Stock up on your new kitchen staples

It can be tricky at times to stick to a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle at university due to the abundance of takeaways and the constant pull of getting a quick dinner in your belly after a day at the library or as a snack before a big night out.

The best way to stick to your lifestyle is to make sure that you have key staples at all times, these range from lentils and tinned beans for protein, pasta and rice for lots of carbs and grains such as oats for your morning porridge.

All of these staples are long lasting and can be used in small quantities to make large amounts of food, meaning you can be kind to your student bank balance all year long.

Don’t fall for branded products

Veganism and vegetarianism have definitely been noted by supermarkets for their money making potential, and whilst many students are happy that supermarkets are now catering to their needs- there are instances where products are heavily branded with hefty price tags. For example, ALPRO soya milk comes in at nearly £2, whilst supermarket own brand soya milk, usually found in the unrefrigerated section of the store, comes in at under £1!

Grab that freezer food

More and more companies are jumping on the vegan and vegetarian train, meaning that where once before meat substitutes were fresh and a little expensive, students can now pick up packs of frozen vegan and vegetarian food from all major supermarkets.

Whilst brands like Quorn are going strong, there are plenty of other companies popping up.

ASDA have their ‘free from’ range, Sainsbury’s have a range of vegetarian burgers, nuggets, hotdogs and sausages, whilst Iceland have their ‘no bull’ frozen range and Tesco have an extensive selection of vegan meal deal options!

Grabbing meat free alternatives has never been cheaper or easier, Iceland’s jalapeno burgers sound especially delicious!

Hit up Instagram

One of the main issues for students opting for a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle is the lack of inspiration or ideas when it comes to thinking of recipes and meat or dairy alternatives. This is where Instagram comes in. There are plenty of vegan and vegetarian recipe videos that are short, snappy, easy to follow and easy to make up on Instagram right now! From takeaway vegan options through to whole sites dedicated to cookies, cakes and desserts all without dairy. Instagram are really paving the way when it comes to making vegan and vegetarian food fun and accessible, type some key words into the search engine and go from there!

Frozen vegetables

Like with any student staple, grabbing bags of frozen veg is a great way to save some money and to bulk up on ingredients to add to any dish. You can drop frozen vegetables into curries, pastas, whizz them up into soup or simply steam or boil them for a side dish to any meal. Frozen veg are not only super cheap, there also packed full of vitamin C and perfect for any hard working student and a great way to keep the fresher’s flu at bay…

On the go food

When it comes to food on the go, it’s best to get organised. Stocking up on plastic tubs during your pre-university shop is a great way to ensure that you can save money and always have food on hand that’s accessible to eat. Pasta, pesto and salads are a great staple, as well as soup, as long as you have access to a microwave, sandwiches and couscous. If you are up for spending some money, there are plenty of supermarkets at the moment that have a great range of vegetarian and vegan meal deal options, as well as lots of fresh fruit and veg for snacks!

Consider some meal staples

When it comes to meat substitutes, sometimes opting for the simplest products can be your best bet. For example, tofu chunks or Quorn pieces may not seem that exciting, but they’re excellent dropped into curries and stir-fry’s for lots of added protein! You can buy the more exciting stuff, such as southern fried chicken or burgers when they’re the centre of the whole dish, when it comes to bulking meals, keep it simple.

Remember your supplements

Although the vegan and vegetarian lifestyle is a healthy one, sometimes, the student lifestyle can be a little rushed and overwhelming- meaning that you can miss out on key staples. This is where supplements come in; they can be taken in the morning and whilst they are not meant to be there as a meal replacement, they can come in extra handy when it comes to topping up on those vitamin levels; here are a few important ones! Vitamin B12 complex, this is usually found in red meat and is essential for nerve repair; vitamin D for bones; iron for red blood cells and to fight the student tiredness, and multivitamins for everything else! You might also want to stock up on some vitamin C supplements to fight the fresher’s flu, but you’ll probably be having lots of fresh oranges so no need to worry!

 
 
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