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They call it the food graveyard but we call it the best way to minimise waste and maximise the value of every pound you spend on food. Students don’t use the freezer, but it’s not cos they don’t want to, lots of students don’t know how to do it safely.

We want to change that

Yesterday’s article on the BBC site reminded me of a chat I had with a student during National Student  Money Week earlier this year. Said student was detailing his spending and bemoaning the lack of cash in his pocket at the end of the week.

Like many students, his single biggest expense (after paying for the roof over his head), was the food in his stomach.

He had no idea how much food cost, when he arrived on campus, and was shocked at how expensive stuff was (no disagreement there!). He said he was forever throwing food away. And then he told me he had thrown out almost a whole chicken because his flatmates are vegetarian so there was no one to share it with. Into the bin went £4!

What of the freezer I queried

“you can freeze meat??” he asked with genuine shock!

Turns out the freezer is your friend even if you are a student. Most food can be frozen and taken out in the morning so it can be ready for dinner. If something is defrosted completely (ie soft or back to liquid form in the case of soup) it is ready to be heated.

It seems that most students just don’t know how to do it and as such are losing (heaps of) money through a lack of basic kitchen skills.

Click here for a printout on freezer safety

So here they are. The 3 best dishes for when you have leftovers food and don’t know what to do with it. And best of all, they can all be frozen.


  • Put water in a pot.
  • Add vegetables (potatoes, Swedes , carrots, celery, leeks,
  • onion, courgette.
  • Add beans, lentils.
  • Add protein.
  • Add soup stock if you want.

Can be frozen – you know it’s defrosted when it’s back to liquid form

Stir Fry

  • Pour in some oil till it’s hot.
  • Add a protein (eg chicken, beef, pork, fish, tofu).
  • Add vegetables (whatever – but remember carrots will
  • take longer to cook than mushrooms so plan accordingly).
  • Add sauce.
  • Add noodles or rice.
  • Stir and serve.

Can be frozen – you know it’s defrosted when it’s back to bits


  • Toss chunks of meat in some flour.
  • Quickly fry the meat on all sides in a little oil. Set the meat aside.
  • In the same pan, cook chopped vegetable (onions, carrots, celery), pepper) and whatever else you have to hand.
  • Add some liquid (stock, water, wine, beer!).
  • Add the meat back.
  • Make sure enough liquid to just cover the meat, and bung into the oven.

Can be frozen – you know it’s defrosted when the bits

Cook what you love, save money and never go hungry. Simples!