Stepping Away From the Microwave for Good

Stuck in a ‘Super Noodles’ rut? GEORGINA CUTLER on why you need to change your ways…

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Microwave ready-meals, 11p instant noodles and fish finger sandwiches are all images that send cold shivers down my spine and will, in time, lead me (and no doubt those who live off them) to suffer a mental breakdown. After having lived at University for a couple of weeks, we all come to realise fairly quickly that Mum placing three meals a day in front of us for the past 18 years, has been sorely under-appreciated.


So, for those of you who are slightly challenged in the culinary department, fear not. Here I offer you a few words of wisdom to help you avoid those kinds of meal that should only be acceptable whilst heavily intoxicated.
All it takes are some general tips and pointers and anyone can you eat a remotely varied, and possibly even nutritious, diet- without breaking the bank. Convenient maybe, but ready meals and pre-cooked stuff tastes pretty bland and unexciting- and quickly eats away at the student loan. 
I know attempting to cook something which vaguely resembles a proper meal may seem like an impossible task, but if you and your flatmates are on reasonably friendly terms then there is an easy solution. Have a different person cook each night, and just pray that someone knows something other than pasta or toast. This way you only end up cooking once or twice a week and you’ll soon find that you’re saving a load of money for that all-important beer fund. 
This system also has the advantage of avoiding that awkward lingering moment in the kitchen when all the hobs are being occupied by your various flatmates’ different meals. Brandishing a kitchen knife behind the back of the person who decided they wanted a roast on LCR night, and is seemingly occupying every kitchen surface, is not a good look. 
If you collaborate with your shopping as well and do an online shop, you can save yourself a lot of time, effort and in many cases, money, what with the temptation of those end of the aisle “bargains” having been removed. You can’t argue with delivery straight to your door. Let’s face it, no one fancies lugging all their shopping bags back to the flat every week and enduring the awkward moment when one of your bags breaks half way home (let’s be honest, it’s happened to us all at least once).
And lastly, always try to cook in bulk. Okay, so you might be sitting there thinking that this is only something your gran or someone preparing for the apocalypse might do, but, believe me, it does save a lot of time and money in the long run. Plus, when your flatmates are scavenging remains in the kitchen on a Sunday night, you can smugly pop out your “here’s one I made earlier” option and just shove it in the microwave. Sorted!
Quite simply, there’s no excuse for living off beans on toast for half the year, you can jump on the pasta/ toast/ takeaway band wagon and feel like crap week after week, or you can pull your finger out and get cooking!