Staying Healthy on a Student Budget

In September 2019, many students will be starting at college or university. But, with little money and an exciting new life, they will struggle to keep fit.

The freedom of leaving school and starting at college or university opens up a whole new world. Studying often takes second place to evenings spent in the Student Union bar making new friends. A night out usually means a trip to the nearest fast food outlet, and sleep seems unimportant.

However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential and easily attainable with careful planning. Students only have one chance to gain their degree, and although being young is all about having fun, they may have lifelong regrets if they blow their events with a succession of late nights, over-indulgence in fast foods, and too much drinking. Moreover, that lifestyle could also build up severe problems for the future as they grow older.

Tips to Stay Healthy on a Student Budget

It is not easy to balance student life and little money with a healthy and active life, but it is not impossible. Being fit and healthy helps to cope with the stress and strain of student life and those dreaded examinations.

Most colleges or universities have excellent sports facilities, so try and swim every day or find someone to play tennis with. If you prefer your own company take a football out and kick around or go for a run. Getting up one hour early, but you will feel better about it. Gyms and health clubs are expensive, but some have special student rates. Find a cheap one and aim to go twice a week.

Eating fast foods and pizzas all the time is unhealthy and will cause health problems, which in turn could lead to a stroke or heart attack in later life. Getting drunk every night dulls the brain and makes studying more difficult. There is no stigma in having a non-alcoholic drink, but if peer pressure is a worry, tonic water with a slice of lemon looks like a gin and tonic and is considerably cheaper. Non-alcoholic wine and beer are also more affordable and better for the constitution.

Breakfast is an important meal, and it is better to eat muesli than fried eggs and bacon. A salad for lunch is cheaper than a burger from Mcdonald’s, and fruit and vegetables are healthier than chocolate bars and crisps.

Staying out till 4 am every night and being up to attend lectures at 9 am does not go well with the study—no need to spoil the fun but to get the rest needed to fuel the brain. If you must attend a party, try to get some sleep beforehand.

Homemade Muesli for Students on a Tight Budget

Muesli stored in an airtight jar is always helpful as it can be eaten at any time, is good fuel for the body, and contains healthy ingredients.


  • 250 g (8 oz) barley
  • 8oz rye flakes
  • 250 g (8 oz) whole oat
  • 250 g (8 oz) wheat flakes
  • 800 gr. almonds (dried)
  • 500g sultanas
  • 250 g (8 oz) dried figs

You can make do with grains you can afford as anything can be put in muesli as long as it is dry. Nuts may be omitted if allergic. When served, moisten the muesli with milk – long-life milk is often on special offer – Then sweeten with sugar as desired.

There is an excellent website – – for homemade recipes on a budget, and the following muesli recipe is from that source.


  • One tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • Two teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1.5 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 oats
  • 1 wheat germ
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • 3/4 cup sultanas
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds

Pre-heat oven to 150ºC. Combine honey, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and water in a jug and microwave on high for a minute or until sugar is dissolved.

Combine the oats, wheat germ, and coconut flakes in a vast bowl. Stir in the sugar liquid to the oat mixture. Spread the mixture onto huge baking trays and bake for 20-25 minutes until the combination is a light golden brown. Stir several times while cooking. Allow it to cool somewhat before mixing it with the other ingredients.

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