5 tips on how to eat like a king (when you're poor)

Food is so hard to resist it’s often tempting to pay much more than you can afford. But there are ways to eat like a king without living like a pauper. Here are some tips for getting great food at cheap prices, whether it's takeaway or from the shops.

1) Become a Just Eat Chief Taste Tester

How does £50 of takeaway every day for the school year sound? That's what you'll get if you become a Chief Takeaway Tester for Just Eat.

Basically, JUST EAT is picking six lucky people to become 'takeaway testers' who will receive a £50 JustEat voucher every month through to July 2016.

You can use your vouchers at over 24,000 restaurants on the JUST EAT app, reviewing them as you go. It's then up to you whether you use this to share with your friends, or gorge yourself alone in your room with the lights off - it's up to you. Though, we reckon you’d be pretty popular if you shared.

There are a couple other perks as well, including a free takeaway uniform (ok, onesie) and the chance to work with their social media team and see your name in lights. It’s a bit of an unofficial role, but definitely one you can use to spruce up that CV.

With your 50 quid of takeaway per month, you'll be able to choose from the best takeaways in the country and get it delivered straight to your student accommodation in a flash. You may be a bit skint otherwise, but for a brief moment in time, you'll feel like you have your own personal chef, capable of cooking any type of food imaginable, and a chauffeur/butler to bring it to you whenever you desire.

For your chance to become a JUST EAT Chief Takeaway Tester, sign up here.

2) Shop online

Just in case you don’t become a Chief Takeaway Tester (or if you did, and have already spent your 50 quid), you’ll probably need your day-to-day food essentials. Well, shopping in a supermarket is dangerous. No-one can look at that many delicious things all in one place and still have the discipline to walk out of there with a salad.

Unless this counts as a salad?

Whoever has walked past a packet of crumpets or some Moroccan topped houmus without immediately adding it to their basket or trying to rip the packaging apart with their teeth or swallow it whole like a wolf is probably not human. It’s one of the classic signs they’ve been replaced by a body snatcher from outer-space.

If you shop online you don’t get this. Sure they have the “suggested items” down the sidebar, but you can’t smell suggested items (take it from someone who’s tried), or see how large and delicious they are. You’re less likely to make impulse buys.

You also don’t risk being distracted by brightly coloured packaging. Without pictures of cartoon monkeys offering you coco-pops, you might find that “chocolate style puff products” are just as delicious and a lot cheaper.

You can also occasionally take advantage of loopholes in online deliveries, and get £60 shops for only £15. You’re pushing trolleys when you should be using a mouse finger at most.

You should also check out our dedicated Food Deals Page.

3) If you do go in store, look out for yellow stickers

There are three reasons why something gets reduced at a supermarket: It has a short date, it’s superficially damaged (e.g. the tin is dented) or it’s no longer being sold (e.g. advent calendars in February or Easter eggs on Halloween).

Two of these reasons won’t actually affect the quality of the food you’re eating, and the third is solvable.

If you have a large freezer, you can dine like a king by getting high quality food when it’s been reduced by up to 75%, shortly before the sell-by-date and then freezing it as soon as you get home.

4) Shop immediately after a meal

Endless research has consistently shown that shopping on an empty stomach is a bad idea. The emptier your stomach is, the more food you will buy and the higher priced food you will spend your money on. If you’re trying to save money, you can do it by gorging yourself on food just before you go out to the shop. It’s the time that you’ll least want to think about food and you’ll buy what you need rather than what you want, because the only food you’ll want at that time is indigestion tablets.

5) And shop at key times

If you are looking for supermarket reductions and want to get in there first, before all the good stuff has gone, here is a handy little schedule of when they go up:

Happy eating.

This article was sponsored by Just Eat. Your Favourite Takeaway Delivered To Your Door.

If you liked this, then check out our guide to bagging free food