The student kitchen

Moving out of home for the first time is great; you get your freedom and privacy but you also have to do stuff like cooking for yourself which, depending on how much you like cooking, can be a bit of a pain. Working out what to buy and what to cook and when to cook it is all very time-consuming and does require some thought and often other aspects of kitchen maintenance get left by the wayside. So here are a few tips to help you keep your kitchen organised.

Firstly: shopping. It's a good idea to make a list before you go that you stick to so that you can stay within your budget and don't impulse buy. And before you go, try to find which is the best value supermarket in your area; mySupermarket is an online grocery price comparison website to see which shops in the UK have the best deals. If you shop in places like Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda it's generally cheaper to buy the store's own brands since the products are normally sourced from the same places as the expensive brands. If you are sharing your flat, get together with your flatmates to have a kitty for rice and pasta that you can buy in bulk and share.

Next some tips for cooking. If you're oven cooking or using the grill, wrap food into foil parcels or line the grill tray with tin foil. In the oven the foil parcels will keep food moist and in both cases it will mean less washing up for you! In the unliekly event that you should ever find yourself with a surplus of vegetables, use them in a soup. This can be stored in the fridge or freezer for a healthy convenient meal. You can also cook up large quantities of dishes like bolognese, chilli and casseroles and freeze them to be eaten at a time when you're less willing to cook. (Probably at about midnight after the pub.)

Finally a few ideas for storing food. Keep raw meat, poultry and fish at the bottom of the fridge so they don't drip onto anything and make sure you keep raw and cooked meat separate from each other. If you're storing leftovers in the fridge, make sure they cool down out of the fridge first so you don't compromise the temperature in the fridge. And one finally useful tip: open tins upside down so the contents don't stick in the bottom of the tin!