Vitals

Life Matters Food

Your life is not limited to what happens inside the classroom. In fact, recent studies have shown that the majority of a student’s time is actually spent outside of lecture halls. If that sounds familiar, then perhaps we can interest you in the Life Matters section. This section includes things like cooking, groceries, car info and other various things to help with the daily grind. Be well.


Suggestions

What equipment do I need?

Stocking a kitchen can require some pretty long lists and pretty deep pockets. We went ahead and put together a list of what we think are the essentials to get you up and cooking. The prices here are basically the cheapest things at either Canadian Tire or the dollar store that looked like they would last a while. We stuck to the lowest budget we could, so consider the prices as a rough guideline. Never underestimate a good thrift store, which will sometime even have new equipment – still in the box – for bargain prices; make sure to always have an eye out for quality, though. There’s also nothing wrong with getting a nicer set of cookware if you plan to keep it a while. We threw our example equipment list in the Resources section.

Literally none of what you just said is edible. What actual food do I buy?

Fair enough. We broke down the foodstuffs into kitchen essentials, to stock up on once in a while, and groceries, to pick up once a week. We also threw in a section about seasonings for those who like to taste their food. Check all three out in the Resources section.

Where do I shop?

Go to No-Frills, Metro, Superstore or Loblaws with your student card on Tuesdays for a 10% student discount. You can do a Costco run with a group and split what you buy. If you buy the executive card, you’ll get 2% back on a coupon at the end of the year that basically pays for your membership. Other than those, we find the closest grocery store often works just fine.

Resources

Our equipment list.

  • Cookware (Pots and Pans): You can get a 10-12 pc set for approximately $150. Nobody buys full price, so wait for sales to avoid paying $600.
  • Cutting Board – $10. Having separate boards for meat and veg helps you keep things clean. Try for plastic or wood, since glass and other hard materials can dull your knives pretty quickly.
  • Non-stick Pan – $10-20. Speeds up cleaning. Again, these go on sale often, so try not to pay the $70 if you can.
  • Wok – $20. Stir fry! Asian grocery stores often sell these on the cheap.
  • Knives – $40 (or less) for a basic knife set. As low as $10 for a cheap chef’s knife – which is really all you need.
  • Glasses – $30. Pretty self-explanatory.
  • Baking Sheet – $10-30. Maybe for baking. Maybe for frozen pizza – not that we eat those…
  • Dollar Store Things:  Can opener, mixing bowl, steak knives, spatula, spoons, strainer/colander, measuring cup, vegetable peeler, grater, glasses (sometimes), tongs, wooden spoon, wisk.

Optional Extras:

  • Slow Cooker – $30. Have a tasty stew ready by the time you get home!
  • Rice Cooker – $20. Rice. Simplified.
  • Toaster – $10. Delicious, delicious bread.

Total cost: ~$200 + tax and a dollar store run. Not bad for a one-time cost, plus the ability to impress everyone with your fully equipped kitchen. These are the prices we found – see if you can beat our score!

Kitchen essentials – keep these in stock.

  • Oils – Olive and vegetable.
  • Rice – It’s cheap.
  • Pasta – So is this.
  • Soy sauce
  • Pasta sauce
  • Margarine
  • Cereal
  • Stock – Chicken, beef or veggie
  • Baking powder

A grocery list – once a week.

  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Sweet peppers
  • Protein (meat or beans, depending on your needs)
  • Bread
  • Tomatoes
  • Veggies
  • Fruit
  • Milk

Seasonings.

  • Salt & Pepper
  • Herbs – Basil and rosemary for red meat, basil and parsley for white.
  • Chili powder
  • Curry powder
  • Garlic – 50 cents a bulb and it lasts for weeks
  • Lemons

Free nutrition counseling and nutrition resources are made available to all students registered at the Western University: Nutrition  FRESH Initiative

Each year the SST runs a session on cooking at Loblaws in London and this year a cookbook is coming in the fall of healthy and easy to cook options.  Keep an eye on your email.

Contacts

EatRight Ontario – Speak to a registered dietitian: 877-510-5102

Nutrition Counseling at Western University (London Campus): 519-661-3855