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Students ditching alcohol for healthier diets

17th October 2014

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It looks like student life is getting rid of its booze-filled and fast-food heavy reputation – alcohol doesn’t even make the top ten in a list of items that students regularly pick up on supermarket trips, according to new research.

Instead, the most likely items for students’ shopping baskets include healthy staples meat, pasta, cheese and eggs.

Despite this the majority of parents still believe that students are spending their loans on booze – when asked what they thought their kids would be most likely to fill their cupboards with, alcohol topped the list for 20% of parents.

Bread, milk and toiletries are the other things that parents think students are spending their money on – which probably isn’t too surprising.

The research, carried out by new student money back prepaid card uniicard, suggests that students are leading healthier lives than they’re often given credit for.

Unfortunately, prioritising a healthy life doesn’t always come cheap - a whopping 65% of students admit that they’ve have gone hungry at least once because of money worries.

A third of these students would consider deliberately skipping meals altogether in order to make their money last longer.

The survey questioned 1,000 UK-based university students, and 1,000 parents with children currently at uni.

CEO of uniicard, Marco Nardone, says: “Students are no longer following the typical “lad” culture of boozing and beans, but we all know the healthy option is not always the cheapest alternative.

“Parents will probably be delighted that their kids aren’t blowing all their money on booze and trying to lead a healthier lifestyle; however, it’s clear students still need help to budget accordingly after leaving home.”

We’d add that it’s probably not students’ fault that they’re cutting back on food to make ends meet, though – recently released research found that over the last couple of years the amount students spend on overall living has gone down, as has the amount they can afford to spend on food.

Student spending on groceries fell by over 8% in 2013, according to Family Investments, with rent and transport costs taking precedence. These expenses rose by 25.2% and 4.3% respectively in the year from 2012

For advice on how to save money whilst at university visit our financial advice pages here.


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