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USG competition winner full of great student-saving tips

By March 7, 2018 No Comments


I‘m a first-year student. Even though it’s really exciting and I’m still living at home, I’m responsible for buying all my own food now. I have a few tips/life hacks on how to stretch $20 over a week.

The food in the picture was purchased in Coles and it cost me $15.70. Usually I’d get some type of meat but nothing was on sale so these are my go-to items.


  • Try to meal prep in advance and cook in bulk – shopping for two weeks with $40 is easier than $20 in one week.
  • Stock up on staples (rice, oil, pasta, oats) in bulk and spices to keep meals interesting.
  • Shop the half price specials or reduced items at the grocery.
  • Buy seasonal produce.
  • You can freeze meat that is reduced.
  • Stock up on tuna and rice cakes when they are $1 each.
  • Don’t be afraid to buy frozen/canned fruit and vegetables.
  • Use Cashrewards. Here, you can purchase Woolworths eGiftcards with a 5% discount. So it costs $900 to buy $1000 of Woolworths credit etc.
  • The best day to go shopping is on Tuesday/Monday night. It’s generally the least busy days of the week and you can browse the catalogues for the next week online and stock up on the current specials. For example, you won’t purchase a $5 peanut butter jar when you know it will be $2.50 in the next week’s specials.
  • Do surveys in your spare time to get food vouchers. Valued Opinions does Coles and Woolworths vouchers.
  • Take advantage of free breakfast and dinners offered at your uni.


Selena Sekulic is in her first year at The University of Queensland, studying a Bachelor of Advanced Finance and Economics. 

Selena won our University Survival Guide $20 competition where we asked first year students how they could make their last $20 of the week work hard for them. As you can see from her entry above, Selena nailed the brief and gave plenty of tips to her fellow first year students. 

Congratulations to Selena and good luck with your uni career! 

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