A lot of students are struggling with their expenses, especially during the crisis that we are currently facing. A lot of them have lost their jobs and cannot find other income sources. Therefore, they do not have a lot to spend and need to save on certain things in their daily life. One of these things that are saved on are groceries. The reality is that healthy products are most of the time more expensive than unhealthy products.
Vicky is a 22-year-old Tourism student, she lives by herself and also cooks most of the time her own dinners. Due to the coronavirus, she has lost her job as waitress in a restaurant. For the past two years she is very actively busy with getting healthy and losing weight. Currently she has lost over 20 kilograms in a time period of one year. She is living on her own for almost four years now, this has been a great influence on her eating habits.
If you compare your eating habits currently with when you were living at home with your parents, what difference are there?
When I was living at home my mom cooked every night for the family, sometimes my dad cooked but he isn’t a great chef. We typically eat the Dutch dinner potatoes, meat and vegetables and sometimes spaghetti or soup nothing very special. When I moved out and could cook for myself it was very hard in the beginning. I never learned how to cook, so I always bought easy and cheap meals. Most of the time I just put them in the microwave, and I was ready to eat. This led to that I gained a lot of weight that first year living by myself, I just ate everything that I wanted to. Then I had a moment of realization that this could not go on for much longer, I wanted to get thinner and lose weight.
I didn’t know much about food, so I started doing research and looking up recipes. I can remember the first time I was shopping for products to make my recipe. That was the first time that I realized how expensive it is. The first months I was spending a lot on groceries, but it was working for my body I was getting thinner. But my wallet was also getting thinner (*she laughs*). Currently I am still eating healthy but now I am more aware of product prices.
In what way are you now more aware of product prices? Do you buy different products?
Not different products but I most of the time buy the home brand of the grocery store, this is most of the time a lot cheaper than buying the A brand. I also go shopping at like the Aldi or Lidl these stores are cheaper than like Albert Heijn.
When you are graduated and have a fulltime job, what changes would you make in your diet?
I don’t think I would really change my diet but more the products that I am buying, and where I am buying them. I would buy more A brand products in the grocery store and go more often to Albert Heijn. I think I also would cook every day with fresh products and biological. I really would like to eat only biological, for now that is impossible because it is too expensive. I would go shopping at like the Ekoplaza all the time.
Next is Ruben he is a 23 year old Creative Business student, he is living on his own now for almost two years. He experiences several limitations in living healthy as a student.