Quanto basta – just enough (English version)
A survival guide for offsite students
Articolo comparso nella sezione “Backstage” del n°48 di Pass Magazine
by Carla Raso / Translated by Alessia Silvestrin
“Quanto basta” (“just enough”) is a motto taken from the homonym book of Lisa Casali to describe the ideal approach that offsite students should pursue when they have to do the shopping. In order to do it as best as possible, it’s recommended to buy only what will be consumed for sure.
It may be useful to apply the scheme suggested by the author:
- HOW MUCH
1- HOW MUCH
Keep well in mind what follows: if you live with other students, but you don’t want to share your meals with them, you will have to consume everything you buy.
Write a list of your favourite dishes and plan your weekly meals, in order to have a balanced diet. Furthermore, such a plan helps you to evaluate the quantity of every ingredient, that is very important especially for fresh food.
Anyway it’s better not to buy too much food with a long shelf life, because the space for one’s supplies at home is usually limited.
Don’t forget to consider the meals you eat outside, if you have to attend lessons at University for example. If so, you can eat at the canteen and benefit from your ESU card to have a discount.
Now it’s time to write your shopping list.
Divide the products of your list in categories. A supermarket is organised into aisles so to follow the order of our daily meals: fruit for breakfast near the entrance, then pasta, meat, fish, etc.
Starting from fruit and vegetables, remember the POINT 1: in order to avoid food waste, choose deep-frozen food (which is also a lifeline in case of an empty fridge ). Consider canned food and vegetables in jars as well.
You can do the same when you want to buy fish: if your budget is low, or you don’t trust your culinary abilities, buy deep-frozen fish, canned fish, or salted fish.
Fresh fish and meat are usually sold in big packages, for more than one person, so don’t forget to freeze what you don’t eat, so that it won’t go bad.
Now the products on your new shopping list are sorted by category, you have the quantity and the type of package.
Don’t underestimate this point: during the weekend and in the evenings from 6 p.m, supermarkets are usually crowded with families or workers.
If possible, between a lesson and the other, go at the beginning of the week, and possibly before 6 p.m; you will also find fresh products.
Very important: go always on a full stomach, or you will end up buying many things that you actually don’t need.
It depends on your priorities:
- Organic supermarket
Compare prices of various stores (there are special app for this) but don’t take advantage to stock up on food: sales are frequently repeated and, as already said, we usually don’t have so much space.
As for household cleaning products and personal care products, compare prices between dedicated stores: they usually offer competitive prices.
What else can we do, to save space and money?
If you live with other students, it would be better to buy some products together: dishwashing liquid, soaps and detergents for household cleaning, napkins, toilet paper, and maybe also salt, oil, spices.
- Set your weekly budget
- If you have your meal outside, try to eat healthy and to vary your menu; it’s good for your concentration and memorization activities.
- Buy only what is necessary: “just enough” it’s a good rule not only for the shopping, but also in case you will have to move.
- Share as much as possible with your flatmates: you will save space and money
- P.S.: don’t forget your shopping list on the table!