The mid semester break is finally here! Time flew by for me and these two weeks are going by even faster. Huia Hall is super empty from everyone returning home, and I’m not sure if I like it or not.
Today I’m going to talk about cooking for one. At Huia Hall you have the option to be fully catered, partially catered (dinner only) or in my case self catered. Being self catered means I have to provide all three meals for myself. If you’re looking to save money this is a great option. I’m saving roughly $100 per week compared to someone on the full meal plan.
I spend around 30-40 dollars a week on groceries. I buy my groceries at the Countdown in the suburb next to Grafton (where Huia is located) called Newmarket, which is a 25 minute walk away. I prefer going there, as opposed to the metro grocery stores, because the uphill walk from Queen Street is no joke. I always go to the grocery with a friend, it’s way more fun and you have someone to keep you accountable on your spending.
On top of that I found a beautiful gem just 15 minutes away from my hall… the Parnell Farmers Market. This market runs every Saturday where local farmers and vendors come and sell their produce, plants and other goods at very affordable rates. I found that the produce at the market is sometimes way cheaper than at the grocery store. It has such an awesome vibe and everyone is always in a cheerful mood. It’s a great way to support local vendors and farming communities.
Now let’s talk about cooking…
I bought all my utensils and cookware at the Warehouse when I first moved to Auckland. I’ve actually gotten really into kitchen stuff now, so much so that every time I go into a store, I browse through all the home goods… I even instagrammed my new pot. Talk about a domestic goddess.
It’s not necessarily a meal you have to cook unless you’ve got the time and are feeling fancy. For me I usually have cereal and milk. It’s really quick to eat in the mornings which is handy if you’ve got all morning classes like myself. If I get tired of cereal, I buy yogurt and granola.
At Huia every room has a mini fridge to put all your goods.
All the floors have a kitchen and a kitchenette UNLESS you’re on floor 1, aka me. If you live on floor 1 the kitchen is downstairs, which is actually really nice because our kitchen is bigger. We even get a small locker to store our pots, pans, spices and canned goods.
I usually cook during the weekend and meal prep so that I don’t have to cook during the week. I chose to only cook once a week because it’s tiring to have to cook after classes or work, but do what fits your schedule best. Because I meal prep, I cook quite a bit of food. I had a hard time adjusting to cooking for one person. I usually cook for my whole family of six people so my portion sizes were a little too much at first lol. If you do run into this problem don’t fret because there’s always the lovely freezer.
For my main meals I have cooked curry and pasta BUT the most convenient thing I usually cook is stir fried meat and/or veggies. I found that if you just stir fry meat and make salads, you can easily switch it up during the week by making it into a sandwich, wrap or even just keeping it as a salad. You’d be surprised how long it takes to get tired of wraps lol.
It’s obvious but my advice is to keep your meals well balanced. Always have fruits on hand to snack on while studying and eat your vegetables kids. But every so often treat yo’self with something yummy.
It has been a cool experience so far getting to cook meals for myself. I definitely recommend being self catered if you apply for residence at Huia. It submerged me into my ‘adulting’ stage which has it’s positives and negatives. Cooking for yourself will never compare to a home cooked meal prepared by your mom, but it’s a good chance to experiment with recipes and find your inner domestic goddess.
Until next time!