Being a student on a budget and having 9AMs to attend isn't always easy. Between the stress and the lack of free time, we often surrender to ready meals and expensive takeaways. If there's one thing I've learnt in my first year of university it's how a simple oven should become your best friend — it'll help you spare some money and achieve a healthier lifestyle.

A Lighter Option

Heema Gokani

My main culinary inspiration is my mother. She's always made a point to make delicious and healthy food and tried to teach me how to lead a balanced but flavourful life. One of her big mottos was to use the oven as much as possible. Sometimes you can't skip a good old stir fry, but for most recipes there's a way to use the oven for a lighter meal.

The oven is the perfect place to combine plain ingredients and make them delicious with little or no condiments. Instead of a stir fry, chop up those veggies and mix them with any spice you fancy — bonus points if you get adventurous with them! A drizzle of oil, a dash of salt, and surprise! You got a great side dish for a couple of meals. 

Cheap Meals

Heema Gokani

As I've mentioned, the oven is great when it comes to make light and flavourful dishes. However, it's also great when it comes to making majestic cheap dishes! Vegetarian lasagne? Frittata? A gigantic cookie? All very cheap dishes that will bring you (and your wallet) joy every day. 

Meal Planning

Heema Gokani

Let's get it real. Meal planning is hard, especially when you have to juggle your part time job, deadlines and 9AMs. What's not hard is cooking a big meal in the oven, and having food ready to go for several. It's time saving, too —  you can easily let it bake while you study — and all you need is some tupperware to keep it fresh.

#SpoonTip: Bonus point if the tupperware is made of glass and not plasic, #LoveThePlanet guys! 

A Real Bestfriend

Heema Gokani

This is why the oven should be your best friend. It's cheap, it's easy and it's time saving. Also, it's super underrated so if you live in student accomodation it's totally going to be cleaner than the hob! All kind of mismatched food left in the fridge can be given new life to with a tray and some spices. Just toss it in and get ready for a delicious meal!