Tips and advice

Tips for Eating on a Student Budget

It IS possible to eat on a budget in Norway

Full Name: Quoc Tuan Nguyen
Home Country: Vietnam
Previous university: Foreign Trade University
The current program at BI: MSc in Data Science in Business

As an international student living in Oslo, I realized that living expenses are very expensive. This could be more serious when you are a student with a limited budget. While it is true that prices can be steep (for example, a dinner for two with burgers, fries, and beers can easily cost 500 NOK, which is equivalent to 50 euros!), it is possible to eat on a budget in Norway. This may require some flexibility, but with a few precautions and tips, it is definitely feasible.

Stock up with the supermarkets and use your kitchen:

To manage expenses while living in Norway, it is crucial to have a plan for cooking meals. I noticed a significant improvement in my cooking skills since I arrived in Norway.

Traditional Vietnamese Food

Vietnamese traditional food made by me

While the cost of living in Norway is generally high, the prices of supermarket products are still reasonable. If you're looking for the best prices, Kiwi and REMA 1000 are the supermarkets to go to. Kiwi offers its own no-name label called First Price and the products have almost the same quality as the more expensive ones.

Additionally, if you're looking for Asian food and seasonings, A Food Market (located at Lakkegata 3, 0187 Oslo) is a great option. For those looking for a wider selection of affordable fruits and vegetables, Grønlands Torg Frukt og Grønt is an option to check out. Located next to A Food Market, this store offers more than 150 different types of products, as well as other groceries at "super affordable prices".

Too Good To Go

Too Good To Go mobile app is a "must-have" app to find budget frinedly food in Norway. This innovative app connects users with restaurants, cafes, and bakeries that have unsold food at the end of the day, allowing users to purchase this food at a discounted price. With discounts of 50% or more, Too Good To Go is a great way to save money on meals while also helping to reduce food waste. 

Some other reasonable choices

If I find myself short on time for cooking, fortunately, there are alternative options available. One favorable choice is The Living Kitchen at BI, which offers lunches for only 53 NOK. Another option worth considering is McDonald's, which has locations throughout Norway and offers affordable fast-food options. While it may not be the healthiest choice, it can be a convenient and budget-friendly option if you're in a hurry.

Food from Oslo Street Food

My dinner with friends at Oslo Street Food

If you're planning a night out in Norway, Oslo Street Food is a great option to consider. With a variety of food options from Korea, Japan, Thailand, and China (to name a few countries) you're sure to find something you'll enjoy. Prices here can vary, but typically you can expect to spend around 300 NOK for a main dish and a beer. During the summer months, you can also enjoy your beer outside and relax with friends. Another option to consider is Tacos, which offers discounts for BI students. Keep in mind that prices may vary depending on the location, so it's always a good idea to check ahead of time.

It is possible to eat well on a budget – just be flexible, learn to cook, and take advantage of the options available. 

Check out our TikTok related to this student blog post here!