Living in Sweden can be quite expensive as a student, for it is one of the most expensive countries in Europe. Thus, as a student it is imperative to find various ways to save money. One of the best ways to reduce the expenditure is to cook your own food. A meal in any student restaurant or university cafe is for about 75 to 100 SEK, which is approximately 8 to 10 euros. I leave the further calculation to you.
Cooking in the beginning can be time consuming. However, practice makes the man perfect! When I first arrived in Sweden I was not very efficient and well versed in cooking even though I had learned to cook some basic food items before leaving home. But, the two weeks gap between the arrival day and the start of the academic courses, provided me with a nice buffer time to organise and look around and improve my cooking skills. Furthermore, I learned to cook variety of dishes from my corridor mates some Spanish, some Japanese, some Singaporean and many more.
Now, let me tell you a bit about the supermarkets in Stockholm. There are a few chains of supermarkets that can be found everywhere in and around the city. Coop, Hemkop, Lidl, ICA and Willys are a few to name. Willy is generally located on the outskirts of the city, and not generally in the central parts of the city. These supermarkets have weekly discounts on specific items, which differ from week to week. Further, each of these have an android app which can be used to register and get notifications of the weekly discounts.
One can find all the groceries and other supplies for cooking. I personally prefer Lidl, it is cheaper then most of the supermarkets and has almost everything that is required for cooking on a daily basis. The vegetable are better at Coop or Hemkop, as they are more fresh. Lidl has a good variety of frozen foods, right from frozen peas to frozen pizza and frozen french fries. The frozen foods are an essential part of student life, as it is the easiest to prepare. All one needs to do is, put it in oven for 15-20 mins and its ready to eat!
Apart from these there are a few special oriental shops in Stockholm. Most of the ingredients can be found at the major supermarkets, however, some special ingredients such as special spices and some special sauce can be found in one of the following stores: Orient Hus, Kista Grossen and Himalaya Livs.
There are lunch rooms at all the three universities, where, refrigerators, microwaves and spoons and plates are available for common use. Even these are used by large number of students they are well maintained. The refrigerators can be used to store food until lunch time and then heated just before lunch.
I have come to realize that on a very busy day, going to the shared kitchen and cooking a nice meal, while talking to other people from the corridor is relaxing and gives a homely feel. It is a very good way to have a short break from the routine of academics and work in daily life (especially during the exam time) and share and learn about various cultures.
My classmate Jannah, who is a food connoisseur says,
Why should I go to places to escape, while staying home and cooking something good can liberate me