With students being advised to stay on campus to limit COVID-19 outbreaks caused by travelling home, they could be set to lose over £200 ($259) worth of “free” meals over the year.
Former students spent about 32 days per school year travelling home just to eat their parents’ home-cooked meals, according to a survey of 1530 graduates by VoucherCodes.
Overall, they estimated this saved them about £21.38 per month — £203 over the course of the year.
However, in almost one in five cases (18%), they travelled home for their parents’ meals as often as once a fortnight, saving them up to £406.
Mum’s Sunday roast is the top meal to travel home for, with nearly half (48%) of ex-uni students admitting to taking trips home just to enjoy a roast. This is followed by curry (8%) and home baking (7%).
The study also found men are most likely to return to their parents’ house for a meal, doing so 40 days during the university year.
In contrast, women travel just 28 days, suggesting male uni students find it harder to fend for themselves while studying away from home.
However, with recent announcements of local lockdowns and campus COVID-19 outbreaks, students in some areas may not be able to travel at all.
This is likely to most impact Scottish students, as graduates in Aberdeen were found to travel home most often at a whopping 126 days per year on average.
Current Cambridge students are less likely to feel the impact, as the study shows previous students travelled home for home-cooked meals just nine days of the academic year.
Despite relying on mum and dad for food one day a month, students tend to cook for themselves just over five days per week on average, the research shows.
The most common reason for not making their own meals during the rest of the week is wanting to eat a takeaway instead (64%).
This is followed by cooking being too much effort (49%), and preferring ready meals for ease (47%).
Shockingly, 6% of men also admitted to stealing food from their flatmates instead, compared to just 2% of women.
The research also suggests that when they do cook for themselves, students opt for a quick and easy meal. Their go-to is a sandwich, with over a quarter (26%) admitting they ate one three to four times per week while at university.
Toast came in second, with nearly a quarter (24%) eating one, three to four times a week.
The famous student staple, flavoured noodles, came in third, with nearly a fifth (28%) doing so.
Most popular meals eaten three or more times a week by students
Flavoured noodles (18%)
Beans on toast (12%)
Pesto pasta (12%)
Chicken nuggets (12%)