Jan 29, 2016— read in full
Student shopping on a budget
And for those who do like shopping, this can be risky, especially when you first receive your student loan and the temptation for a shopping spree can overtake common sense.
The best way to avoid blowing all your loan or savings in one go is to set a strict budget and only buy the essentials.
Creating a shopping budget
To create a shopping budget, you will need to draw up a list of what you will need each week, month, term or year.
Depending on your accommodation arrangements, this could include: food, toiletries, cleaning products, bedding, furniture, presents, equipment and clothes. It is also worth ensuring you keep a little bit of money aside for emergency purchases too.
Calculate how much each item will cost and spread the costs out over a year.
For help creating a budget, visit the Student Calculator
How much does food cost?
For many students who have never lived away from home before, the hardest part about drawing up a groceries budget is knowing how much things cost.
If you do not know the average cost of groceries, take a look at the quick-reference costing guide below.
Pasta in Sauce 79p
Pasta Shells (500g) 78p
Tin Chopped tomatoes 21p
8 British Lincolnshire sausages £1.88
Semi-skimmed Milk (1litre) 80p
6 Eggs £1.55
English Medium Cheddar Cheese (250g) £1.68
Chicken mini Fillets (244g) £2.33
Beef Mince (500g) £2.20
Mozzarella Pizza £2.06
Sunflower Butter Spread (1kg) £1.52
Sunflower Oil (1litre) £1.22
Tea Bags £1.59
Cornflakes (500g) £1.69
Washing powder 950g £2.33
Toilet roll x 4 £1.56
Shower gel 250ml 99p
Tips for shopping on a budget
Students can substantially reduce their shopping costs by following these tips:
- Shop around and look for bargains. There is no shame in buying value brands or reduced items in shops. The best time to get a bargain is at the end of the day when supermarkets cut the price of any unsold food such as bread.
- Visit the Savoo website to find out about money off deals on everyday essentials and life's little luxuries.
- Is there a student discount? Many high-street stores offer discounts of 10% or more on clothing and other items for NUS members. For the pick of the best, visit Student Discounts and Student Beans.
- Look around and buy your books second-hand. There are always ads around campus for books, and there are loads of places online to buy them second-hand, including Amazon and AbeBooks.
- Freeze what you don’t eat or eat your left-overs for lunch the following day.
- Don’t go shopping when you are feeling hungry.
- Meat, fish and fresh fruit and vegetables are often cheapest in local markets.
- If you live in halls, why not cook with friends so that you can share the costs.
- Get a part-time job where food is included.