How to buy your weekly food shop for £10

By Ellie Ideson

We’ve all been there. When you pop to the supermarket for some milk and bread and come back with ice cream, cookies and a bottle of wine. That £2 you were meant to spend turning into £10 for one night of movie snacks and not much else. Budgeting is hard, preparing food for the week as a student is even harder. You don’t know if you’ll even be in tonight to eat, let alone having the time, or motivation, to actually cook. But planning is key to not overspending on food each week and it is a great habit to get into. It will save you money, probably make you eat healthier and will allow you to impress your flat mates with your new cooking skills. So here are some tips on buying your weekly shop for just £10 if you plan well, prepare your meals and are not afraid to try new things.

Buy vegetables loose

If you take anything away from this, take this: vegetables are so much cheaper to buy loose. Being a student you will most likely only be cooking for yourself, so a bag of four courgettes is too much and half will end up in the bin. Even at supermarkets like Sainsbury’s you can pick up a loose onion for 17p, a carrot for 11p, a whole broccoli for 37p. Fancy a jacket potato? Great, you can pick one up for 27p. Not only does this save you money, but it also reduces waste and gives you a variety.

Learn to cook

You don’t need to be the next Gordon Ramsey, but learning to cook will help you save money and eat healthier. Take-aways and ready meals are great for one-offs, but eating them every day is costly, boring and unhealthy. Cooking can be very simple and there are so many student recipe books out there and online. If you are looking for the queen of budgeting, look no further than Jack Monroe. Her recipes are cheap, tasty and easy to make.

Buy value

There has always been a stigma attached to value ranges in supermarkets, but like David Ellis, editor of studentmoneysaver.co.uk, wrote in The Telegraph: “The bottom ranges deliberately have unattractive packaging and unappealing names like ‘Value’”. Why? Because supermarkets are businesses and want you to spend as much money as you can. Value ranges are cheap and mostly do not taste any different to the ones more expensive.

Food staples that will fill you up

Cans. Value cans, even better. By being on a low budget you need to think carefully on what is going to fill you up for the longest, be nutritious and satisfying. The best go-to in the cans range are beans, pulses and lentils. With a can of kidney beans at 35p, chickpeas at 45p, a bag of red lentils for £1, that’s less than £2 on staples that could serve you dinner for a week (obviously cooked in a tasty recipe). Even for breakfast, you can pick up tins of beans for 25p which will keep you full until lunch. Be smart about what you buy.

But as much as these tips will keep you full on a shoe-string budget, remember to plan first, never go to the supermarket hungry (you will overspend) and don’t be afraid to try new things. Good luck.

Top four places to visit in central London

By Charlotte Beasley
  1. The Shard

It may sound expensive but tickets for The Shard can be purchased online for just £15. It is worth the money because the view is amazing, especially if you want to be a tourist for the day or do some photography,

2. Westminster and Southbank

Both of these places are great for a student budget because they cost nothing. Again, they are both perfect for a ‘tourist’ day out but it can get busy so be prepared. If you are looking to do some photography, a clear sky or a sunset would be the perfect time to go. Also, if you have some money spare you can always go on the London Eye as well – it will give you a fantastic view of the city.

3. Graffiti tunnel

This may not be for everyone but it is extraordinary and again, it costs no money at all. Near the back of Waterloo station is the graffiti tunnel, where artists are free to express themselves. The work is amazing and should be more appreciated.

4. Hyde Park

If you want a nice walk in the sunshine this spring/summer but don’t want to stay in Kingston, Hyde Park is a good place to visit. You could even bring a picnic to save yourself some money on food.

 

Five tips to help you juggle work and university life

By Aneesa Anwar 

Financially, university life can be difficult for students. With high rents to pay, food to buy, laundry to do and the cost of socialising, money is often tight regardless of how much your student loan is.

For Kingston students it’s even more difficult as we live in one of the most expensive areas in the country. Sometimes student loans barely even cover living costs.

Many students at Kingston work part time jobs to keep up with the financial demands of living in the most expensive city in the UK.

However it is not always easy to juggle your university work with your part time job.

We’ve compiled a list of five things that will help you manage your jobs and your studies without stressing.

  1. Make sure you aren’t working to many hours.

Working extra time often means a bigger pay check at the end of the month which can be appealing. However working too many hours can leave you feeling tired and unmotivated when it comes to university work. Make sure you are working a maximum of 10-15 hours a week to insure you are keeping up with all your uni work. The results will pay off in the long term!

  1. Plan ahead

When you know you will be working over weekends or late night shifts make sure you plan ahead and get all your work done for the week or the day to make sure you don’t miss any assignment deadlines. That way you will be able to work without the stress of uni hanging over your head.

  1. Cook meals in advance

After a full day of work or uni the last thing you want to do is come home and cook. Instead of resorting to unhealthy meals or takeaways, cook meals in advance on your days off and freeze them. This way you will be able to heat up meals quickly and with minimal effort whilst still eating healthy.

  1. Avoid working too many late shifts

Late shifts sometimes pay more and can often be very appealing to a struggling student. However late night shifts, especially on uni nights, can often lead to you being exhausted and unmotivated to go to uni and complete assignments. Keeping night shifts to a minimum will allow you to get the sleep you need and have enough energy to keep up with both work and studying.

  1. Don’t forget to socialise

Working and studying usually leaves you with little time to do anything else. It is important to maintain a healthy social life and see friends and family. Having one or two days off a week is recommended for you to balance all three aspects of your life whilst also living comfortably, getting all your studying done and getting the full university experience.