Shopping for the first time on your own can actually be quite exciting, you can buy and try out different things to what you are used to at home. It is important to stay on budget though otherwise shopping can turn into a very expensive experience!

General Tips

  • For most people a budget of around £20 to £30 a week is about right for shopping, it will depend on the area you live in and which shops are around, try go to an ALDI, LIDL, Tesco, ASDA or Morrisons if you can, these are the cheapest supermarkets, but they aren’t always available.
  • Express supermarkets are more expensive than bigger stores, it will be cheaper to go to the out of town Tesco than to the Tesco Express, you will also have much more choice.
  • Some supermarkets offer student discount cards such as Sommerfields.
  • If you are loyal to a shop make sure they know it! Get a loyalty cardif one is available, Tesco Clubcards, Co-op Cards, Nectar Cards etc.
  • Use a strong reusable bag for shopping with, especially if you have to walk along way back from the supermarket.
  • Only use a basket when you know you are going to have to walk home, if you find it a struggle to hold your basket, remember you are going to have to walk quite away back still!
  • Always double bag if you forget a reusable bag, most supermarket bags are incapable of being taken further than outside the car park without splitting open, if they don’t they’ll end up trying to severe your fingers off anyway.
  • Checkout your local grocery you may find the vegetables there are better quality and cheaper than the supermarket.
  • Don’t go shopping with a hangover or if you are hungry!
  • Don’t buy any more than about 4 litres of drink (2×2 litre bottles) if you are going to have to walk more than a mile home, they will hurt after a while!
  • Don’t go shopping without planning a list of meals first, you will buy stuff you don’t need and won’t buy stuf you do need!

Financial Tips

  • Checkout the reduced section for some bargain deals
  • See if what you want has an alternative cheaper brand or supermarket own brand.
  • Sometimes brands are on offer making them the cheapest.
  • Don’t fall for all the offers, some are not worth it! Only buy what you would have bought anyway.
  • If you can buy in bulk with friends, £50 will go significantly further for two people than £25 goes for one.
  • Tesco Value is not as bad as its reputation is, Tesco Value Tinned Tomatoes taste just as good as a brand name.
  • Frozen vegetables don’t go off as quickly and are more healthy usually.
  • Buy your meat in bulk and freeze as much as you can.
  • Turkey is much cheaper than Chicken and tastes about the same.
  • Ready Meals are a RIP OFF, making food from scratch is far cheaper by miles and more fun.
  • It’s much cheaper to make your own tasty pasta sauce than buying a jar.
  • Don’t buy things you aren’t going to eat!
  • Supermarkets are not the place to buy newspapers or CDs/DVDs/mobile phones, you can get a student newspaper far cheaper in your union usually, and CDs, DVDs and mobiles are cheaper online by a long way.
  • Get alcohol when it is on offer if you know you are going to drink it! Supermarkets can often be cheaper than the Off Licence.
  • Try and get a 5% Student Discount card if you shop in Somerfield, it could save you quite a bit over the years! They will run out fast though so grab one as soon as you can!

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