Everyone looks forward to the day when they get a nice big lump of student loan deposited in their bank account. But pretty soon, after numerous shopping trips, nights out and that new gadget you just HAD to have, that once-healthy sum of cash begins to dwindle, causing you to question how you’re going to survive these next few months.
Well, you CAN survive without material goods (admit it, you’ve already got enough!) but you CAN’T survive without food. So to help you live off what little loan you have left, here are some of the best tips to shopping like a cheapskate!!
• Reduced Section
Where would students be without this golden section of the supermarket?! You can pick up all of your meat and other food that is very close to being out of date for a fraction of the original cost. If you get it home and freeze it you can make it last for months (as long as you consume it the day you defrost it – don’t go making yourself ill!)
• Buy Fruit and Veg Loose
Only need one onion or one potato for your meal? Don’t buy a large bag – it’ll only sit in your cupboard until it starts growing things that don’t look like they belong on this earth. Only buy what you know you’ll use – although you may think that couple of quid you save from this each week doesn’t amount to much; leave it for a month and you’ll have enough for a night out – it’s a win-win situation!
• Look for Special Deals
Deals on things you normally buy can often pay off buying in bulk, but don’t think I’m contradicting myself because I’m not – only buy things in bulk that have a reaaaallyyyy long sell-by date so that you’ll be able to use them in time. This includes things like noodles – “two for £3” deal? You can justify that. Same with sauces and pastas and anything else that can be kept in the cupboard.
• Save Your Leftovers
Investing in some Tupperware could be a life saver. Can’t finish your dinner? Showed off your inner culinary genius by making a delicious meal for 4? Either put it in the fridge and have it for lunch the day after; or freeze them, which will last for months. Just remember that if you freeze them, store them in portion sizes, otherwise it will all get stuck together and just get messy.
• Avoid Impulse Buys
Know what you need to buy before doing your shopping and stick to that list. Avoid snacks and extras you don’t really need.
• Look for Cheap Alternatives
Great examples include buying chopped tomatoes instead of Bolognese sauce, or buying locally sourced alcohol instead of branded beer. However, don’t think you have to swap all of your branded favourites to own brand items. Have a borderline obsession with Heinz Baked Beans?
• Co-op Student Discount
A few weeks ago Co-op announced that they would now be offering 10% off food, drink, household products, newspapers and magazines, confectionary and flowers, which is exclusive to NUS extra cardholders. If you haven’t got an NUS Extra card yet, you can apply for one online http://www.nus.org.uk/ and at just £12 it very quickly pays for itself in discount at 100’s of retailers both online and on the high street.
• Work in a Supermarket
Most employers offer their employees some sort of discount – and working in a supermarket means money off food! Even if it’s a measly 10% off, it’ll still add up