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Preparing for uni

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
So it's that time of year when our applications get sent off and we start getting offers and deciding where we're going.
I'm just wandering if anyone's looked into budgeting? How much do you need per week for things like food/drink and essentials?

Comments

  • plugitinplugitin Noob Posts: 2,197 Mega Poster
    If you're good with cooking, you can save a hell of a lot. Back in 2008/09 I spent roughly 25-30 a week on food and drink (Inc meat) and then probably a bit more for the pub/clubs - I was spending roughly 60 quid a week on everything.

    However nowadays I'm mainly veggie so find myself spending less on meat and I don't eat as much of the junk as I used to! (my weekly shops can be about 10/15 quid)

    I'd say your best asset would be being able to cook, a good cook book or some websites with good meals (that you can also flexibly add in random ingredients when you don't have anything else in) and to bulk cook where you can.

    I hope that helps!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Batch cook. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say I used to come home from uni around 7pm and really couldn't be arsed to cook. It was so much easier to go to the fridge and heat up some meat with sauce and pasta / rice / potato. (or whatever)

    In the first few weeks, you will spend a bit more on food, learning what you like. There's nothing wrong with the cheaper brands imo.

    I used to walk most places, which saved me a lot of money.

    I didn't spend that much a week. But I wasn't interested in going out, etc.
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    I don't have much advice to give since I'm living at home whilst commuting to uni.

    But if you do need to use public transport on a regular basis, I would advise on looking into if any student discounts are available and/or pre-paid bus tickets. Personally I save £150 minimum every 12 weeks in buying a pre-paid student bus ticket- plus I can use it at weekends too!

    Also just wanted to add- I know some people living in halls buy their shopping as a group and bulk cook (as Melian and Kate mentioned) but I know some others who have separate meals from their flatmates. Perhaps this is something to consider depending on your flatmates and what they like to eat.

    EDIT: Just had another thought- for books I would advise not buying any books before starting uni, unless you are certain that you need it! For my course there a lot of recommended books that you don't actually need and they can usually be loaned from the library. When it comes to buying books sometimes it can be worthwhile buying books second hand, but my universities bookshop has this policy where you can return your used books (only if bought from their shop) and in exchange pay for/put towards new books. Perhaps this is something to look into? Also if buying second hand books check social media as your university may have a page where students can sell you their old books (mine does).
  • AuroraAurora Part of the furniture Posts: 11,713 Part of the furniture
    Defo agree on the batch cooking, not only does it save time, it means you're more likely to eat when you don't have the energy to cook, it comes in handy, have snacks in. On average, on food, I spend 15-20 a week, but then I go out for meals and spend 20 there, and like then you have all your clubs and stuff, which is like just a tenner, so on average I spend far to much in a week, but it varies from 30-60. Pick a shopping day, it's always handy, and never go shopping hungry ;)
  • AuroraAurora Part of the furniture Posts: 11,713 Part of the furniture
    Oooh, and stock up on hangover food, or you'll just end up spending on takeaways!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks guys! I'm just worried I'll run out of money for food or something.
    I'm also worried that I'llgo back to not eating properly again when I go to uni.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey Hiccup,

    Just wanted to chip in a bit here - when I was going to uni I found it helped to use an online calculator to help work out costs/budgets etc (that's if you want to get really technical), but I'll post a link here: Save the student has some good stuff here, as well as a really cool spreadsheet which might be useful for estimating!

    As the others said it's kind of like trial and error - and after a while you'll have an idea of how much you need to spend each week/month and how much to save/or have left to play around with :)

    Hope it's useful :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Do you (or will you) use the train often? If so, buy a 16-25 (young persons) railcard. One of the banks also gives them away free with their bank accounts.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »
    Do you (or will you) use the train often? If so, buy a 16-25 (young persons) railcard. One of the banks also gives them away free with their bank accounts.


    Yes! I use the train every weekend currently, I've already got one but I was looking into getting a santander student bank account as it comes with a free 4 year 16-25 railcard :)
  • plugitinplugitin Noob Posts: 2,197 Mega Poster
    Hiccup wrote: »
    Thanks guys! I'm just worried I'll run out of money for food or something.
    I'm also worried that I'llgo back to not eating properly again when I go to uni.

    You could try doing a meal plan for each day of the week (to help you plan your weekly food shop) and that might help you to make sure you're eating well?

    You could also stock up on the stuff that keeps as soon as your loan comes in - this means you will definitely have enough tinned and pasta/rice etc and then your food shops will only need to be fresh stuff... Maybe this would help?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    plugitin wrote: »
    You could also stock up on the stuff that keeps as soon as your loan comes in - this means you will definitely have enough tinned and pasta/rice etc and then your food shops will only need to be fresh stuff... Maybe this would help?

    I do this and it really helps, also good because it tends to be heavy stuff you can get delivered/your parents to help at the start of term, and then your weekly shop is easier to manage.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If you shop somewhere like Boots or Sainsburys, get their loyalty cards. I've now got some £30 on my Boots card, I think.

    I also meal planned. It meant I wasn't throwing away food.

    Keep a money tin and put all your loose change in it. At the end of year, bank it. You'll be surprised how much that will be.
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