Living on a budget

Across the country people are feeling the impact of rising costs. Food prices have gone up by nearly
20% over the last year and it can be challenging to find the money for new clothes or a trip out.
Students with limited capacity to work can be particularly vulnerable to the rise in cost of living.

This week we share some money saving and budgeting tips to help you successfully complete your
studies, earn some extra cash, and find free things to do.

Food shop savvy

Choosing budget supermarkets and value ranges will obviously help save money, but don’t rule out
better quality food.
Key to good food shopping on a budget is being as flexible as possible with the meals you cook. If
you have a limited menu that involves cooking a handful of the same dishes every week, you’ll not
find many bargains.
Instead, see what is on offer or buy discounted food that is close to the sell by date and research what
dishes you can make. You might find the challenge fun and develop a broader, more adventurous
palate, especially if you are cooking with friends. For example, what can you do with a flat mushroom,
a savoy cabbage and a smoked Basa fillet?!
Another option for shopping wisely is to bulk buy. At the start of term, you could stock up with healthy food essentials that you can fall back on if you start to feel the pinch. Canned foods such as beans, chopped tomatoes, soup, fish, and dried foods such as rice and pasta offer cheap and filling meals.

Create some cash

Vintage clothes shops are a great way to develop style on a budget but why not be a seller too and
unload your preloved clothes to make a bit of extra cash. Vinted and Depop online shopping sites are
easy options to give your unwanted clothes a new lease of life.
Sites like Zapper can help you unlock cash for your old books and give others the joy of a good value
read.
For the crafty amongst you, Etsy provides a great platform to sell homemade products. You’ll find
buyers for knitted jumpers, art, or felt toys.
And you can sell anything on eBay!

Do stuff for free

UK cities have lots of free things to do such as museums and events. Mezzino locations such as
Belfast has music in the park free events throughout August and September, Dundee’s the mcmanus,
art gallery and museum is free entry, and Manchester has the fantastic free to enter Science and
Industry Museum and People’s History Museum.
Finally, check out your university to see what free to the public events and talks are on and see what
the student union has on offer.

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