Weekly Shop Tips

When you start uni the last thing you might think of is something as mundane as groceries, right? I totally get it. In the excitement of making friends, getting to grips with your course and discovering your new home, you might not think about the *shudder* adult responsibilities. Then it dawns on you: ‘how the heck do I execute a weekly shop?’ oh believe me, been there, done that. Luckily I’m here to help, after all, it’s not as scary as it sounds. Here are my top tips on how to do your first weekly shop.

Choosing a shop

First of all you have to choose where you’d like to do your shop. This decision can be made up of many factors – where you’re used to, which is cheapest, where’s most convenient – one of these factors will take priority and that is how you will choose your shop. I tended to go for the cheapest (which conveniently was what I was used to). You could also go for multiple shops if you prefer certain brands that aren’t stocked in your chosen shop, or you’re very bargain savvy and love to find good deals. At the end of the day you will find yourself drifting to the same shops time and time again, even if you find yourself being indecisive in the early days.

Plan your meals and stick to your list

The best way to keep to budget with your shopping is to create a shopping list (and stick to it – no matter what!). I found that planning my meals in advance was a great way to do this. I would make a list of what I wanted to eat that week and then write the ingredients into a list, add any extra things I needed, and et viola! I knew exactly what I was getting. This not only saves you from buying excess of things you don’t need, it also saves you time as you won’t spend hours wandering around aimlessly.

NEVER shop on an empty stomach

This is a bad idea, do not do it. You will find yourself buying the whole shop… and then some.

Go with friends

If you find your weekly shop is a bit too boring, or you’re nervous to do your first shop or you just love to spend time with your friends, why not bring them along? This way you will have someone to chat with whilst you shop. You may even find yourself exchanging food ideas or you may be convinced to try a new brand of washing powder (how exciting!)

Until next time! 🙂

Things I Learnt in my First Weeks at Uni

It’s a known fact that you learn a lot at university, you don’t need me to tell you that. But a lot of the more practical aspects of your university education will often go unnoticed. Over the years I have learnt so much about how to effectively adult, but a lot of that actually cropped up in the first few weeks. Uni turned out to be a whole new world to what I was used to and I had to adjust to it. I’ve compiled a list of the this you can expect to encounter when you first start uni.

Cleaning

I’m a self-proclaimed neat freak, but I still struggled with trying to get my head around proper full-on cleaning. I wasn’t sure what each different cleaning product did, I mean I’m still not sure what all of them do. However, I gradually figured out how I would go about cleaning the spaces I was responsible for and came up with a sort of cleaning timetable that helped me figure out what to do when, this really helped me get my head around something I hadn’t always had to do in such depth.

Doing Laundry

I still laugh when I think about the first time I did my own laundry, I spent ages sending my mum photos of my washing asking if this top was light or if these jeans were dark. I hadn’t a clue! Laundry is a risky business, if you mess up you could end up with some really dodgy looking clothes. But it’s nothing to worry about once you get the hang of it. My advice for this is to ask for help, don’t risk messing up because you’re too shy, once you do it once, you’ll know what to do for next time.

Food Shopping

The food shop was one of the first things I had to conquer. On my second day at uni I set off to Aldi with no idea what I needed or what I even wanted to eat, that was a great start… I urge you to make a list when going food shopping, maybe even think of what meals you’d like throughout the week and get only the ingredients for them. This method will not only save you time and money, it will also stop you from buying random foodstuffs that don’t go together which will eventually end in you producing more waste.

Having to make important phone calls

This was the part of adulthood I was always dreading. I’ve never been good on the phone and the idea of booking an appointment for something or sorting out something important like bills over the phone still give me the creeps. But University has alleviated some of my fear, even in the first few weeks of uni you may have to deal with people over the phone – i.e. maintenance people, doctors, dentists etc – But there is nothing to worry about, these people are on the other end of the phone to help you, and you know, as they say, practice makes perfect!

Until next time! 🙂

How to adult- a crash course in University life

One of the things most people worry about when it comes to University is the independence that comes with it if you choose to live away from home. But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt from my first year at this University, once you’ve settled in and you’ve figured your routines out, you take the responsibilities in your stride!

Below are a few examples I’ve come across through the past 6 months:

Budgeting (and shopping)

Budgeting is probably the biggest responsibility students come across. Not only do you need to ensure that you have enough money to have a healthy and happy social life, you need to ensure you have money for food. It takes most people some time to get used to the different things you need to budget for as a Uni student, but once you’ve been shopping a few times and figured out your usual expenditures you’ll get the hang of it.

Below are a couple of articles on budgeting that might give you some tips and tricks that can prepare you for September!

All things budgeting…

Money Makes the World Go ‘Round: Budgeting for Students

Laundry

I know, it seems like something that would be low on the list, but I underestimated the time I would have to put into ensuring I had clothes readily available to wear and didn’t budget for paying for it either! Some people I know were already doing all of their laundry back home, but I only operated an iron and ironing board as I was worried I would damage either my clothes or the washing machine itself! If there’s something I’ve learnt a lot about this year, it’s how to ensure I can clothe myself;

  • Lesson 1: Don’t spend your laundry money on Domino’s pizza… oh, and that includes your money for washing tablets, you need them to actually wash for starters!
  • Lesson 2: Laundry takes time. Don’t wake up an hour before a lesson thinking you’ll be able to put the clothes you wanna wear on and turn up on time…
  • Lesson 3: It’s not a one step system… as well as the time taken to wash the clothes, you need to dry them too, and iron them if they need it. I usually dedicate a day over the weekend to get it done without distractions or timing issues!
  • Lesson 4: … Don’t stick flannel/gym kit/delicate material in a dryer unless you want it to fit your future children… it shrinks!

Although it’s an added thing for your to-do list, the joy always comes after a wash day when you get to throw yourself onto your laundry bag which is full of lovely warm, freshly dried clothing… it’s my biggest adulting guilty pleasure!

Sleeping

An eternal struggle for most students… you either sleep too much and get nothing done, or sleep too little and zombie-walk your way through life! I have a habit of not watching the clock, and without my parents to ensure my bed is actually getting slept in, I can sometimes be doing assignments or (more realistically) watching Netflix till the early hours of the morning!

But it’s important to get into a habit of sleeping a decent amount and at a fairly regular time, as you can slip into some really bad habits that could affect your studies and your ability to adult in general.

 

So, I could list a few other things in this post, but trust me, once you get into the swing of things and start to stand on your own two feet life gets easier and I actually find the independence brings me so much more from life than when I was trying my hardest to escape responsibilities!

If there are any questions or worries you have, please don’t hesitate to pop me a comment 🙂

And on that note, I’ll leave you with this: