Food budgeting 101

Hello all, hope you’ve been enjoying the sunshine that’s hit us recently!

As I mentioned in my last post, I wanted to do a follow up on the topic of food and eating, but specifically budgeting for your meals throughout the week.

In September, my budget for food was drastically different to what it is now, but you learn to budget for your requirements throughout your first year at Uni. The main thing that I changed in order to cut down my food budget was to stop relying on branded food. We all have our favourite food brands- McCain’s, Coco Pops, the list could go on – but the unbranded stuff doesn’t get the love and appreciation it deserves (other than from students!).

Around Ormskirk there are some great food shops for students, I’d say we had the best selection for a University. There’s a Morrison’s, Aldi, Poundland, Iceland and Poundstretcher. I didn’t know how fussy I’d be with shopping, as I usually go to Asda with my family and I didn’t know how different prices would be and what these shops would stock in comparison. However, I’m very much converted to Morrison’s and Aldi! Sometimes I can get meals for about 3 days for about £5! It all just comes down to a few main things:

  • Stick to your budget. The moment you break from it, the more relaxed you become with your weekly budget and the less money you’ll have for social events and such.
  • Stick to your shopping list. And make a list! If you don’t, you tend to cruise the aisles and just grab stuff willingly, which can cost you money you could have otherwise used for different things.
  • Treat yourself, but not too often. This is mostly applicable to the things such as buying your branded food and things such as desserts and indulgence snacks.
  • Don’t be afraid of the unbranded stuff! Morrison’s Savers and Aldi’s own brand food is so cheap in comparison, yet tastes just as good or even better 9 times out of 10!

A good thing to do before you arrive is to check on the websites for the shops I listed above and see what kind of food they sell and at what prices, so that you have an idea of what to expect upon arriving at Edge Hill and to Ormskirk. I think Ormskirk is one of the best towns for students, both socially and for the “adult” things such as grocery shopping!

Hope these tips will help you!

Things You Will Never Hear an Edge Hill Student Say

There are a lot of students that go to Edge Hill and they all have their own opinions, however there are some things you will NEVER hear an Edge Hill student saying and I’m going to tell you why!

  1. There’s nowhere to eat 

Edge Hill’s campus is full of places to eat, in all different locations. Firstly the hub has at least four places selling food and drink, from McColl’s if you just want a quick sandwich or a packet of crisps to the dedicated food counter that serves and array of hot meals. On top of that you have Water’s Edge with it’s wonderful view of – you guessed it – the lake, the Red Bar located in The Arts Centre for when you’re peckish mid-rehearsal and Café Rewind in the Health building. There are many other places to get food on campus, we really are spoilt for choice!

  1. There’s no decent accommodation

As I, and many other student bloggers have mentioned before, the campus is ever expanding. We are constantly hearing of new developments and new accommodation being built. In my time at Edge Hill they have added an entire new cluster of flats called Palatine Court, and they are currently building more over the old running track. All of these buildings are decked out with fancy extras such as en-suite bathrooms, TVs and computers. To say that Edge Hill doesn’t have awesome accommodation would be totally untrue!

  1. There’s no sports facilities

As of September 2015 Edge Hill has been the proud home of Edge Hill Sports Centre, a new purpose built facility, not just for sports students. I often frequent the place to swim, the pool is probably one of the nicest I have swum in and not to mention the changing rooms are fantastic. The fact that they not only have cubicle showers (as opposed to those awkward communal ones) but hair straighteners (yes, this is a big deal to me), shows Edge Hill’s attention to detail when they were designing the building. It does not just stop at the pool though, there are so many other facilities such as a gym with in-built entertainment technology, exercise studio, 8 court sports hall and much more. That’s just on the inside, there are also football, ruby and hockey pitches, an athletics track and an outdoor 2.5km fitness trail with exercise equipment.  Who says students are lazy?

  1. The campus is ugly

I’m going to answer this in the form of pictures –

  1. You can’t get a job

Edge Hill has a great policy on student employment, they offer so many different job opportunities for their students from working in the SU bar or sports centre to student ambassadors and student bloggers *flashes a smile* But if you don’t want a job on campus the Careers Centre is always there to help you find a part-time job. They constantly post updates on Facebook, Twitter and their webpage for different vacancies, but if you’re still unsure you can book and appointment and an advisor can point you in the right direction – they’re very helpful like that.

Food glorious food!

Hello all, hope you’re having a wonderful week!

One of the things that is probably the most demanding things about living a more independent life is fending for yourself food-wise! I had not had much experience cooking before Uni, so this was definitely one of my higher concerns, but it’ll be different for different people. And, even though I was nervous about getting behind a pan and not setting fire to anyone or anything in my path, as time has passed I’ve come to be much more comfortable and happy cooking.

A lot of people joke that University students live solely off pizza, takeout and pasta and, well… it is a little bit true. Not always true, but pasta is definitely a staple of the student diet, and when student finance comes Domino’s certainly gets an increase of income. However, if you fall into unhealthy eating patterns you’ll be doing yourself no good. You need your strength, energy and a good balance of the food types and vitamins etc. you need to put all the focus and effort you need to put into your studies to be a successful student and do yourself proud. Plus, if you chose to live off takeaways you would completely mess up your budget – that stuff is expensive!

There are some ways that you can ensure you get what you need from food:

  • Get your veggies!- the problem with a lot easily cooked meals that students generally gravitate towards is that they don’t have any vegetables with them. I may sound like your mother when you were a kid, but it’s an easy mistake to make if someone forgets to include vegetables in their meals. They give you a lot of stuff you need though, so even if you popped a side of lettuce, cucumber or carrot sticks onto meals, which is just as easily prepared as a ready meal, you’ll be a lot healthier and it’ll do you a whole world of benefit!
  • Variety is important – not only is creating meals with a variety important to stop yourself getting bored when it comes to meal times, but this will also help balance your meals.
  • Get yourself a recipe book and try something new! – again, the “try something new” might sound like something your mother would say, but it’ll help you a lot! I’m a fussy eater, but when you’re being more independent it’s a lot harder to be fussy about food. I never thought I’d be sticking mango in a chicken meal, but last week I tried it, and even though it wasn’t something I’d try again, it was a nice meal to try! You never know, you might find you like some interesting things. On top of trying new things giving you more variety, it’s also really fun to experiment with food. I grabbed a couple of recipe books that were on sale at my local book shop before arriving at Uni and they’re pretty cool. I even managed to grab a book which teaches you how to do microwaveable mug meals, so you can really find stuff tailored to student life!

Your health is super important at Uni, as it can affect your study, so food, your diet and getting into cooking is something I’d definitely ensure you’re thinking about! Another side to the topic of food is budgeting for meals, so I’ll be a doing another post on that soon which I’ll link below once it’s done (click here for that post)!

Hope you all have a great end to your week 🙂

Sustainability 🌍 EHU

Last year I signed up to be a member of the Tree Charter’s student council – representing Edge Hill University – and since then I have gone to meetings and even ran a stall in the hub with a competition to support their efforts. In arranging this event, I got into discussion with people in the Students’ Union about setting up a society for matters involving environmentally friendly action. So myself, along with two friends, formed the Society of Sustainability.

To start a new society is pretty simple. You need only three initial members, to fill the roles of President, Treasurer, and Secretary. Then you need to fill in a form online that expects you to provide your societies aims, and the society will have a membership fee.

If you’ve been on campus lately, you may have seen some posters around advertising our new society. We just missed the re-fresher’s fair, so unfortunately missed a good opportunity for exposure, leading us to spread the word in other ways. We may only be small right now, but we hope to achieve some great things in conjunction with the SU.

The Society of Sustainability is soon due to have its first meeting, where we will gather the thoughts and ideas of the attending students to better see what it is that everyone wants to achieve through this society. Through collaboration, we can get things done!

Already, we have been in correspondence with the SU and have been able to spread word of Fairtrade Fortnight, which began on Monday 27th Feb and lasts until Sunday 12 March. On Tuesday 28th, there were free sample tasting of Fairtrade goodies sold on campus, in the Hub. This Tuesday – 7th March – The Hub, EHSU and The Fairtrade Store are selling a wide variety of Fairtrade goods. Also, there is the opportunity to win a hamper full of luxury Fairtrade food by answering the question of “how many Fairtrade coffee beans” Edge Hill uses on campus in a year!

Another great opportunity is an International Essay contest on the theme of “Learning from nature” organised by the Goi Peace Foundation. The deadline is the 15th June, and is open to children (<15) and youths (15-25). Here are the guidelines and details of prizes.

In the future, hopefully we can get the student allotment up and running, as well as any other campaigns that NUS or the students of EHU would like to put forward!

Where can I find students in Ormskirk?

University students aren’t difficult to find, they’ll most likely congregate on campus, around the library or the SU bar. But, believe it or not, students do actually leave campus and can be found in various places around Ormskirk, so whip our your pokedex because we’re going to have a game of ‘Edge Hill go’ (yes, I know it’s not got much of a ring to it).

Aldi

It seems weirdly mundane but you can find a ridiculous amount of students in Aldi. It’s affordable selection of groceries means that students can spend less money on food and more on the things that really ma- actually no most of us spend our money on food! But nonetheless, if you want to catch a glimpse of the lesser spotted student, Aldi is a good place to start!

‘Spoons

Wherever you go, pretty much every student town has a Wetherspoons. So what’s so special about it? It’s cheap, friendly and they do the best cocktail pitchers! The Ormskirk branch of ‘spoons can be found at Wheatsheaf Walk (Turn right at the clock and you’re on your way). Also, in keeping with the legendary ‘Ormskirk gingerbread’ when you ascend the stairs you’ll notice an army of gingerbread men on the wall! It’s a great place to go for pre-drinks or for a quick, cheap lunch – Curry Club Thursdays are always the best. Not many people know why ‘Spoons has become such a popular place for students but I can guarantee you’ll go there at least once (fair do’s to you if you can avoid it for three years).

The Loft

As one of Ormskirk’s main nightclubs The Loft attracts a large number of students on a nightly basis. It is the newest club in Ormskirk, taking over the former building that housed Alpine. It hosts a number of events and themed nights that are posted in advance on their Facebook page. The Loft is especially popular during Edge Hill’s weekly social, every Wednesday Ormskirk is taken over by students in fancy dress, it’s hilarious to see all the different societies dressed up in their chosen ‘theme.’ The Loft is also a great and cheaper alternative to a night out in Liverpool, no need to pay extortionate amounts for taxis and you have a selection of different places to pre-drink – ‘Spoons (obviously), Junk, Styles etc – So it’s perfect for when you’re low on cash but need a good night out.

Cobble

An example of how photogenic the food is.

This is by far my favourite place in Ormskirk, my friends and I have become quite the regulars over the last few years. Cobble is a charming little café that specialises in smoothies, milkshakes, coffee and the most aesthetically pleasing food you can imagine (follow them on Instagram if you don’t believe me – @cobblecoffee). Located on Church Street, this adorable café was originally a cobbler’s – hence the name – and is now run by the grandson of the couple who owned the cobbler’s. Cobble is often very busy and is a popular meeting place for students, they even now have a ‘late night Thursday’ menu including ‘twisted smoothies’ which of course attracts even more students.

 

I hope this post gave you an idea of the kind of places that are available to and popular with students in the Ormskirk area. Until next time! 🙂

Food and Drink in Ormskirk

Hey everyone!

Hope you are all enjoying the summer, the nice weather has finally made a reappearance which is always good news.

This week I’m going to talk about the places in Ormskirk where you can go to satisfy those sugar cravings or have a nice study-break cup of coffee.

Being able to go out for food and drink once in a while is always a good change, and there are plenty of places to choose from.

If coffee is your go-to drink then there’s good news. Ormskirk town centre has both a Starbucks and a Costa, so you’re guaranteed to be able to get your caffeine hit. Plus the Hub on campus has a coffee bar that serves Starbucks coffee, so you can always grab a cup before a lecture to help you power through the day.

There’s also a Mcdonalds within 15 minutes walk of the campus, so if you have a fast food craving you don’t have to go too far out of your way. Ormskirk also boasts a lot of local takeaways and even has a Domino’s if all you need is an amazingly tasty pizza.

Staffords Fish and Chips is a place I would highly recommend to anyone in Ormskirk, the staff are really friendly and you can choose to eat in or takeaway. It’s a really great fish and chip shop and the restaurant part is so cute (although a bit cosy!)

One of the great things about small towns is the number of quaint cafes you can find, Ormskirk is no exception. I would give some recommendations here, but I think it’s much better to go out and try the cafes yourself, I guarantee you will find one that you absolutely love and visit again and again throughout the year.

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Having said that, Cobble is the number one place to visit in town, and I suggest you go there as soon as possible because you’ll want to return here over, and over, again. Cobble make the best milkshakes in Ormskirk, and probably have every flavour combination you can imagine (and even some you’ve never thought of.) Its food menu is pretty good too and its a great place to go when you want to impress visiting friends or family, for a celebration or if you just feel like indulging.

These are just a few of the places you can check out, but there is so much more Ormskirk has to offer.

The best thing to do is to explore the town centre and see what you can find. Ormskirk has a lot of hidden gems and there’s definitely something for everyone.

Now go whet your appetite!

Quote for the day: “Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.” Ruth Reichl

Until next time! 🙂

Are You Hungry?

Eating places in Ormskirk probably hasn’t crossed your mind, as it is not something that’s going to make or break your decision of choosing Edge Hill. However it is something you may want to bear in mind as it is worth knowing!

Basically there are loads of places to eat, whatever you fancy i.e. Chinese, Pizza, Indian and even Turkish! TripAdvisor is amazing and is basically a food bible of where to go that’s good (apparently there’s 101 places to look at!) and is value for money…. as that is exactly what you want being a student!

Personally my favourite cheap and cheerful place to go is Wetherspoons in the town centre, if you’ve never been then go- you won’t be disappointed! Cheap food, drinks and a fab atmosphere, the beer garden upstairs is lush in summer too!

If you’re on campus first year and fancy a mooch about the campus, the Hub is a great place to grab a bite to eat (the chicken nuggets served at night are divine!), as if the SU which serves delicious and relatively cheap food too! The SU was redecorated for the current academic year so is looking very sophisticated and has a takeaway attached to it if you fancy having a film night.

Basically you’re not going to go hungry- worst case if you’re not feeling the urge to cook you can go to your kitchen and have a pot noodle #studentlife!

Good luck!

Food for Thought and Thought For Food

Hi everyone!

Hope you are all doing extremely well this week!

My lectures start again this week, and I’m feeling ready for them all after the little rest I’ve had over Easter. Like me, most of you have probably started back at school/college again now.

I hope you all enjoy it! Although it can be a stressful time try not to let it overwhelm you, play as hard as you work every now and again.

Since being at home I had all my meals cooked for me, but now I am back at uni it’s back to cooking for myself.

This week I am going to give you a little bit of advice when it comes to making your own meals, doing your weekly shop and budgeting wisely.

Even if you’re not moving away from home to go to uni, these tips will probably benefit you at some point in the future. And you can always surprise your parents or friends by cooking them a little meal.

My number one tip is find recipes that are quick and easy. This doesn’t necessarily mean investing in a recipe book (although you might end up with one as a leaving present.) I use google, and have a special Recipes bookmark tab. This makes it a lot easier, especially after a long day of lectures.

It can be tempting to just order in instead of cooking for yourself, but that’s not exactly sustainable on a student budget.

Another tip is to plan your meals ahead of time. This will make your weekly shopping easier, as you already know what you have to buy.

There’s also less chance of ordering one too many domino’s, as you will already have all the ingredients to make actual food.

Cooking for one person can be a bit of a chore, but if you make extra then you always have leftovers for later in the week!

The other major tip I will give you is make sure you have the right equipment! Pots, pans, knives, a casserole dish. It will be difficult to make anything without the right tools, so make sure your kitchen is well equipped.

You can always make a deal with your friends or flatmates to all cook and eat together. That means you’ll have more fun making the food, and maybe even a hand with the washing up (if you’re lucky!)

Quote for the day: “No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing.” My Life in France -Julia Child

Hope you all have an amazing week ahead of you. Maybe go try to make a meal other than beans on toast to prepare for university life!

-Becki 🙂

Things To Do

Hi everyone!

Hope you’re all having another great week.

Today I am just going to be talking about all the things that you can get up to at uni. Although ultimately the goal is to leave with a degree and some good job prospects, it’s important to balance work with a good social life.

Ormskirk is a really good town for things to do. You can go grab a cup of coffee in one of the cute little cafes, connect with nature during a walk through Ruff Wood or try out the markets!

Ormskirk is known as an historic market town for good reason, and no matter what you’re looking for good chance is you will find it here.

Even if you’re not looking to leave campus for the day, there are enough opportunities to be social right at your doorstep.

Any societies you are a part of will be running various activities throughout the week, and these are always a great thing to be involved in.

The Arts Centre always has a range of shows, and the best part is being a student gets you cheaper entry. There’s guaranteed to be something to interest everyone. You can check out what the Arts Centre has on right now here.

The new sports centre also has a lot to offer to students. The gym and the swimming pool offer great places to socialise and get fit. You can even try out a few fitness classes (yoga is great to relieve any stress.)

The Students Union also has a range of things happening during the week. Open from 11am daily it’s great to grab a bite to eat with friends – I highly recommend the curly fries.

The quiz night at the SU is also great if you want to show off your knowledge and win a few prizes at the same time. Karaoke night is unmissable, there is no better way to bond with new friends than all singing along to the old classics!

And if all of that isn’t enough to keep you satisfied you can always head into Liverpool or Preston for some retail therapy (but try not to spend all your student loan!)

Quote for the day: “When he worked, he really worked. But when he played, he really played.” – Dr Seuss

Hope you all have a fun filled week! Until next time 🙂

What food is available on campus?!

I’ve been sitting here for about half an hour now trying to decide what to write about this week, and with a back log of about 50+ posts I was wracking my brains about what subjects I haven’t covered, when my stomach stared to rumble…FOOD. I suddenly realised I’ve never talked about the food that’s available on campus, which I think is probably a rather important one if you’re a massive foodie like me! So here’s a little break down of what’s on offer…enjoy!

Sages
This is the main cafeteria on campus that you’ll be eating in if you go for the catered option of halls. I can safely say that I stayed on campus for three weeks over summer working on the summer residentials and ate here for three meals a day and it was fantastic, there were at least 4 dinner options every day, absolutely LOADS of breakfast options and the salad bar was so nice just like the kind you’d find in Pizza Hut!

McColls and ‘Other Corner Shop (I’m sure it has a name but I can’t remember it!)’
We have two different little shops on campus which are pretty stocked up on all your essentials. It’s perfect if you’re looking for a meal deal lunch or quickly want to pick something up for dinner, its pretty much got everything you need and the staff are so lovely and helpful! – They are my flat mates after all!

Starbucks
We have two Starbucks on campus which although is absolutely fabulous, it’s really not working wonders for my bank account or coffee addiction…

Panini Bar
I like to call this Edge Hills answer to subway, you can pretty much just make your own customs baguettes, bagels, paninis and sandwiches, and they really do have all the toppings!

SU Bar
If you’re looking for classic pub grub this is the place for you. They have seriously cheap deals and the burgers are amazing, definitely worth checking out, we always tend to go on a lunch time after a big morning pitch to celebrate.

Nom Take Out
If you really just can’t be bothered to cook or are in serious need to chips after a night in SU, we have our very own take out on campus – what more could you ask for?!

Stalls
And of course I’ve saved the best till last. The stalls we have on a Tuesday are seriously the best thing since sliced bread. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried ‘The Cake Man’ (yes that’s really the name he goes by) his brownies and cakes are literally the best thing I’ve ever tasted. There’s also a great coffee stall that does every flavour under the sun and also a crepe stand.

There are also a couple of other places for food available on campus including: Water’s Edge in the Faculty of Health, one in the Performing Arts building! Theres so many options available on campus that you don’t even need to leave!