Saturday, 28 September 2013

Shopping Fun!

What does a poor university student with almost no money do when they need something? In my case, it’s a special kind of shopping spree!

Since starting university, September-December has always been the worst time of year financially for me. The September-December rent payment is usually a bit more than the others, for starters, and it seems like there’s always some problem that forces me into overdraft before the money comes in. This year was no different so I thought I’d do a post about the ways I’ve saved money (sort of) and the fun I’ve had living on a budget.

I’ll start with the less exciting bit first. I live further from the city centre now so shopping for food isn’t as easy. I can’t buy too much because I have to carry it home further, and multiple trips are harder than they sound. Buying everything I need in the smaller shops close by would only cost more, so I decided to do my very first online shop. It was the first for food anyway. We’ve done it before at home but then my parents are in charge of it so I didn’t know what to expect. The process was all very easy though. I’m just sad that Iceland online shopping doesn’t deliver to where I’m staying yet. Tesco was my favoured backup. I managed to get over a month’s worth of food for about £40, treats included, just by picking all the cheapest options.

Picking the cheapest options led to some interesting experiences. They have these whole meals in tins, like Spaghetti Bolognese, and I had never been lured in by them before, it just seemed a bit unusual. I’m used to food like that being either homemade, or at the very least, from a box. The tins have been great so far though. Another nice surprise came with the Tesco value microwaveable cheeseburger and chips. Usually I love microwave meals, but I wasn’t sure cheeseburger and chips were meant to be made like that. Well, admittedly it’s not as good as the ‘real’ ones, but I thought it was pretty good considering.

It was also funny having it delivered. The delivery guy called me, and because signal is bad here the phone cut off, which made me worry a little. He called back immediately, the problem being he couldn’t find flat. Again, I moved in two weeks ago, so I still don’t know the whole area. I couldn’t tell him how to get here so I ended up running outside to find him. Luckily, it didn’t take that long, and I got to ride in the Tesco van back to the flat. He was a really nice guy as well.

Now, food wasn’t the only thing I needed here. A week ago, I went on a special shopping trip. I wanted to get some new clothes because I found four outfits weren’t quite enough when some of them were taking longer to dry. Since I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on them I decided it was time to get to the charity shops, and since the way there just happened to pass by Forbidden Planet, I thought I’d take a look in there as well. Of course, I got myself some treats as well. Here’s my little collection from that day:

- Minecraft Poster – £3.99 – Forbidden Planet
I was in the store a few days previously and noticed the poster then. I really wanted it and as it was cheap enough, I decided I was going to get it.

-Star Trek Mug – £5.99 – Forbidden Planet
Just because I need more fandom mugs, especially since my Doctor Who one had to stay behind in London, and Star Trek is my big addiction at the moment.

-Mock the Week Book - £2.50 – British Heart Foundation
I love Mock the Week and every time I see books for any show I love I tend to want it. This one is all ‘scenes we’d like to see’ stuff, which is my favourite part of the show, so this was an obvious buy.

- A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan - £2 – British Heart Foundation
I haven’t actually started this book yet so I don’t know how I really feel about it. It’s not the sort of thing I’d usually pick up to read but it’s been recommended a few times now by people on my course and it sounded good so when I saw it in the shop at a cheap price I thought I might as well try it.

-Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice - £1 – Scope
I read this book ages ago and loved it – and the film is still one of my favourites – so I again gave into temptation when I found it in the shop.

-Trousers - £3.25 – Scope
Originally from Marks & Spencer’s, if anyone cares, I chose these because they looked and felt really comfy. Plus it can hard to find trousers in my size where the legs aren’t too long.

-Top - £4.25 – Scope
Again if anyone’s interested, originally from Dorothy Perkins, a shop I don’t think I’ve ever even been to. This one I chose because I thought it was cute, and it turns out it’s really comfy to wear too.

-Fluffy cushion - £4.50 – Scope
Actually it’s a fluffy cushion cover that came with the cushion inside it, even better. I’ve wanted a fluffy cushion for ages and this one was beautiful. I think it’s a really nice addition to my room.

I’m really happy because I knew I’d be tempted by a lot of things so I set myself a budget for the day of £30 and all this came to just under £27.50. New stuff with none of the guilt!

On the way back I ran into one of my friends and we ended up spending two hours just talking, which was the perfect end to my trip. This post has gone on pretty long now so I’ll leave it at that.
Thanks for reading everyone, bye bye!

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