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Study Across The Pond Canada Blog | Advice and guidance for Canadians wanting to study in Britain

Grocery Shopping on a Student Budget

Posted by Alexandra Hutterer, ATP Student Ambassador on Mar 10, 2017 7:00:00 PM

A British fresh fruit and veg market stall

Grocery shopping in the UK is first and formerly a ball, seriously! Yes, we have a lot of similar brands and items (if not the same) back home in North America, however, in the UK all the baked goods, scones and selections of tea are vast, not to mention absolutely delicious.

One thing that the British do, and do right, is “The Meal Deal” for £3.50 (approx. $4.36), or even cheaper depending on where you go. You can choose a delicious sandwich, my favorites include egg and watercress, BLT (bacon, lettuce, tomato), and cheese and onion. You can also pick a soft drink or water, and a packet of chips (or ‘crisps’ as they call them here).  This is a great meal idea when you’re struggling for time, and it’s terrific for your student budget! Another great thing about Britain, you ask? Their toiletries! Hear me out… A package of 9 rolls of toilet paper, (Or ‘loo roll’ as the Brits call it) can be as cheap as £2.

The funniest thing I have noticed is the supermarkets’ “American section.” This includes a couple of shelves filled with the quintessential, fattening American foods. Some of these include, Pop Tarts, Beef Jerky, Hostess Twinkie's, Lucky Charms, Arizona Ice tea, as well as candies, such as Nerds and Hershey bars. This section is definitely not cost effective, with a box of Oreos costing £6 (approx. $8.00). Six pounds! A fortune for something we can get at Walmart for around $1.50 back at home.

Do you like fresh fruit, or fresh and locally sourced eggs? Well, you’re in luck! Europe is known for their fresh markets and fruit stands. You can find fresh and locally grown fruits and vegetables, and buy your eggs pretty much new from the chickens! This is a great way to keep your student diet a healthy one.

The market nearby my place sells 20 eggs for £1, so not only would you be supporting local farmers, it’s light on the wallet too! If you are buying your eggs from a supermarket, it can be a struggle to find the right aisle. Although in North America we are used to heading for the refrigerated section, in Britain, eggs are kept elsewhere. When in doubt, head for the bread isle.           

There’s something quite fun about shopping in a different country, checking out all the foreign grocery items for new meal experiments! And between the eggs, the meat, the fresh veg and fruit, and the fantastic meal deals, you can stay on budget while living and studying in the UK.

If you would like to find out more about studying in the UK, enquire with a UK Study Expert today.

Download The Essential Checklist for Studying in the UK

Topics: Student Ambassador