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Life In London

Your guide to shopping in the UK

By Konrad 12 Sep 2019

There are some of us who love shopping and treat it as a bit of a hobby... And there are others, who will only do it if they're forced to...

This is all about to change; living away from home and being on a budget not only requires you to choose a slightly more wallet-friendly hobby but also acts as a force that will drag you to a shop whether you want it or not! 

It doesn't matter which group you belong to, we'll be here to help you make some sense of it and tell you all the secrets about shopping in London. You will find it especially useful if you're moving into the halls from outside the UK.

Let’s start with a few general tips:

  • In the UK we love a good deal, you’ll find plenty of “Buy one get one free” (you buy one item and you can pick the 2nd one for free), “Buy 3 for the price of 2”, “Buy 2nd one for 50% off” and many more discounts on the shelves. Remember, it's always the cheapest item that is either free or discounted. 
  • When the “use by” date is approaching the products normally get discounted. Look for yellow stickers and make a judgement whether it is still ok to buy and use. This doesn't only apply to groceries - literally, everything gets discounted like this.
  • Many shops offer loyalty schemes – you can collect points every time you shop and then exchange them for vouchers and other perks. If it looks like you’re going to shop in one particular place on a daily basis you might want to look into signing up.
  • Consider shopping online, especially if you’re sharing with others. You can all sit down, choose what you want and get it delivered straight to your door. You might have to pay a small delivery charge, but if you split that with other flatmates you won’t have to think twice. 
  • At the same time, try to support the local businesses. We know it mostly comes down to convenience and being a student you really want to find the best deal out there, but have a look around your area because that milk you're buying for cheap in a big supermarket and have to carry all the way home, might be almost as cheap right outside the hall...
  • Always ask for a student discount! Your university ID card might not be enough to get it though. There are quite a few student discount schemes that you have to register for, but it’s for free - all you need is your university email address. 

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