Published on 22nd June 2021

Beginning your studies in a different country is very exciting. You have the opportunity to learn all about a different culture, meet interesting new people and gain great experiences. From exploring the nearby areas to eating local delicacies and learning more about yourself in a different environment.

There are some necessities that may seem intimidating, such as your first trip to the supermarket. What are they called, how do I pay and will they have what you like to eat?

Rest assured, here in the UK, we have many different options about where you can buy your groceries, snacks, and household items. Whether you’re looking for a ready-made microwave meal, some ingredients to cook a feast, or some snacks – make sure you sample the huge variety of crisps with flavours from BBQ beef to prawn and marmite.

Here are our top 8 tips to help you out:

  1. Supermarkets

    Within 5 miles of your campus, you will find a variety of supermarkets. Keep your eyes peeled for Sainsbury’s, Tesco Extra, LidlIceland, and a B&M. Shop around to find out which supermarket is your favourite and suits your budget. Have a look at this supermarket money-saving tips vlog from a USW student.

  2. Meal Deals

    Most supermarkets offer a meal deal with a main, snack and drink for around £3.00. You can usually choose from a sandwich, bag of crisps or chocolate bar and a cold drink. The variety of choices varies from supermarket to supermarket but it’s a bargain for those busy days when you don’t have time to meal prep.

  3. Corner shops

    We also have what’s known as a ‘Corner Shop’ or most commonly called an Off Licence. It may not actually be on a corner, but it is usually a small shop that has a few essential items such as eggs, milk and bread along with cold drinks, newspapers and long-life snacks. We have a few small shops on campus.

  4. Shopping lists

    Make a list, and check it twice! UK supermarkets can be quite big, giving you a lot of choice and temptations to go over budget. If you make a list, you can make sure you only buy what you need.

  5. World Foods

    In student cities like Cardiff, there is a great mix of cultures, which means you can likely find some home comforts that you typically enjoy for those long days studying. In larger supermarkets like Sainsbury’s and Tesco you may find food and drink in a section called ‘World Foods’ with treats from Australia to Africa.

  6. Reusable bags

    To help fight plastic pollution, supermarkets now charge £0.10 for bags, whilst it may not seem like much, it does add up. To save you money, bring your own bag to help the environment and your bank balance.

  7. Get the app

    Before you venture out shopping, check if the supermarket you want to go to has an app on your Android or Apple store because there’s an app for everything! This gives you the opportunity to track your spending, earn points per purchase and even discounts for your next shopping trip.

  8. Online shopping

    If going out shopping seems like a lot, you can buy many of your groceries from supermarkets online. To do this you will need to have a credit/debit card to make payments, and the minimum spend is usually around £40. However, this means your items can come straight to your door on a date and time that suits you.