Getting ready for university? Read our top tips and get really prepared!
1. STICK TO ONE OR TWO SHOPS WHEN BUYING ESSENTIALS FOR UNI. Many stores are stocking well priced student items, Wilko is probably the cheapest. Don’t buy everything bar the kitchen sink, you won’t use it and will probably lose it. Buy one place setting: plate, bowl, cup, tumbler and cutlery.
2. YOU DEFINITELY WON’T NEED AN IRON. Buy a drying stand instead. Take clothes out of the washing machine, shake out and straighten before spacing out on the stand. Smooth flat when dry and hang in a wardrobe or fold neatly and stack in a drawer. No ironing required.
3. TO PERFECT YOUR COOKING SKILLS YOU WON’T NEED MASSES OF EQUIPMENT. A frying pan and one saucepan, oven-proof dish and mixing bowl, measuring jug and grater are some of the basics.
4. BEDDING? TAKE A MATTRESS COVER AND PILLOW PROTECTORS. Halls beds are usually single so don’t buy a double duvet. A laundry bag is a must, bath mat, two towels and a bedroom bin. Chose an extension socket with a USB slot.
5. CHANGE SHEETS ONCE A WEEK AND WASH AT 60C. Pull back your duvet every morning and open the window to air the bed and room. Never share towels to avoid spreading germs. Wash every week at a high temperature of 60C or above.
6. LOOK AT THE LABELS ON CLOTHES TO SEE IF THEY CAN BE MACHINE WASHED and at what temperature. Light colours can be washed at higher temperatures to darks. Wash woollens at low temps or hand wash and dry flat.
7. SORT YOUR CLOTHES INTO LIGHTS AND DARKS so you don’t end up with everything being a lovely shade of pink or grey! Wash all dark clothing together at 40C and turn jeans inside out to minimise colour loss. Try to fix a day when you do your laundry – every Sunday? Make it a social distanced event with one friend from your bubble.
8. SAVE MONEY BY PLANNING YOUR MEALS and do a big grocery shop at the start of the week or month so you always have some food in when you are hungry and aren’t tempted to spend money on an expensive and calorific takeaway. Batch cook and freeze portions for other days and you'll soon build up a good supply of meals. Eating healthy foods will mean you will concentrate more, produce more and be happier!
9. SETTING UP SUPERMARKET ONLINE SHOPPING and home delivery will save money and time and means you only buy what you need. Buy bags of frozen vegetables and fruit, they are just as nutritious as fresh and they won’t go mouldy in the fridge. Think making smoothies and soups.
10. SOME HERBS AND SPICES HAVE STRESS BUSTING QUALITIES dried or fresh so use lots of rosemary, basil, mint. Add them to your cooking for lots of flavour and make yourself teas with these fresh herbs too.
11. DON'T FORGET TO EMPTY YOUR BIN IN THE KITCHEN AS SOON AS IT'S FULL. Take the bin bag straight out to the bin and use anti-bacterial wipes (plastic free from Wilko) to wipe inside and out and the lid before putting in a new bin liner.
12. GET BUDGETING NOW. A national student survey says you will need around £800 a month to live on. That figure includes rent (around £400 a month) which will vary depending on where you go to university – London is the most expensive - and food at around £100. Your loan won't cover all your expenses so it will mean relying on your parents or getting a part-time job.