Food Shopping in Lancaster

As a student, food shopping can be an event much like laundry: an annoying but necessary task that we often try do as quickly and with as little thought as possible. However, by taking stock of the various shopping options available in Lancaster, planning ahead a bit, and being a savvy consumer, you can save a considerable amount of money and improve the quality of the food you eat.

In this piece I’ll lay out the main food shopping options you’ll have as a Lancaster student, and their respective pros and cons. Hopefully, having read it, you will avoid the fate of living solely off Pot Noodles and Greggs pasties.

Campus Convenience Stores

As a first-year student, you’re likely staying in accommodation on campus, so your first ports of call will be Spar and Central. Spar is centrally located nearby to Alexandra Square, whilst Central is on the other side of campus near Pendle and Grizedale colleges. These are relatively small stores that provide convenient access to basic cooking ingredients, drinks, and lunch foods. Though they are useful for bits and pieces, you’re probably best off not making these shops your go-to for a weekly shop: prices are higher than supermarkets and the selection is limited.

The Farmers Market

Every Thursday, in Alexandra Square on campus, there’s a farmers market which sells all manner of local produce, handmade and homegrown foods, and lunches ranging from sushi to hot dogs. It’s a good way of getting hold of local ingredients as well as local delicacies – such as ‘lemon cheese’. Yes, really (its less weird than it sounds).

Sainsbury’s

Going to Lancaster’s largest supermarket on a Wednesday became something of a ritual for me during my first year at the university. Why, you ask? Well, like a more wholesome version of the free bus trips to the Sugarhouse on a Friday night, on Wednesday there are free buses from the university to Sainsbury’s – and back. Sainsbury’s has by far the largest selection of food on offer of Lancaster’s food shops. There are all the staples you’d expect: meat, vegetables, ready meals, alcohol, frozen foods, world foods; as well as a butcher’s counter, delicatessen, and bakery. Sainsbury’s strikes a good balance between value and quality – their own-brand goods are generally of a high quality compared to other major supermarkets. Furthermore, much of their food is ethically sourced or locally grown – for example, all of their own-brand fresh meat is British. There’s also a selection of non-food items, such as homeware and toiletries. The bus takes you to and from the carpark, meaning its easy to buy and transport large quantities of food. This is your best bet if you want to do a week’s worth of shopping at once and save on money.

Lancaster City Centre

Beyond Sainsbury’s – but, handily, only a short walk away – are the shops of Lancaster’s city centre. There’s Marks & Spencer if you’re looking for something more upmarket, but on a student budget there are some cheaper stores that will probably be of more use to you. Home Bargains and Poundland can be very useful for toiletries, tinned foods, and essentials like tea and coffee. There’s also Iceland, which specialises in frozen foods, has some nicely priced fresh fruit and vegetables, and is also handy for those summer barbecues you’ll no doubt be having. Lancaster is a fairly compact place, so its easy to drop into all of these stores in one trip – or have a quick look through before you do a big shop at Sainsbury’s.

Morecambe

Just outside of Lancaster is Morecambe, which has some great budget options for food shopping. There’s Asda, which is a similar size to Sainsbury’s and has a huge selection of food at low prices; and Aldi, one of the ‘German discounters’, with very cheap prices but a comparatively limited selection. Although both of these options are cheaper than anything available in Lancaster, they’re also further away, so you’ll need to take some time and money out to reach them on the bus. Fortunately, buses to Morecambe can be taken straight from the university underpass.

Online Shopping

Of course, if you don’t fancy venturing out on the bus for your shopping, there’s always the option of home delivery. Both Asda and Sainsbury’s offer this service, and it has been extremely useful to me in saving both time and money. I often find that being able to sort products by price, and being able to see all of the special offers together in one place, leads to me spending much less money on food than I otherwise would have. Additionally, once you’ve done a few online shops, the websites will remember which products you buy frequently and suggest them to you, making shopping even more convenient. The downside of this option is that there is a minimum spend of £25, and you’ll also have to pay a small fee for the delivery. This can be alleviated by ordering a few days ahead of the delivery date, or by spreading the cost amongst a few people by ordering a shop with a few of your flatmates or friends. The latter option is especially useful as you can buy products in bulk amounts, saving even more money.

That just about covers all of the main options for food shopping in Lancaster. With a bit of knowledge of the choices available, its easy to find the sort of food that you’re after. Plan ahead, save money where possible, and use all of the resources at your fingertips.

Packing for university

With the summer months coming to an end the countdown to the start of university is finally upon us!

At this point you might be starting to wonder what exactly you should pack, for your first week, and the year that lies ahead of you. This makes it the perfect chance for me to share some packing tips, and advice, for your first week at Lancaster University.

Bedroom decorations: When I first arrived at university and waved goodbye to my family, I admit, it did feel a little strange starting my degree in a new and unfamiliar place. However, I recommend packing some homely items such as photos, bunting and cushions as these will give you a chance to spend some time decorating your room, and will really make your room feel like home quicker!

Freshers Week: In your first week at Lancaster University, you will be welcomed into university life with the Fresher’s Week. Throughout this week there will be various welcome events, activities and freshers fairs to attend, whilst also being a time to get to know your flatmates and make friends throughout your college. To prepare you for the freshers week, bringing along playing cards and board games to use with your flatmates during the evenings are a great way to get to know each other! It’s also a great idea to pack fancy dress items, as you never know when you might need these for a college or society event.

Stationary: In freshers week you may also need to attend some lectures which will introduce and welcome you to your course. I recommend packing some stationary and a notebook for these, and also bringing along a planner, so that you can make a plan of the lectures and events to attend in the first week – This will mean that you won’t end up forgetting or missing out on an event!

Food basics: During your first week at Lancaster University you can spend some time exploring the campus, and head in to town to get some food shopping, plus any items you may have forgotten to pack. As you may find yourself busy with freshers events and activities, it is a good idea to pack a few basic food items such as tinned food and pasta so that you have some food to eat before you get to the shops.

Freshers flu: You may be lucky enough to avoid the freshers flu but by packing a basic medical kit including lemsips, paracetamol and throat lozenges you can remain prepared for if you feel ill during your first weeks at university!

When packing your kitchen and bedroom items, don’t forget to make sure that they aren’t already provided by your accommodation. If you’re not sure you will use something, you can always buy things in Lancaster, If you need them.

4 key tips when starting University

Starting university is certainly a very exciting time for a whole load of different reasons. Moving away from home, meeting new people, and studying something you enjoy are just some of the reasons why so many simply cannot wait to pack their bags, and commence what people often regard as the best years of their life. There is no doubting that university is a brilliant experience, but this is not to say it doesn’t come with its challenges. Here are 4 things to keep in mind right from the off at Lancaster University.

  1. Go to Fresher’s Fair

Often missed by many due to other Fresher’s Week traditions, the Fresher’s Fair is an absolute must during your first week at university. The event provides a great opportunity for you to find out about the abundance of things that Lancaster University offers. In particular, it will give you the chance to meet over 200 different clubs and societies. From Baking to Belly Dancing, you really are spoilt for choice and are bound to find something for you. Even if you have no interest of joining any societies, just go along for the freebies, and you may even pick up a pasty or two.

  1. Take a good look round

Lancaster University’s campus may not be the biggest, but you wouldn’t say it’s small either, and getting to know your way round will probably take you a bit of time. However, Fresher’s Week will give you a good opportunity to take a walk around the campus and learn where everything is located a bit better. I recommend you put aside some time in your first week to do this since campus is usually relatively quiet in this period, and before you know it, you will find yourself having to navigate to your first lecture in a busy environment. Make sure you pay a visit to where your academic subject is located and know where you can get your groceries. Also, look out for campus tours running during Fresher’s Week. These will save you from using a map to navigate around the university.

  1. Stay on top of your work

I understand there is a strong temptation when starting university to ease yourself in and start off slow. After all, you’ve just arrived, and you want to have a bit of fun, right? I would recommend easing yourself in as you will be in a new environment and things will be different. But make sure you don’t fall into the trap of not doing any work for the first month. I don’t want to speak like I am your parents here, but it is important you go to your lectures, and do the work which is required of you. Lancaster University is not a top ten institution for nothing, students are expected to work hard. Of course, a lot of university is about enjoying yourself and having a good time but remember to not forget the main reason you have come to university!

  1. Don’t leave coursework until the last minute

And here we are, the piece of advice we’ve all heard so many times before. Whoever tells us though, and despite how many times they do, students have an inherent tendency to not start their coursework until the night before and submit the all-important piece of work thirty seconds before the deadline. There are a couple of reasons why I’d opt against this. Firstly, there is a strong chance that your first piece of coursework will involve you having to do some kind of referencing. Now, unless I am the only exception, it takes students some time to get their head around the different components of referencing, and what format the University expects. This in itself is a reason to start your coursework early, as the last thing you want is having to figure out how to reference at 4am, as the deadline quickly approaches. The second reason is that depending on your degree, you are likely to have a few different pieces to submit at around the same time. Leaving them all to the last few days could just be too much to handle.

How to settle in Lancaster University – join clubs and societies

What makes you different than your peers? Do you want to gain additional experience in addition to your academics? Do you want to have fun?Sarada Dragon Boat

If you have answers to all the above three questions read further else, read the article anyway! University is an amazing place to be where you can do new things without having to worry about how ‘uncool’ you might look or how costly it would be to take try a new activity. There are countless clubs and activities that you can be a part of. Click the link http://bit.ly/29idccq that can navigate you to your specific requirement of ‘Life at Lancaster’.

 

Joining clubs and societies is also a way of meeting new people with diverse interests. I have had many special moments after joining the clubs and societies but there is one such event that was the best. I had the opportunity to take part in the Dragon Boat Race and represent at the University at Liverpool. We won the third place. This was an amazing experience as I had never rowed before and most of my team mates did not have prior experience as well! You could meet your next best friend at one of these socials. What are you waiting for? Go and have that fun!

Getting started with Lancaster

Coffee outside LUMS Dmitry

Are you ready for one of the most interesting, challenging, breathtaking, emotional, inspiring years in your life? Seriously, it’s just about a couple of months to start!

Hi everyone, my name is Dmitrii, I am a postgraduate student and I study MSc Management Science and Marketing Analytics. Will be happy to share some experience with you through this blog!

I remember myself last September arriving at Lancaster – I could not even imagine how much it will change my life and what an invaluable experience it will be. Full of ambitions and desire to study, I dived into various opportunities provided by Uni – career workshops, extracurricular activities, business challenges, academic excellence, sportive events, etc. I did not hesitate for a second when it was about to decide whether to accept or decline a new offer – like in a famous movie with Jim Carrey my answer was always ‘yes!’.

Eventually all activities that I took part in gave me valuable skills, which I added on my CV and LinkedIn profile. It all comes with practice, right? At Lancaster you can gain experience of all kinds. For instance, I have been teaching other students my mother tongue in Lancaster University Culture Society for two terms. It not only helped me make new friends from different countries, but also boosted my presentation skills and self-confidence when performing in front of the audience.

There are more than 200 student societies in Uni, why not to join some of them or even create a new one? Be ready that your first so called ‘freshers week’ in Uni will be full of different events, news, buzz and hustle – there will so many things happening simultaneously! Let it go and enjoy your time at Lancaster – your new home for the next year.

By the way, what are you expectations from Lancaster University? Come on, share your thoughts, let’s have a chat 🙂