When you start first year, one of the principal considerations you will have to make as a new (hopefully) functioning adult, is where to buy your food. Countless consumption crimes include a friend who relied on Pot Noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a comrade who confidently spent £100 at Asda every single week in her first year. These are just a couple of horror stories from those who failed to plan ahead when put in charge of their own stomach. Here are a few suggestions for buying food on the cheap as well as tailoring to different diets and ethical considerations. Luckily, you are not short of supermarkets in Southampton. In this list I will run you through some hidden gems that may save you quite the cash.
ASDA Everyone knows ASDA is a fiercely budget supermarket. However, if you’re not clever you will end up spending way too much there, like my £100 a pop friend. Their basics are dirt cheap and branded things like cereal, crisps, bleach, paracetamol and toilet roll have an elevated price, solely for the label, although they function and taste largely the same as supermarket-own items. If you have a car, ASDA in Chandler’s Ford (towards Eastleigh) is a 24 hour gem, or failing that, there is one in town. They are both around the same distance away from Highfield.
Aldi Hailed by countless first years as the cheapest dark horse of Southampton’s supermarket game and neighbour to Jesters, Aldi offers jaw-droppingly low prices and brand alternatives which are on the whole deceptively good. You can honestly do an entire week’s shop for £10 if you have a good browse.
International A grocery shop near Sprinkles in Portswood that offers many interesting spices, grains and the like if you want to wow your new flatmates with an exotic-sounding dinner. It perhaps, also houses home comforts that are quite niche and unavailable (or expensive) in chain supermarkets such as Waitrose.
Monday market If you want authentic, fresh groceries then head to the university’s very own Monday morning market from 9am – 4pm every week excluding holiday periods. It is very handy for those in halls closer to the uni than anywhere else and offers a wide range of cheeses, fruits, vegetables and freshly baked breads.
Other good food and drink outlets include: several Tescos dotted around the city, the student favourite Sainsbury’s in the heart of Portswood, Waitrose to cover your middle-class needs at the other end of Portswood highstreet, a wholefood organic store in town near Debenhams, and Charlie’s Bargain Booze to cover all of the essential alcohol bases.