Friday, 3 September 2010

Student money gaining/saving tips.

Obviously a huge amount of new students are about to join University and College.
As always wherever you are going to be as a student you are likely going to be poor. It's a fact you can't escape, unless you have had prior savings/family help or a lot of pre-planning. A students life WILL be mainly going out socially alongside the obvious education/work. Just being able to keep yourself alive financially is a common thing witnessed in most University's what with the huge social occasions (nights out etc), food, your own campus/ accommodation, cars, education funding (the books are extremely expensive), additional items (clothes, pens, whatever else needed) it is clear that most students will need as much spare cash as possible. Having money to spend makes your life as a new student so much better.

During this quick post I will make a short list of tips, tricks about having a bigger financial advantage - I'll split it into two areas: "Before University (Preparation)" and "During University".

Preparation - Before University: 

Any planning prior to actually joining your University is a bonus, as a future student it is wise to understand and consider the possibility that you will most likely be struggling or low on money, however - since you have given yourself a head start there are various sacrifices you can make before actually becoming that 'university student'. These are of-course from my own opinion and what i consider affective ways of creating and saving yourself some cash, if you have any ideas feel free to leave them in the comment box! I will list some ideas you can consider to save money below:

Old junk you wont be using - Think of things that you will defiantly wont be using when you head out to University, think of things that you could have, don't use often or could easily sell. Items like this can rack up huge amounts of saving money for University - and you can play it tactically. Lets say you're going to share your University room with 2-3 other roommates, before joining you could sell your (and this is just an example) xbox 360 and gain a large amount of cash from doing so - what with the game, equipment etc. Now, when you join your new roommates the chances of them bringing an xbox are usually quite high - assuming they are not horrible and do not hate you, you can just use there xbox to play and still love life. There are so many different items you can do the same for. You have to take the risk that you are assuming these roommates will have the same items and bring them.

Websites - Use websites such as Ebay, amazon, craigslist and anything else to sell any items from your house. Every little penny helps and to use these websites to maximise your savings is a good idea. Almost anything will sell on Ebay so don't think twice about putting up all these auctions.

Job Seeking - If you know which University you will be going to, it's time to take advantage of the area that surrounds it. Thousands of students  will be flocking to these University's with the same problems as you. So to try and get ahead of some travel to the University town/city and begin applying for jobs. The more early applications you can get in the bigger the chance for a part time job. And to have this sort of head start is a brilliant idea. All of the jobs will be sucked up very quickly when the term begins and you will struggle to find any job what so ever, so the sooner the better.

Savings - If you already have money, or already have a job then you can do a saving type scenario for your University terms. Every paycheck you receive put 10%-20% of your earnings to a side and save them all for when you are at University. You will find you have got a huge lump of cash that you probably would have usually spent on junk - only now you can spend it on junk at University (lol). 

Discounts - Search various companies and businesses for vouchers/discounts that can be granted to you as a student. Some companies give you 20% discounts just for applying to their news letter (I think McDonald's used to do this but I can no longer find any information on it - try researching around). You will be amazed at the amount of company's willing to do discounts.

Know what you need - Make a giant list before University naming all of the items that you require and all of the items that you have and will bring with you. This will give you some sort of pre-planning concept on how much you need to complete your list and what you need to still get. If you have everything then you can save any money for social events or whatever.

During University:

Once at University you will probably soon feel the affect of "ohshi- no money", no worries though as there are more things we can do to save ourselves enough for a few more pints. There's various things I'm sure I will forget to post or not mention in which I hope any readers can catch up and comment on this post to help each other out, if you have any decent ideas feel free to share them. Below is a list of various ideas you can  follow to save cash during your University education:

Part time Job - Getting a part time job would become your main income although you must keep in kind that jobs will be limited  and very hard to find unless you research and put your CV out everywhere!

Education/books - You will certainly need various study books for your University

Student Discount - Where ever you go, what ever shop you visit, what ever super market or pub - always ask if they do student discount, Its amazing at how many you will find who do accept student discounts. Defiantly worth remembering, but what I have found (from personal experience) is that you either need to provide identity that you are a student (you will get a student card) or you will often forget about asking the store. Try to note it down as a reminder on your phone so you frequently see it.

Shop around - When shopping do not visit one shop and buy the item you need, spend some time researching other shops - you may find a large price difference which always helps.

Skype - Use skype (which is free) to phone various people instead of using your phone bill - this can be used for long distant calls for those students abroad!

Phone - Use texts as a form of communication rather then calling, I would also suggest going on a pay as you go Sim card rather then a contracted phone as you can monitor how much you are spending much more easier. Once again ask in phone shops if they do any student deals.

Takeaway - Try not to eat takeaway - It may be very hard and tempting at first but in the end, you save a large amount of money and become much more healthier - A win/win situation.

Transport - Depending on the area transport is a tricky situation to deal with, if you do not need a car do not have a car, the insurance and running cost will be one of your most expensive bills and if it isn't needed then do not waste the money. instead try looking into student bus fares / train tickets or using bicycles or even walking. You may also find that jogging / walking to your locations are not as time costly as you think and keep you healthy. Of course if you do need to use a car then think about the fuel cost - drive sensibly and do not keep the car in low gears at high rpm or at fast speeds. When coming up to a junction/roundabout/turning do not 'coast' the vehicle as it spends more petrol keeping the engine turning then it would when it is usually in gear.

Smoking - I know it is a pain but try your absolute hardest to quit - you will save so much and the health benefits do not even need mentioning. This goes for any drugs as well.

Grants - Try to see if you are eligible for grants at your university. Grant = $$$

That's all i can think of at this moment - remember to comment if you have any tips or ideas and I hope you have found this blog post useful! Goodbye for now.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Some Basic Recipes


As I said I would update this blog with a few recipes before moving on to other stuff. I have been quite busy the last couple of days so I could not update sooner which I apologize for. I have gathered quite a few followings now after researching into the blogging community which has turned out great - welcome to my blog those who have followed!

These Recipes are easily made and good to eat:

A simple Pasta:
A great thing for either lunch or dinner, easy to make and should not take long at all to make.
What you will need:
Pasta - Dried.
Water - and something to boil the water on.
Salt - Not needed but better to have some.
Tomato pasta sauce - The main ingredient :)
Spices/pepper - Again, if you have it, use it! Not needed though.
Cheese - Cheese can be grated and put on top of the pasta once made.

#1 Boil the dried pasta in your water, you can add salt later on or whenever you feel like it - just don't go over board. (Salt also boils the water faster as well as adding flavour)
#2 While waiting for the pasta to boil/cook start grating the cheese into fine 'lil slices or if you're not using cheese, prepare your sauce.
#3 Once the pasta is fully cooked you're going to want to drain it, tip the water out of put the pasta into a siv.
#4 Add the pasta onto a plate and tip the sauce on top, you can either stir or just add the sauce on top of the pasta pile. Add as much or as little sauce as you want, maybe you want to save some for a second meal.
#5 Add spices/pepper. This is just to add a bit of extra ZING to your dish, a minor step if you have the ingredients.
#6 Put the grated cheese on top of the pasta. Just get pinch fulls of the cheese and place it all over the sauce/pasta.
#7 Eat! And Enjoy.

##Edit: I'll add more later - I have to go suddenly as I have realised I'm very late. JEEZ, BYE!

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Some cheap student food tips.

Considering the amount of students about to enter College/Uni it would only be wise to post some cheap easy to make recipe's which are cheap for the budget.
Tips beforehand:
#1Buy in bulk - larger quantities of food which you will defiantly need will be best of buying in larger quantities, it’s usually cheaper and as long as you store it correctly it shouldn't go off.
#2Deals - look for deals in local super markets and other shops, sometimes they will put very cheap deals on just because they have too much stock or need to sell the stock quickly before the "best before" date runs out. This gives you a huge advantage and you will find some great deals.
#3Complain, it may be a weird thing to do or a bit horrible but it’s defiantly worth it, usually you can get discounts for items with dents in them or rips/unclear writing. This is a large advantage if you are really on the budget. #4Vouchers! Go onto the Internet and look for any vouchers possible - it’s very easy to find various vouchers and as long as you remember to use them it defiantly pays off.

Some key items you may want to look for when on the budget are: 
Rice and or pasta - these usually can be bought in small quantities or much larger more lasting quantities, they are often very cheap as well.
Cheap sauces - Sauces to go with the rice/pasta, these are usually tomato or a spicy flavour. Be warned though these sauces range from very cheap to expensive, make sure you check the pricing before.

Shop made food products - they may not taste as good, but buying shop owned food products rather than branded saves you so much money, in the UK you want to look out for things such as Sainsbury/Tesco/ASDA who will all sell their own products without any brands. Beans, rice, biscuits, drinks and so on can be all found and at great cheap prices.
Eggs/bread - these can be used as snacks or mainly for breakfast, eggs are very cheap usually and can be used for so much (i will add some recipes later) but mainly, boiled eggs, omelettes, scrambled eggs with toast etc there are so many different things you can do with eggs and for the price it is worth it. You will need to look out for what bread you want to buy, some can be much more expensive than others so once again always check pricing before picking it up. The bread can be used for toast in the mornings for breakfast - something simple, quick and easy to make. 

Noodles - can be bought for lunch or dinner, noodles can come very, very cheap and are always a good choice for food. A huge amount of students will be eating 80% noodles as their diet. They are worth looking for and buying in local shops.

Farmers market: Look into the town to see if there is any farmer market or stalls on Sundays etc, these sell cheap ingredients that will be much fresher and better then supermarkets. Defiantly worth it if you put the research into it.

Water / squash - This (aside from alcohol) should be your primary drink at home. It is mega cheap, healthy, will get rid of hang overs and is something you will have to do when living as a student - you are not made of money so think intelligently. The water you can buy some flavours with it to give it - well - flavour. Things such as Ribena, orange etc. 

That’s all for now - I will post some recipe's later on which include these foods as well as different foods. Hope you enjoyed reading - leave a comment if you have an opinion or if you want to share any ideas/tips for Students. I just wrote this quickly so obviously there may be important things i am missing but at the moment I have something to do and will need to re-cover the subject later on. Thanks


Been looking about blogger for cooking and gaming blogs, If anybody knows any decent cooking sites with recipes and tips please post a comment as i would love to check it out, same goes for the gaming - I'm mainly looking for xbox and PC games or reviews! Just post a comment if you have a blog involving this or anything of interest and i'll check it out! cheers for reading. I'm going to update later with recipes after researching the Internet!

Recent update

I'm going to start posting some of my favourite cooking recipes and other information, this is to get more followers and actually gain a fanbase - at the moment this blog is more like a diary. If I start posting recipes at least I can gain some followers who are also interested and post comments on other blogs to share knowledge and advice. Hopefully I can start getting into this blogging once I have some people I can relate too!

Friday, 13 August 2010

Fire from above

Tonight I have been looking back and forth at the sky - as tonight is not just any night but it is in fact the night of the Perseid Meteor shower (or at least in  Britain and western Europe).
I have been lucky to be struck with clear weather, after a very cloudy week and nothing but rain we have been praised with a night of clear sky - Of course normal actions will continue the day after and I should probably expect heavy showers. Never mind though, it's all about now!
 Britain - Normal

 Apparently *and I quote* "Astronomers are expecting a dazzling light show with more than 60 shooting stars zipping across the sky every hour."  and "The Perseids reach a peak of activity tonight and will be most visible in Britain at 11pm, in areas where the skies are dark and cloud free." whereas I will see roughly 10 an hour and a lot of shut eye.

I'm quite lucky to be in a fairly unlit area which causes many, many terrible accidents and injury's - but I'm sure people even the score out by viewing the meteor showers in their casts and bandages. These types of areas always have cons and pros, just sometimes the cons out weigh the pros by... by alot....

Well that's it for now - I have to go back to meteor watching or sleep or whatever. See you around.

I guess it's 12:00 am so there should be a new word of the day - which is *thinkthinkthink*

Word of day: CAPTCHA - The only thing that does a good job at saving humans from bots.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Going places

So at the moment I'm coordinating between blogging, work, laziness and creating a website. The blog is the least of my concerns - at the moment it's like a diary nobody reads... but... we all know what killed the cat. I'm currently on the research side of my website, I'm looking at differ ant programmes, features and things to build the site around. I guess you could call it phase 1. I do not currently have an initial idea on what to base the website around but it's going to entertain rather then inform or provide. It will probably include popular topics and videos - perhaps even a forum. It's all early days (long nights though).

I have no tools what so ever at the moment so the designing  stages will take time, a damn amount of time. But hopefully once it all gets going (minimum phase 5 required) it will be a great addition and something I can enjoy looking after, updating and filling up as a hobby. Unlike this ******* blog.