For many of you, not only could this be your first time away from home, but also the first time you’re having to budget and manage your own money. Many of us are feeling the pinch right now, but if living on a budget is new to you, don’t stress. There are loads of quick and simple ways to make your money go further, so read on to find out how you can keep costs down at home…

Save money on your weekly shop

Whether this is your first time living away from home and you’re new to grocery shopping, you’re having to adjust to a different income, or you’re a certified discount king or queen, it’s getting harder to keep the cost of groceries down as the cost of living rises. According to the Office for National Statistics, food prices were around 30% higher in October 2023 than in October 2021. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

From on-campus offers and yellow sticker discounts to meal planning ideas and the best loyalty cards in the business, our blog has five simple tips and tricks to help your money go further, as well as cut down on waste. Read our blog to start saving money on your weekly shop.

Avoid takeaways and cook at home

Ordering a takeaway can seem like the easy option for you, but it’s not so easy for your wallet as, on average, it’s almost five times more expensive than cooking at home! As well as saving money, cooking at home also allows you to control what you put into your food which means it can be healthier and you’re able to manage your portion sizes to avoid waste. Top tip: before you head off to do your food shop, create a quick meal plan for the week and a shopping list as this saves you from overspending.

If you live in a house share, another way to save is to cook meals with the people you live with and split the cost. It’s a great way to spend some quality time together and, whether you do this weekly or monthly, it will save you money in the long-run. You could even create a rota, take turns cooking and split the shopping bill.

If you’re not the most confident cook in the kitchen, you can read our blog that has easy and affordable recipes to follow step-by-step.

Women in the foreground holding a bowl with eggs and women in the background cooking
Cooking with the people you live with means it’s cheaper and a great bonding experience!

Save water where you can

Did you know it’s more economical for you to have a shower (that’s under 10 minutes) than it is to have a bath? Waterwise has lots of handy tips like this that can help you save on your water bill. Here are a couple of our favourites:

We know washing dishes can be a pain, especially if you’re doing it by hand. Before you turn the water on, make sure everything is scraped off your dishes and wash them as soon as you can with hot water. This will make sure the food doesn’t harden and you won’t need to use as much water.

A typical load of laundry is often much less than the maximum capacity of a washing machine, so hold off on that second load of washing and throw in some more clothes! If you don’t have anything else to put in and you live in a house share, why not offer to wash some of your flatmates’ clothes too? They’ll owe you one…

Have your heating on a timer

For many, the biggest impact of the rising cost of living is increasing energy bills. One of the best ways to save energy in your home (and do your bit for the planet) is to have your heating on a timer. To save money, it’s best to keep the heating on for an hour or so and only when you need to. If you live with other people, try and time the heating to come on when everyone is home. If you are unsure of how to put your heating on a timer, OVO Energy has put together a how-to guide. For more tips, check out our blog with advice from Professor Richard Fitton, the Technical Director of Energy House 2.

Even if you’re in an “all-inclusive” contract with utilities included, there may be a fair use clause that limits the amount of energy your Landlord will pay for, meaning that you could be expected to cover any additional costs. Manchester Student Homes’ free contract checking service can help you avoid any unexpected bills.

Photo of a cat laying on the refrigerator
To help save energy and money, turn the heating on for an hour or so a day.

Cut costs by comparing providers

To save money on energy costs, it’s worth shopping around for the best deals to make sure you aren’t paying more than you need to. Comparing providers on trusted websites such as Uswitch could help you see the benefits of switching or sticking with your current contract – all you have to do is enter your postcode. Compare the Market is also a useful comparison website and, if you purchase a qualifying product such as car, pet or travel insurance, you will receive a whole year of rewards such as 2 for 1 cinema tickets or discounts on hundreds of restaurants.

However, you don’t always have to switch supplier to save money on your bills. Sometimes even switching your payment method can reduce the amount you pay, so it’s worth getting in touch with your current provider to find out what they can offer you.

We hope you found our money saving tips useful to help you spend less and save more, while still having a great time at Salford! The rising cost of living is impacting everyone, but we know it can be especially tough on a student budget. Learn more about the resources available and find advice and support on our website.