Posted 18 May 2014 by Teddy (Teodora)
Keywords: student, budget. AKA: bottom of the food chain, broke. Let's face it, you can't afford to shop from M&S and Waitrose every single time. However, you don't want to be living on ASDA and Tesco's basics range products. The good news is that you can achieve a balance fairly easily. I will take you step by step on what sort of products you can find in shops around Surbiton, Kingston and Kingston Hill.
TOP TIP - Get points cards for each of these shops! I have managed to accumulate around 15-20 pounds on each card over the last three years.
Take it from someone, who has lived her three years at university on fruit and veggies from the market place, this is the best place to go for those! Not only are fruit and vegetables incredibly cheap but they also are the real deal and you can avoid that plastic taste by buying from the market place, which is situated in the heart of Kingston. Make salads, soups, stir fries- it's all bound to taste good! Besides, you won't be breaking the bank. My top tip for shopping at the market place is to go towards the end of the day, when they tend to lower the prices of the produce; you will get more for your money then.
I have figured out that Sainsbury's is pretty good, if you are buying meat. Their frozen goods section is also pretty good. I recommend you buy milk and eggs from there as well as they are good quality and they come at reasonable prices. Ordinary things such as pasta and pasta sauce are also okay. There is a Sainsbury's in town (right next to Marks & Spencers, close to Boots) and another one in Surbiton.
Well, this one is self explanatory, really but I do recommend Marks and Spencers baked goods in particular. They are always fresh and there is nothing better than getting that hot loaf of warm bread as soon as it has come out of the oven. My top tip for there is to wait until they reduce the food in the evening because you will be able to get meals for at least two people for less than the price you will pay for yourself. You can find Marks and Spencer in Kingston next to Sainsbury's and there is also another one right next to the train station in Surbiton.
Yes, it is expensive but isn't it all so good? I recommend you don't buy your essentials from there as there is really no point. Go there for the things that bring out the taste in your food- e.g. stir fry sauces. You can also get a whole cooked chicken for around 5 pounds, which is pretty amazing. Hello, dinner with friends! If you are feeling particularly lazy, their pre-made meals are also really good. Waitrose is situated in John Lewis in Kingston (next to the Bentalls center) and there is also another one in Surbiton, close to the train station.
I don't trust Tesco too much but I do sometimes find myself browsing their shelves. You can buy tins as well as pre-made meals, when they reduce them in the evening. Their Granny Smith's apples are to be trusted as well. There is a Tesco Express right next to the train station in Kingston.
Asda is good for all your tin goods, pizzas and cheese. You can get your spices from there as well and their meat selection is not bad either. There is an ASDA on the road to Kingston Hill and there is another one close to Roehampton Vale.
I admit, Lidl is a bit odd. You can, however, find real gems in there! I usually stock up on coffee, chocolate, Greek cheese and olives whenever I pass. Lidl is situated in the passage way next to McDonald's in Kingston.
Hope that helped!
As a third year student, I've had plenty of time to reflect on what makes Kingston such an amazing university town for me! From summers down by the river to the busy shopping centre, I can definitely say I have quickly fallen in love with Kingston and its many attractions!
One thing I definitely like to take full advantage of - the food! Me and my housemate do 'Feel good Friday' every Friday as we are that cool, which involves going to different restaurants every Friday and trying them out! The best pick of the bunch have to be:
If you wander into Kingston town centre, you can see one thing Kingston has lots of is shops! You can get all your standard stores such as Topshop, New Look, Primark etc., but along with this you have the Bentalls centre which can offer something a little bit more luxurious if you want to treat yourself!
My favourite place in the summer! On hot days, being down by the river is absolutely beautiful, with pubs such as the Ram offering outdoor seating so you can really make the most of it! Just strolling along the river there are loads of pubs to choose from, and if you're on a strict budget just cross over the bridge to the other side, go to the grassy area and bring a picnic and drinks to enjoy, at a much cheaper cost!
Another thing Kingston is definitely good for! I love the nightlife here in Kingston, from Union Student Mondays at Hippodrome, Amagi/Pryzm Wednesdays, or if you're feeling brave to face the St. Marys lot, McCluskey's! Then at the weekend there is a pick of all those clubs, and a lot of pubs such as Weatherspoon's come alive offering a decent atmosphere and reasonably priced drinks!
From Surbiton station, a train to central can take less than half hour, and from there you have access to all the shops, museums, attractions and nightlife that the Capital City of London offers!
What more could you want? :)
Hi, welcome to a day in my life as a Kingston Uni student! I took a series of pictures and I'm sharing them to give you a taste of some of the things I get up to and what uni life could be like for you.
I'm a final year Architecture Masters student, It is actually my 5th year at Kingston university, not because i failed a few years, I completed my undergraduate degree in 2012. I then worked for a year in a big firm and then started a two years masters program at Kingston which is now amongst the top 40 universities in Europe for architecture.
Strength training at David Lloyds gym in Kingston town centre. It's quite pricey but I get to enjoy letting off steam in the pool, jacuzzi, steam room and sauna while enjoying views of Kingston while I train.
Not bad but if you are looking for a more economical option then uni gym or the gym in town will do nicely, I've been a member of both myself before.
Tying a 5 meter piece of cloth in less than 10 minutes every morning can seem like a chore but I really enjoy it. Getting good fabrics for a turban can be quite tricky and if it was easy I'd fly to India to get some whenever i need it!
However if i need fabric locally, for turbans or otherwise, John Lewis or Bentalls in Kingston have great options but can be quite expensive. A cheaper solution are the markets in Tooting which have the same quality. So now you know where to go next time you are thinking of tying a turban!
I teach drawing to children of various ages which is inspirational and also good way to get some extra cash. One of the great things about doing a degree is the wealth of knowledge you gain and it's great to be able to pass it on to others in this way!
Making time to see friends and loved ones is a must. Managing your time at uni effectively so you can work hard but have time to relax is an important part of a student's life.
I think for me that has drastically improved while being at uni, I went from being an hour late to see friends or cancelling at the last minute to being a punctual and reliable person (15mins late all the time, but i send a text to say why).
Gluing bits of card together and making miniature models is one of the wide spectrum of things I get to do when studying architecture at Kingston. It sounds tedious but i enjoy every bit of it...even when i super glued my fingers together unintentionally!
The architecture MA teaching method at Kingston usually involves fewer lectures and more studio based seminars and tutorials, I can engage in one to one conversations with two tutors.
The great thing about Kingston University is that the tutors are mostly practicing architects or own their own firms so they constantly have a feel for the real world. I hope to be working and tutoring at the same time as an architect one day too.
Interviewing ambassadors at recruitment events is one of the many jobs i am involved with as a Kingston university student ambassador. It is a fantastic way to get paid for sharing your experiences and helping students, inspiring children and growing as a person at the same time.
Getting a part-time job is essential for me and with the wealth of shops in Kingston there are plenty of opportunities to get jobs while studying and if you want to stay and work in uni like I do there are many jobs available to you.
I think it's clear that I love good food which means i eat out often, it's a great way to get friends around a table. There are many great restaurants in the Kingston area, from Italian, Indian, Japanese, Turkish, Mexican and many more. My favourite in Kingston has to be Jamie Oliver's restaurant, a great place for lunch or dinner in a friendly atmosphere and unbelievable food.
This is clearly a time for working hard at the end of the day (not watching breaking bad), I usually work on my desk but since I bought my mac, lying on my bed and "working" has been irresistible.
Although it usually is a way of putting me to sleep long before i finish an assignment hence I sit up instead. This highlights an important issue however. Sleeping. Most people overlook it and whether you are an owl or an early bird, sleep is a very important part of our daily cycle. I'm an owl, but I make sure to get at least 6 hours because there is nothing worse than sleeping at 6am or worse, not sleeping at all and being up for a lecture at 9:00am the next morning. (Trust me I've done both and it's not amazing).
See more Kingston Uni students day in the life pictures on our Pinterest board.
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