Another great idea from the man who bought you... vodka milkshakes!May 16, 2001 Write an essay on this topic.
The Bottom Line Don't stress, lie back and listen to the king of living beyond your means.
British university students are in a slightly different position to our American counterparts, for the simple reason that the vast majority of us can legally drink when we arrive at university. And that beer burns a massive hole in your student account, believe me.
But let's assume that all students are united in having to make do with a fairly tight budget. I think there are some fairly universal money-saving tips and tricks, which I've picked up after four years of student life and now pass to you all for the price of a single shiny Epinions penny.
1)Getting a job.
For many students, the only way to fund your studies at all is to find part-time work of some kind. Steer clear of anything that pays on commission only, your best option is to find a nice hourly wage. This is good for two reasons. First, you're not going to be ripped off as some of my friends have, and most marketing work is pretty temporary. Once you've found a regular part-time job, you shouldn't have to worry too much about losing it.
Second, if you work a fixed number of hours a week, you will have an exact idea of your weekly budget. Budgeting is something I've never truly got the hang of, but it does certainly help if you know EXACTLY how much money you have to work with. And of course, if money does get tight one week, it's usually easy to pick up extra hours.
Once you've decided to get a job, the second decision is... what job? In Britain as in America, the obvious choices are bar work or shop work. One thing that you should really bear in mind is the extra perks that go with a job. Staff discounts in a supermarket can greatly reduce your food bills, for example, and being able to get free drinks in a bar is always going to make you massively popular socially.
Take my example. I work in a cinema for a few hours a week to supplement my income. The wage is decent enough, but the additional benefits are fantastic. As a cinema fanatic, I now have the magical gift of a staff pass which gives unlimited free cinema to me... AND THREE FRIENDS, in addition to a massive discount on all the shiny sweets, drinks and snacks. Not only do I earn enough money to cover my expenses, I get a huge chunk of my social life subsidised as well.
2)Do Unto Others...
I may sound a bit like your mother, telling you to watch your manners when you go away to study, but it needs to be said. The overwhelming majority of students are arrogant beyond belief, and wander around abusing workers through a misplaced sense of intellectual superiority. As well as being a fantastic way of getting your head kicked in, this attitude will lose you money.
Example: The Food Court at my student union is staffed largely by non-English-speaking foreign students. The vast majority of the arrogant students I mentioned heap scorn on their funny accents and make snide racist comments about their intelligence. My friends and I took the slightly nicer approach of smiling, being polite and saying thankyou when we got our food. As a result, not only have we made new friends among the visiting Spanish students, but we also get a lot of freebies if the supervisor's not around. Manners cost nothing, and save me an average of ten pounds a week.
Join student groups and societies. It's a cheap way of making friends with common interests, and when they run trips and social events, they'll often be subsidised. It's also a good way to meet older students, who can pass these sorts of tips down to you. It looks good on the CV as well.
Or coffee, to be more precise. Drink tapwater and instant coffee, it's so cheap as to be virtually free. I also drink huge quantities of fresh milk, which is possibly just as well after you've read the next category...
OK. It's late, you're hungry. You've got almost nothing in the cupboard. Do you go over-budget and order a pizza, or dare you enter the horrifying recesses of my cooking repertoire?
The easiest way of introducing flavour into anything is just to shove a load of chilli powder over it. I've survived for days on frozen burgers with chilli. I eat a lot of curry at university, for the simple reason that curry is the one food that costs little to make, but contains a lot of flavour. I mean, when it comes right down to it, baked potatos are horribly boring.
My most infamous curry recipe is that for CURRIED TUNA. Basically, you get a tin of tuna and fry it with onions, chilli, garlic, ginger, coriander and curry powder, with plenty of black pepper. Instead of a huge tin of tuna that will fill one set of sandwiches and then fester in the fridge until you throw it away, you now have a tub of onion-laced tuna which will keep for up to three days, thanks to the preservative qualities of spices. Three days of sandwiches for practically nothing. Oh yes, the recipe works for any tinned fish. I once made curried salmon very successfully.
Still, if you can't even afford tuna, don't despair. Two nights ago, I stumbled across the ultimate in lazy poverty food, the ideal answer when you just need something to keep you going until the morning. The... FRIED BREAD SANDWICH!!
This does exactly what it says on the tin. Simply get a piece of bread, fry it in oil, and stick it between two raw slices of bread. Perfect for keeping the wolf from the door until you can find something remotely nutritious. If this is just too grotesque for words, add chilli powder during frying.
Ice-cream is another huge strain on the wallet. Thanks to rubbish TV programs and chick-flicks, the idea that expensive ice-cream is something to be consumed by the gallon in any crisis has taken root deep in youth culture. However, there is a cheap student alternative to this. Sorbet is mind-blowingly easy to make, as long as you have a freezer and a blender. Just buy a tin of fruit, blend it to goop, and stir it into boiling sugar water. Leave to freeze... lovely. Sorbet can also be a great hit at student parties, especially if you take our step of adding vodka.
Almost any fruit can be sorbetised, and thanks must go to Divine Cheese at this point, as he is partly responsible for the glory that was the 'banana and kiwi fruit sorbet'. Mmmm...
Well, anyway. I hope that I've helped those of you who are students, or who are about to go to university, and I hope I haven't traumatised healthy eaters too much with that fried bread idea.
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