Tip Tuesday: Are you checking expiry dates when you shop?

  • Are you wary of the expiry dates on food when you shop?
  • Are you making sure you’re selecting things that will last the longest and save you money?

Don’t you just hate it when you find that some of your groceries have gone off quicker than expected? Then you realise you bought something that went out of date the day after. The question is, are you checking the expiry dates on items when you buy?

Something my mum always taught me to do when food shopping was to pick items from the back of the shelf for longer expiry dates as the newer stock is put to the back. It may look a bit weird when I go shopping and I’m rummaging through packs of vegetables or the bread but when you’re budgeting, it really helps to make sure food isn’t going to waste because it’s gone off. I was thinking about this the other day when I was shopping and wondered if anyone else did and remembered a post by A Thrifty Mrs on the topic which she calls ‘back-shelfing. What I didn’t think about was picking beauty products from the back as well – the ones from the front are likely to have been used a few times so save yourself having to buy new products as quickly and save yourself a few pence!

Are you concious of expiry dates? Are you going to start being a ‘back-shelfer’?

Nine Grand and Counting Podcast – Episode 1: The art of food shopping

  • The first Nine Grand and Counting Podcast is here!
  • Food shopping is the largest area of a University student’s spending so I speak to 3 students about topics such as switching to Aldi, meal planning and food waste.
  • Find out a few tips and tricks to save a few pennies on your next supermarket shop.


Have you wondered where most of your student loan is going? Well, it’s probably mostly on food! Obviously we students need to eat but are you making your money go far enough? Have you thought about switching to a more budget friendly supermarket or trying the supermarket own-brand basic ranges? Do you feel like you have no clue what you need when you go shopping?

I find out how 3 university students go about saving money when they shop including why one is reluctant to step into Aldi, why you should start meal planning and why food waste is such a sin!

Comment below what you thought about the first Nine Grand and Counting Podcast and let us know any tips you have to save money on your shop!

Tip Tuesday: Keeping organised using free printables.

  • Printable organisation pages are a great way to stay organised on a budget!
  • See a few options such as monthly calendars, weekly planners and meal planners.


Part of a student’s goals is to stay organised and often for me, going into places like Paperchase is a recipe for disaster. There’s all those weekly planner and to-do list pads that I feel will keep me organised  but lets face it a) they’re not cheap and b) they’ll probably end up in a drawer and forgotten about. But, if you prefer to write things down and you find using a notebook uninspiring and not organised enough then there is a free solution.

There are plenty of printable resources online for you to try rather than wasting money on something you may not use! Use monthly calendars to track deadlines, to do lists for the day and perhaps even weekly planners to make sure you don’t miss a thing.

Here’s a few great ones:
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Cheap ways to spend a day: Ashridge Estate in Hertfordshire

  • Getting away doesn’t need to cost a fortune!
  • Ashridge Estate in Hertfordshire which is protected by the National Trust is a great, free place to explore.


Ashridge Estate Information FlyerA few weeks ago when my partner suggested travelling to a National Trust estate to go walking, I couldn’t think of anything worse. Me? Walking? Mud? No thank you. But, after a while he persuaded me as I really wanted to get out of the house. Plus, any ideas I would have would involve me going shopping then feeling guilty for splurging…

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Last minute Mother’s Day gifts!

  • From cards, memorable gifts and discount codes – here’s some Mother’s Day gift inspiration


Ashridge Estate Information Booklet

For those of you who haven’t heard – Mother’s Day is the 15th March (that’s this Sunday!) And if you’re as busy as I am you’ll probably have left it late. No worries though here are a few ideas to help you out:

1) Start with the card.

If you can’t afford to get your Mum something super swish then show you care with a personalised card. Obviously cards are pretty cheap in supermarkets but you know that involves taking time away from the fun of dissertation writing and actually getting there… Plus for a little bit extra you can create a personalised card she’ll love – include the date on the back and it will be something she can keep. Plus they’ll post it straight to her door if you can’t make it home on the day.

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Student loan payment? Liposuction, a holiday and a cauliflower please…

  • 1 in 6 students spend their student loan within a month with many making poor decisions when it comes to spending it
  • We talk to students on their experiences of their spending.
  • There is support available from universities to help struggling students such as Hardship Loans.


text about a cat shaped cactusWaking up after a night out and realising you’ve bought a mini grand piano, a wedding dress or an inflatable sheep might not be what you had in mind when your student loan dropped in. Well, we all know the things you should be spending it on – course books, rent, food…

But what about plastic surgery? A University of Essex student spent £10,000 – all 3 years of her student loan – on liposuction for her bottom, hips, thighs and knees. Or maybe a bit less extreme you could spend £600 on a pug puppy named Hogan. Whether or not students are making big purchases or are attempting to work out how to budget, it seems there is the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to the world of student spending.

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Shop your closet and save yourself some money!

  • Before buying new clothes start with your own closet!
  • Have a clear out and think about what you’re keeping and what you can do with it.


One for the ladies today! (That’s not to say guys can’t learn a few tips here too!) If you’re anything like me you just love to shop and your wardrobe is filled to the brim with clothes yet you can’t ever find anything to wear. Here’s a few ways to maximise what you have in your closet and to avoid wasting your cash on clothes.

1) Sort through your wardrobe.

Make three piles – things to keep, things to sell/donate and things to throw away. Be honest! Think about when the last time you wore the items was, if you can’t remember then it’s not worth keeping. Think about:

  • Whether an item is in good condition
  • If it goes with other items you have (what combinations can you make)
  • Does it fit
  • Does it make you feel good and is it comfortable

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