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Essential guide to starting university – what to pack

Starting university can be a daunting yet exciting prospect. Moving out, new friends, great parties and not forgetting the classes. But before you start packing your best party outfits eager to start your new adventure, make sure you’re prepared for more than just a year spent in the SU bar. Remember to check with your university halls to find out what they supply but then the rest is up to you! (With a little help from Mum and Dad)

Here at GetPaidTo, we have come up with an essential guide to help get you started.


You may not want to think about the boring stuff like plates, cutlery and cooking utensils. But imagine the horror when you start your first pre-night out drinks with no bottle opener or glasses or you wake up with a hangover with no pan to fry your greasy breakfast. Spending that first loan instalment on such mundane items may seem like a drag but you will be glad you did. You don’t need to spend a lot on these items; chances are a few glasses might get broken along the way. Get a 5 piece set of everyday value saucepans for £11.99 from Wilkinson’s and receive 4% cashback.



Your bedroom will become a lot more than just a place to sleep, it will become your sanctuary. A getaway when you want some quiet time away from the madness, the place you will spend a lot of time with your head buried in books and a place to entertain friends. In fact sleeping will probably be the thing you do the least. Get yourself comfy with The Range with bedding starting at £2.99 and also receive 5% cashback on all sales.



Doing your own laundry may be a new concept to some but now it is set to become a reality there are a few essentials that you will need. Towels are a definite, as is a washing basket, the bedroom floor will no longer seem like an option when you are the one who has to pick it up. And don’t forget a clothing airer for your bedroom. They vary in size so if you don’t have a lot of space you will easily find one that won’t take up too much room. Head on over to Argos and take advantage of its 3 for 2 offer on student essentials and receive up to 1.5% cashback.



You’re going to get through stationary fairly rapidly so best to stock up early on so that you are fully prepared. There’s the obvious pens, pencils and notepads for taking notes in lectures. A good tip is to have a separate notepad for each different subject or class so that when it comes to swatting for exams, it’s easier to find what you are looking for. Alternatively you may want to invest in a Dictaphone so that you can concentrate more on the speaker rather than trying to jot it all down. WHSmiths sell a stationary bundle for just £6.99. It includes a black A4 ringbinder, an A4 wide ruled 200 page refill pad, black A5 polypro wiro notebook, a pack of 4 highlighter pens and a pack of 15 ballpens. Also you will get 7% cashback on all stationary purchases. Get stocked up before you arrive so that you can enjoy fresher’s week without having to worry about lectures.



Having your own laptop at uni isn’t essential but will definitely help. Most campuses have a 24 hour library which you may not think will be needed at all hours but when deadline is approaching many students will have no social life and spend all night cramming in the library. If you have your own laptop you can do this from the comfort of your own room.

Also consider buying yourself a printer, this will save you money in the long term. You have the option to purchase credits to print on campus but three years of printer credits can add up. And not to mention the panic when it is a few hours from hand in and the library printer runs out of toner! Spending some money on a printer in your first semester will definitely save you money. It is also worth spending a little extra money on a good printer. Generally, the cheaper the printer the more expensive the cartridges tend to be so you could think of it as an investment. If you want to save even more money, you could buy a shared printer with your room mates that way spreading the cost. The Canon Pixma MG5550 All-in-One Wireless Inkjet Printer is £69.99 from Currys and is ideal for students as there is the option to connect with a USB or via Wi-Fi, Apple Airprint or Google Cloud Print. You will also receive 2% cashback.

students working with laptops and books on campus

Make packing easier and download our checklist of items you may need to take with you.

6. Party Time

Enough with being responsible, now it’s time to tell you what you really want to know. Where can I get the best cheap deals on booze? Parties, nights out, and drinking are a big part of the student experience and are a great way to break the ice and make lots of new friends but when you’re living on a budget you need to make sure you are making the most of the best deals. Wine, beer and cider are a typical student favourite with spirits and cocktails more of an extravagant treat. Shop around for the best price as supermarkets often have some great deals. You will probably buy beer by the case as it works out a lot cheaper. You can currently get a case of 20 Stella Artois for just £12 at Tesco or buy two cases of 15 Becks for £20. That’s 30 bottles for £20! If you prefer cider you can buy two litres of Crofters apple cider for only £2.09. If you would rather drink spirits, how about making your own? Home Brew Online sell all the ingredients you need to make a massive 25 litres of vodka for just £19.95 and you will receive 3% cashback, although you might need to have some patience because it takes around five weeks to make.


Now that you’re prepared for your university experience, all that is left to say is ENJOY!!!

All offers and promotions were correct at time of posting. Please check the merchant page direct for the latest offers and cashback rates.

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