The Best Places to Buy Food around Uni
You’ve got your checklist of cooking equipment and store cupboard ingredients. Now, where are the best places to buy food?
Manchester is a big city with a lot of places (good and bad) to buy these essentials. The major supermarkets are good for convenience, as they are located in many places, but you will get significantly less for your money.
Discover your new home city and be brave enough to go off the beaten path to find the best places to buy food around the university. You’ll find a treasure trove of food products at brilliant prices!
Here are our top places to check out, browse and buy good quality items on a student budget:
- Worldwide: based on the curry mile, this shop has a wide variety of fruit, vegetables, herbs, spices and Asian products for a fraction of the price you’d find in larger supermarkets.
- Manchester Superstore: similar to Worldwide, but on the Fallowfield end of the curry mile
- Venus: a large shop on Upper Brook Street, near Victoria Park campus, specialising in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern products. Expect top quality Turkish bread, olives, sauces, backlava and cheeses.
- WH Lung: also located on Upper Brook Street, a short walk from university place, this Oriental supermarket stocks a great range of Chinese, Thai, Korean and Japanese staples. There is even a dim sum restaurant upstairs, perfect for a post-lecture treat.
- Wing Yip: similar to WH Lung, but slightly bigger with a larger frozen food section. Wing Yip is located in Ancoats, so a bit further afield.
- Robinsons Butchers: a small local butcher based in Withington. They stock chicken, pork, beef and lamb in a wider variety of cuts than you’d find at the supermarkets.
- Arndale Market Fishmongers and Butchers: If you like your meat and fish, this place has a large variety in stock and at great prices. Strawberry Garden is a good (but small) greengrocers nearby.
- 8th Day: Located on Oxford Road, near Manchester Metropolitan University, this shop stocks lots of vegetarian, vegan and dairy-free products. There is a downstairs café too.
- Unicorn: Similar to 8th Day, located in Chorlton. An organic, fair-trade food shop with unusual fruit and veg in stock, as well as a deli. Pricey but beloved by locals.
- Lidl & Aldi: These two supermarkets offer the best value for food on a student budget. Much better than the likes of Tesco, Sainsburys or Asda. You can get all your staples here.
- Homesense & TK Maxx: For really good cooking equipment, like knives, pots and pans. A little bit more expensive, but very good quality.
- Wilko: For cheap cooking equipment, like colanders, wooden spoons and sieves. Avoid knives, pots and pans though.
- Nisbets: For catering quality cooking equipment and crockery. Open to the trade and public. Located near the Central Library.
It’s really easy to do a food shop in a rush and without a proper plan. Avoid overspending, save your student pennies and make sure you get exactly what you need with our top food shopping tips:
Before You Go:
- Decide what meals you want to cook for the next few days, write a list, and stick to it. Check what you already have at home to avoid food waste.
- Have a system. Buy fresh produce first, then move to dry goods, then to frozen food. If you pick up the frozen food first, it will melt by the time you get home.
- Don’t go to the supermarket hungry. This can lead to unnecessary impulse buys.
- Bring your own carrier bags. Save 5p and reduce plastic usage.
- Avoid deals like ‘buy one get one free’ or 3 for 2. Half price offers are usually better value.
- Check the best before and use by dates. Pick the items at the back of the shelf, as they usually have later dates.
- Check the price labels for a price per 100g or per kg for an accurate price comparison between similar products.
- Grab some great deals at the end of the day with discounted products. Supermarkets often discount items about to reach their sell-by date and will have a dedicated section. Before buying, think: What can I freeze? What will I eat today or tomorrow? How can I use this product in the next 24 hours?
On the Blog
Don’t miss out on the rest of our top tips for cooking at university. Check out our Campus Cooking posts here:
- The Essential Student Cooking Kit
- How to Keep an Organised Student Kitchen
- Easy Student Cooking Tips & Tricks
- Campus Cookery at the University of Manchester – course dates information
Need more inspiration? Check out our recipes page for tried and tested recipes that are simple to make at home.