In the office
- Save on buying expensive and awful coffee from on-campus cafés. An Americano costs about £2 downstairs – we bought a filter coffee machine (£7), a bean grinder (£10) and bulk buy coffee beans (£50 gets us 6 kilos, free delivery and lasts for about 3 months – 6 kilos from a supermarket would be about £90), this works out to something in pence per cup.
- For tea, sugar, pepper and salt, make sure everyone diligently takes (at least) one too many sachets every time they’re in a café/at a conference and swiftly a pile of back-up condiments will develop.
- Eat hummus.
- Always share fruit or biscuits, (there’s a bit of our office where we put “office snacks” – a free-for-all ensues) you never know when you’ll need to call back that favour!
- Hang around departmental conferences – people always provide too much food, and you can get a free dinner (obviously not the highest quality, but you can have as much fun as the delegates guessing what that dip is made of – and what it was meant to be).
At the Archives
- If on a two day trip, find an extra-large item of Tupperware and take two sandwiches, ensure one is wrapped in foil for freshness the next day.
- If on a longer trip to a large city buy bread and filling and make your own when you’re there. I stay with one person quite a lot and now have a jar of marmalade at her house for sandwich making purposes.
- If you want to buy a drink at a train station, 1.5 litres of water is 50p at M&S. Should coffee be required, make sure you sign up to a Bite card to get a drink from an outlet at a less inflated price (usually this is the equivalent of removing VAT, but can be more!).
For the purchase of soup for sustenance, first see if large jars of fresh soup are on offer at your nearest 2x supermarkets, failing that, offers on cans, failing that, look for reduced vegetables. Always keep stock, salt, pepper and an onion in the cupboard and away you go!
- Don’t have access to a fruit and veg stall? Try Aldi! It’s travelled further (the bad part) but it’s about half the price for luxuries like grapes, sweet potatoes and asparagus (the good part).