Help stop hunger in the UK

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As the term draws to an end and Christmas is fast approaching, you’re probably feeling excited and getting ready to head home to your loved ones for Christmas.

And although for many, Christmas can be an exciting time of year, for those people living in poverty, this time of year can present its own difficulties. Some people are struggling to buy the basics, like food, and being able to afford toiletries and cleaning products can be out of the question, let alone having the money to buy extras like a Christmas tree or gifts.

But that’s where charities such as The Trussell Trust come in. They help to make a difference and provide support to those in desperate need – not just over this festive period, but all year round.

The Trussell Trust runs a network of over 420 foodbanks, which work out of more than 1,200 centres across the UK and provide emergency food to people referred for support. Offering food, support services and signposting, the foodbanks all over the UK are there to help people out of the cycle of poverty.

trussell-trust-collection-box

That’s why this December, we’ve chosen to support The Trussell Trust with their Christmas Appeal. In the reception of Lace Market Studios, you’ll find a very festive looking collection box where students and staff can donate any unwanted food items.

So, before you head home, why not check your cupboards and see what’s lurking at the back that you’ve not yet used. Whether it’s pot noodles and pasta, or soup and cereal, as long as it hasn’t been opened and is a non-perishable food item, we’d really appreciate your donations.

Although providing emergency food will not make someone’s Christmas perfect, it will help stop people going hungry, and remind them that they are not alone or forgotten.

To find out more about our collection at Lace Market Studios please pop down to Reception.     

7 ways to keep costs down when shopping

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Students are not known for their expertise when it comes to shopping on a budget. So, to help you change all that and save some much-needed money along the way, here are 7 simple ways to keep costs down…all without missing out on your favourite foods.

1. Make a list…and stick to it
Make a list of essentials before you hit the supermarket and stick to it. Don’t let yourself get swayed…, it’s very difficult not to be drawn towards ‘buy one, get one free’ promotions and ‘3 for 2’ deals. Doing your shopping based on what is on offer that week, you will still be spending too much money and ending up with products you don’t really need.

2. Stock up on the essentials
Try to never run out of the essentials; which in most student homes includes pasta, rice, beans, noodles, fruit, vegetables and frozen foods. Realising you haven’t the basics to make a reasonable or filling meal is likely to result in either ordering yet another costly takeaway or making a trip to the shop where you’re likely to buy more than is necessary.

3. Don’t shop on an empty stomach
An important tip for anybody doing the weekly shop is to never do it on an empty stomach. The reasoning behind this tip is obvious; if shopping when you’re hungry, you’re more likely to think with your hungry stomach rather than your brain and make impulsive buys and spend far more than you need too.

4. Ditch the brands
Most of us are guilty of reaching straight for the branded names in the supermarket, without even having given the supermarket own and value ranges a chance. We recognise a familiar brand, and we go with it. Unfortunately, this can quickly burn a hole in your pocket. It’s worth at least giving non-branded foods a go and seeing how much you can save on your weekly shop.

5. Shop around
As a student, grocery shopping is unlikely to top your list of fun things to do, but because shopping wisely can mean saving money, it’ll mean you’ll have the money to do some of the things that are on your list of fun things such as days out or weekend breaks.  So, although it can take a little longer, it’s worth shopping around or making that trip to the lower cost supermarkets.

6. Don’t throw it…freeze it
Whether it’s curry, chilli con carne, lasagne or the like, don’t throw out the leftovers. Instead, as long as it’s safe to do so, bag them up and put them in the freezer. Doing this will not only save you money, but effectively you have just created your own convenience meal. Simply defrost, reheat and enjoy.

7. Hunt for reduced items
Last but not least, it’s worth knowing that most major supermarkets and even some smaller stores and market stall holders will reduce the prices of certain food items near closing time. And in some supermarkets, you can even save money by buying from their oddly misshapen vegetables stock. So, head to your local store and bag yourself a bargain!

Using the tips above should mean you’re never stuck for something to whip up in the kitchen without breaking the bank.

Looking for student accommodation in Nottingham? To find out more about our student accommodation at Lace Market Studios please contact us today on 01158 240 590 or lacemarketstudios@host-students.com.

Hassle-free meals for busy students

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If you’re rushing home in between lectures to grab a bite to eat at lunch time, or don’t have long to eat before heading out for the evening, give one of these great meals a try. They’re quick and easy to make, so you’ll still have enough time to make it back to your lectures or meet your friends on time!

Pizza baguettes
Whether you’re having them as a light bite or a main meal, these pizza baguettes are so quick and easy to make we guarantee your hunger will be satisfied in no time. Keep it plain and simple with cheese and tomato, or liven things up with some extra toppings such as peppers and tuna.

Pot noodle
No, this isn’t the ready-made instant pot noodle you’re thinking of. We’re talking about a much better, fresher and healthier version that you can make yourself. Packed with flavour, this smoky bacon noodle dish can be made in less than 10 minutes.

Vegetarian curry
This 20-minute vegetarian curry is perfect for a weeknight dinner. Packed with butternut squash, lentils and spinach, it’s a healthy option too. And as it serves four, you can use the leftovers and warm them up for a quick lunchtime meal the following day.

Mexican bean burgers
Add some spice to your life with these Mexican bean burgers with lime yogurt and salsa to accompany them. Serve with salad for a lighter, healthier option or in a bun with some fries for a more filling treat. Stick any leftover burgers in the freezer and they’re ready to cook from frozen for another day.

Chicken Caesar salad
Salad might seem like a ‘boring’ choice for some. But with a flavourful dressing, crispy croutons, cheese shavings and chicken, this Caesar salad is more than your average salad bowl. You can even add some crispy bacon for extra flavour and crunch. You can even pack this up in a box and take it with you to university for a healthy lunch.

Christmas in Nottingham

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It might feel like just yesterday that you were packing your bags and waving goodbye to your family home as you set off to start university in Nottingham. But can you believe the end of the first term is fast approaching? Where has the time gone?

With Fresher’s events to enjoy, lectures to attend and deadlines to meet, it’s been a busy and eventful few months for students in Nottingham. But it’s not all work. In their free time, students living with us here at Lace Market Studios, have been able to relax and put their feet up in our common room. With movie nights and games consoles on our large projector, and the arrival of our brand-new foosball table and table tennis, students have been having fun with their friends.

And over the next few weeks, in the lead up to Christmas, students living in Nottingham will see the city transform into a wonderful Winter Wonderland. The Old Market Square will come alive and more vibrant than ever with the introduction of some favourite festive activities. From warming up with a cup of mulled wine to showing off your skating skills on the ice rink, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Below are just a few of the highlights;

  • Sur-La-Biste Bar
  • Ice Bar
  • Helter Skelter Bar
  • Christmas market stalls
  • Christmas food stalls
  • Outdoor Ice Rink Skating
  • Large Authentic Christmas Tree

The market and festivities opened to the public on 17th November and will run right through to 31st December, giving you plenty of time to enjoy before your Christmas break. So, grab your coat, get together with your friends and make your way to The Old Market Square to get in the festive spirit.