Food | Life hacks for Freshers

Life as a Fresher is hard: you’re in a small space with people you don’t know and you’re now (probably) desperately poor. Well fear not. LSi is here to share some great ideas to save money, keep yourself looking sexy, and generally improve your life. Enjoy!

1. Use bulldog clips to organise your inevitably messy desk: Just clamp them on to the back of your desk and pop cables through to keep them neat and close to hand.

2. Chances are the water from your taps is going to take an age to run cold enough to drink. Use a well-washed, empty spirit bottle to keep water in the fridge, topping up after each use. Hey presto: instant chilled water.

3. Bad Freshers skin got you down? The price of cosmetics making it all so much worse? A tablespoon of milk and a tablespoon of gelatin in the microwave for 15 seconds makes an excellent peel for blackheads and dead skin. Paste on with brush or fingers, allow to dry, and peel off. Pretty grim-smelling, but that’s how you know it’s good.

4. No one can be bothered with ironing all their clothes: especially as the ironing board they provide you with in Halls will be a) the most dishevelled and useless piece of equipment you’ve ever seen, and b) probably broken in an epic but ultimately destructive game of drunken “The Floor Is Made of Lava”.

5. Fix your creases by hanging clothes in the shower room as close to the shower as possible without actually getting wet.  Have a 15-20 minute shower, and by the time you’re done, your clothes should be wrinkle-free! For smaller creases, use straighteners on a very cool setting, or stretch out the material and hold over the steam from a kettle. Congratulate yourself with tea.

6. Quick there’s a load of people wanting to party but you’ve got no speakers to pump out your tunes! What do you do? No, don’t cry and ask them to leave because you’re so ashamed! Make sure a plastic bottle is completely empty and dry, cut a slot big enough for the speaker-end of your phone, and get those beats blasting through it. Better than the old phone-in-a-pint-glass trick.

7. The microwave is your new best friend. Get two meals in there at once by putting one plate or bowl on top of a microwaveable mug, making the most of the levels. Make sure to combine the times of the two meals, or you’ll end up with half-cooked ready meals, and no one wants that.

8. Pizza for breakfast is the best thing since pizza for dinner. Heat it up with a mug of water in the microwave to stop the crust going soggy and the toppings going dry. That’s if any pizza makes it to the next morning; the “it’ll do me for two meals” excuse rarely plays out.

9. A helpful way to stay alive is to know when an egg has gone off. Eggs last for SO LONG, despite what the sell by date claims. I once had an egg which was fine to eat 7 weeks after I bought it. True story. Check without breaking the shell by placing the egg in a big glass of water. If it floats, don’t eat it. If it sinks, you’re on to a winner.

10. Every item of clothing you own will get a stain on it. Everything. Even if you haven’t eaten anything in it. Things like Vanish Stain Bar are great for oil and food, but with a hefty price tag. Put baby powder on an oil stain overnight before washing to remove the mark, as a cheap alternative.

11. Finally, encourage the use of the “If you’re not going to bother washing it up, keep it in your room you disgusting skanky ape” rule. Not really a hack, just a helpful way to avoid prison-style shankings after a flatmate has left that saucepan full of macaroni cheese rotting on your work-top for a week.

Words: Jennie Pritchard

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