August 16, 2020, by Shweta

A Shopper’s Guide to University: What to Buy & Where to Shop?

I absolutely love shopping. I could spend hours strolling around my favourite stores; and that’s no exaggeration. Ironically, shopping for university was one of my least favourite aspects of moving into my dorm room in first year. If you’re heading to Nottingham in September, keep reading to learn more about what to buy and where to buy it from!


Arguably the most important thing on your shopping list will be effective storage solutions to help maximise space in your room. This includes under-bed storage to the plastic drawer sets that almost every single university student has owned. I would, however, strongly suggest that you do some recon to establish how much storage you will require and of what type, before going out to buy some. Remember, space is limited! Wilkos is an accessible and affordable place to shop for storage. If you’re feeling fancy, you could also nip down to Ikea.

Study Supplies

If, like me, you put off buying study supplies until arriving in Nottingham, you must visit Victoria Centre! There are plenty of small but well-stocked stores within our local Intu. Here, you can buy stationary, notepads and other knick-knacks to help you along your academic journey. In a pinch? Head to Portland Building on University Park Campus where you will be able to purchase books and stationary at competitive prices.


Some students may bring their favourite bedding from home. International students will rarely have this option due to flight-regulated baggage limitations. If you turn up without bedding, Primark and Wilkos offer cheap, yet good quality, bedding in fun patterns. If you’re looking for a more premium option, try John Lewis or Urban Outfitter. My tip? Get an insulated duvet; student accommodation is freezing!

First Aid Supplies

Chances are, this is your first time away from home and you’re likely to get into trouble. Even if it isn’t, a first aid kit is an absolute necessity. Pick up paracetamol, Band-Aids, ice/heat packs, a thermometer and other supplies at the Boots in Portland Building. You can also find them littered around the city centre.

Cleaning supplies

University dorms get messy very easily. Keep a cleaning arsenal handy to ensure your living space remains comfortable, clean and cozy. The basics should be available at any supermarket, with Tesco and Sainsbury’s located close to the university.

Cooking utensils (and groceries)

If you’re living in any of our self-catered accommodation, you will need some good quality cooking instruments. But, trust me, you won’t need that vintage mint-green toaster you saw on Pinterest last night. I would suggest purchasing some cheap but durable items from the Tesco Superstore in Beeston. If you’re in catered accommodation, like I was, a set of cutlery won’t do you any harm. Sometimes, a snack in bed is all you need so be prepared.


This is a category for all the items that I couldn’t list for fear of this post spanning dozens of pages. From multi-socket adaptors to toiletries to décor, your university shopping list is bound to be long. Pace yourself and set a budget to prevent yourself from going overboard. Going to university is an exciting time and you deserve to treat yourself for gaining entry into a top institution, but remember to invest in what you need before investing in what you want.

Some other shopping destinations for prospective university students include TK Maxx, Victoria Market and Broadmarsh. Nottingham has so much to offer, even for avid shoppers. Happy shopping!

Until next time,


Posted in Shweta