Annie, Placement Student, provides all the information you need this valentines…
This week, also National Student Money Advice week, is the lead up to Valentine’s Day. Single or in a relationship, either way Valentines can end up costing a lot. Whether you enjoy eating out, or getting a take-away, or even going for drinks, it all adds up. It can also be difficult to fit activities around university work and a busy schedule. In this blog we have come up with some ideas on what to do and ways to save money. We have also summarised the 5 ways to wellbeing and how you can use these to give yourself a boost for a Happy Valentines.
In a Relationship? Single? Here are some top tips for saving money this Valentines
1. Cook a home-made meal (with your loved one or friends):
You will need:
- 4 slices of bacon, chopped
- 400g macaroni
- 300ml double cream
- 200ml crème fraiche
- 200g cheddar
- Toast the nuts in a frying pan for 2-3 mins
- To the same pan add bacon and cook until crisp
- Boil the pasta
- In another pan add the cream, crème fraiche and half the cheese – warm until cheese has melted
- Drain pasta and mix with the sauce
- Sprinkle over the bacon, pine nuts and cheese
- Bake for 20 mins, until golden
You will need:
- 300g jar lemon curd (try Tiptree)
- Zest 1 lemon
- 300ml pot double cream
- 25g lemon shortbread or crunchy lemon biscuits
- Place 2/3 of lemon curd into a bowl with zest and cream
- Beat together with a whisk until it holds its shape
- Dribble over the rest of the lemon curd
- Divide between 6 pots, or less for larger portions, marbling the curd as you go
- Cover with cling film and freeze
- Put the biscuits in a plastic bag and smash into pieces
- When you are ready to eat, remove from freezer and top with crumbs
2. Cinema is always a great date night – try Cineworld for student deals
The Cardiff Cineworld is located on Mary Ann Street. It is in easy walking distance from the train and bus stations. Car parking is available in St David’s shopping centre adjacent to the cinema with a fixed fee (£2) from 5pm onwards. Tickets for students are as cheap as £3.00, and you can book these online (for an extra 30p) to save having to stand in line (it also means you can choose a good seat). Drinks and food can be expensive, so if the purse strings are really tight, pop into Tesco on your way there to grab some cheaper snacks. Just make sure you take them into the cinema in your bag and not on show!
3. Make your own gift
Why not show off your thoughtful side and make a gift. I know this might put a few people off, myself included, if you are not the most creative of individuals. If you can get your head round the creative element, you are one step closer to a meaningful, yet cheap and reasonably hassle free gift. One great idea is to make a scrapbook or photo album. You don’t need to do too much for this, just print off some photos, or order them online or using your phone. Check out Freeprints if you have an iPhone or android, or you can have photos printed from your laptop by Tesco. Another option is to make something edible, biscuits or brownies always seem to go down well on Valentine’s and show you have taken the time to make something. For plenty of recipe ideas head to the BBC good food website.
4. Take a trip to Roath Park
Valentine’s falls on a Sunday this year, so what day could be better for a romantic stroll, or even a boat ride around Roath Park. The park itself is beautiful and is the perfect setting for a Sunday stroll. Admittedly the weather is something that must be considered, we are in Wales after all. Don’t forget to check the forecast, and if there are going to be showers, make sure you take an umbrella (you don’t want a wet and miserable date). If you are unsure how to find Roath Park, I’d advise entering your start location and ‘Roath Park Cardiff’ into Google maps. Once this is done it should give you a step by step guide to finding it (maps on your iPhone/android works too).
5. Make the most of student deals when eating out
If you are intent on eating out as opposed to home cooking, it’s good to be aware of upcoming deals. Pizza Express are up there with one of the best valentines deals on offer. For £19.95 a head, you can have a three course meal as well as a complimentary glass of prosecco. ASK Italian are also offering a three course meal from their special valentines menu, as well as a complimentary coffee if you don’t fancy a drink. All this can be purchased for £21.95 per person. If you don’t’ fancy three courses, there are plenty of good restaurants in Cardiff that will have plenty to offer on valentines. Why not check out what’s on offer at St David’s food court. Please be sure to ring and book in advance, as valentines evening tends to be a popular one for dining out.
Single? here’s some ideas for you and your friends too …
6. Make cocktails
This is a great idea if you are planning to drink this weekend. It can be a little bit pricey to buy the alcohol, but if you split the cost with a group of friends, and buy the mixers cheaply, it will definitely be worth it. There are so many cocktails to choose from so do your research before you buy. If you choose cocktails that overlap in terms of ingredients, you can make more than just one kind for less money. For example a Sex on the Beach and a Screwdriver both contain vodka and orange juice. For a full list of cocktails and how to prepare them, visit Liqour.com. As always, please remember to drink sensibly and be aware that cocktails can be higher in units so it might be a good idea to track how much you are drinking with the drink aware app.
7. Keep it cheap, find a good deal and enjoy a take-away
There are a crazy number of places that deliver take away food in Cardiff, so if this is what you fancy, you won’t struggle for choice. In terms of keeping it cheap, again do your research and have a look at the best deals based on what you fancy. If you are set on a curry, The Bali King on Woodville Road does a really good curry. If you pick it up yourself, and show them your student card, they will give you 20% off. If you are a pizza fan, Dominoes do a number of good deals. If you have a friend or house mate also craving a Dominoes, you can get 2 4 1 delivery on a Sunday using the code ‘LYDBOGOF’. For other options, check out Deliveroo who also provide takeaway to your door step from a number of restaurants.
8. Get together with friends or snuggle up for movie night
Valentine’s is on a Sunday after all, so what better way than to relax and watch a few of your favourite films. This is ideal for anyone who fancies some me time, or those who fancy spending some time with friends. In terms of what film to watch, this is entirely down to preference. Amazon offer a free month of prime, so this could be the perfect time to join and see what movies they have on offer. Just don’t forget to cancel your membership after a month, as they will charge you £79 if you forget. You can also rent films off ITunes and various other sites, but these will charge you, so if money is tight this may not be the best option for you. Alternatively, ask around, you might be surprised what DVDs your house mates have lying around.
So, plenty of ideas to get you thinking about how to spend Valentine’s and whilst you’re thinking ask yourself, ‘how can I improve my wellbeing this valentines?’
What better time than valentines to think about how you could enhance your wellbeing. No matter how good you think your wellbeing is, there is always room for improvement. Here we have summarised the 5 ways to wellbeing, and what you can do to achieve each one.
- Make a gratitude diary of everything you are grateful for (possibly that special someone)
- Reflect on a good experience (a valentines date?)
- Visit a place you have never been before
- Listen to your favourite music (something romantic maybe)
- Go for a walk this valentines
- Ask your partner to do a pre date workout with you
- Go to an exercise class
- Join a gym
- Give more compliments to others (you can never give too many)
- Offer support and advice to someone who needs it
- Do something nice for someone to show you care this valentines (tea and smiles usually go down pretty well)
- Learn to cook something new for a valentines meal
- Say yes to more things
- Learn how to say I love or something to a friend in another language
- Listen to a new radio station
- Promise to stay off your phone for an evening (ideal when you are out for a meal with a date/friends)
- Ask people how they are
- Show an interest in others
- Smile at people (valentine’s day might be a good day for this)
Tweet us your suggestions to @studentlifecu using the hashtag: #CUloveyourwellbeing
Upcoming Wellbeing Related Events for Cardiff Uni Students
9th February: Student Support Awareness on Campus; 11-2pm, Under the canopy outside the Students’ Union.
12th February: A cake sale to raise money for the LGBT+ charity ‘Schools OUT’; 11 – 2pm, Cardiff University’s Students’ Union, opposite Starbucks.
18th February: Survival tips for managing money; 11-2pm, Under the canopy outside the Students’ Union.
Contacting Counselling, Health & Wellbeing
Watch our video and see for yourself that we have friendly and approachable staff. Staff who are able to listen to you non-judgmentally, in a safe and confidential space. Whatever it is you need help with please contact us – you can access our drop-in from Monday-Friday 3-3:45pm for a non-bookable, 10-15 minutes appointment to have an initial chat with us or, alternatively, please refer into our service by completing our referral questionnaire.
If you are worried about your health, we strongly advise you to make a GP appointment to discuss this. If you do not already have GP please contact Park Place Surgery.
Annie, Student Intern
Counselling, Health & Wellbeing Team
Your Student Life, Supported.
The Student Support Centre has a range of services dedicated to helping students make the most of their time at University, including: Advice & Money, Careers & Employability, Counselling, Health & Wellbeing, Disability & Dyslexia and International Student Support.
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