Hi there, back again with your go-to campus explorer, Gaby 🙂 Winter’s knocking on the door again, and we all know that staying warm is essential. But let’s just be real – the cost of living makes it feel so hard to achieve. Fear not, because here I am going to share a cosy guide to survive the chilly months without leaving your wallet shivering!  

Layer up like a pro 

First things first: cosy layers are your winter armour. Invest in affordable layers like thermal shirts, leggings, and cosy sweaters. No need to break the bank; just check out local supermarkets and clothing stores for winter discounts! Keep an eye out for seasonal sales. Seasonal sales are your ticket to stylish and affordable base layers.  

Seek out bargains in the sales

Talking about the crown jewels of winter wear – coats and sweaters. Yes, they can be a bit pricey sometimes, but guess what? Thrift stores are basically our winter wardrobe saviours. They’re just like gold mines, seriously. Go explore your thrift shops (aka charity shops) for warm and stylish outerwear. You’ll be surprised at the hidden gem options available at a fraction of the price you’d pay for new items. Quick note: patience is key here! You’re looking for a “hidden gem.” It may take some time, but trust me, it’s totally worth it!  

For extra warmth during the day, let’s not forget about winter accessories: scarves, gloves, beanies, earmuffs, and those lifesaving long socks. They might seem like small additions, but friends, they will make you warmer! I was sceptical too, but after experiencing the scarf vs. no scarf battle, there’s no denying the cosy difference. 

Now, let’s slide through the online snow! There are tonnes of online marketplaces and budget-friendly clothing websites that often offer winter deals. Just keep an eye out for sales, discounts, and clearance items to score warm layers without burning a hole in your pocket.  

However, it’s important to keep in mind that quality is better than quantity. Nobody wants a closet full of cheap layers that disintegrate faster than you can say “winter wonderland.” Look for fabrics like wool, which not only provide excellent insulation but also stand the test of time – it’s more sustainable than synthetic fabrics. Quality pieces may cost more upfront, but they can last longer and save you money in the long run. Opt for neutral colours – the real MVPs of mix and match. That way, you’ve got a closet full of styles without needing an extensive wardrobe. 

Hang out campus’s warm spots 

Winter hits hard, but campus has got your back. Ever wondered where the warmest spots on campus are? Well, think beyond the library! Seek out those not-so secret cosy areas – the library corners, Tremough House, or the student lounges in Peter Lanyon that radiate warmth. And don’t forget those campus havens like cafes with free Wi-Fi and welcoming vibes. And don’t worry, you don’t have to buy anything if you want to sit in campus cafés! Who said studying can’t feel like a warm hug? 

Hot chocolate? Yes please!

Budget-friendly or free warm drink and food!!! 

Alright, let’s talk about the essentials of life – food and drink, the heroes of our stomachs! Luckily for us, our campus cafeteria, a.k.a. The Stannary, has our backs. They’ve got this unbeatable £2 warm student food deal – a real superhero in the world of budget-friendly winter survival. And let’s not forget the budget-friendly hot drinks too: hot chocolate, latte, and cappuccino. Here’s a tip: get them between 3pm and 4pm for a buy 1 get 1 free deal. Oh, and collect those stamps when you grab a hot drink – 10 stamps mean a free hot drink from any campus catering spot. Trust me, you’ll be thanking me later! And also, experience the perks of the Reslife teams at Glasney Lodge Reception! Join the Lodge Café every Thursday at 5-8pm for complimentary food and drinks. 

Food and drink deals at the Stannary

But hey, if you’re feeling a bit more DIY and wallet-friendly, why not be your own barista and chef? Bring your homemade hot drinks – tea, coffee, or cocoa – in a good thermos. It’s a warm hug throughout the day, especially if you’re a coffee addict. No need to dig your pocket every day; embrace the budget-friendly magic of a homemade cup that suits your taste perfectly.  

Bring your own coffee to uni – keep warm and save ££’s

Now, let’s talk about meals. Sometimes, catering might feel a bit heavy on the pocket. Ever tried being a culinary maestro in your own kitchen? I, for one, whipped up a mean spaghetti Bolognese in the morning, packed it up in my lunchbox, and reheated it during lunchtime or between lectures using the campus microwaves. Efficient and cost-friendly, right? You can find those microwaves on campus in key spots like Upper Stannary, the Peter Lanyon Building, and outside the Masters Suite room. Those microwave-friendly meals are like unsung heroes, especially on chilly days. Pro tip: batch-cook and freeze your favourites. Your future self will send you a heartfelt thank you when you are indulging in a warm, home-cooked meal without too much effort. 

Make use of the microwave facilities around campus to re-heat homemade meals

Hacks for staying warm in your room  

Alright, let’s talk about reigning in those energy bills and keeping your room cosy without breaking the bank. Time to unleash your inner energy-saving ninja! 

First up, draft stoppers which often go unnoticed, but play the crucial role in making the room warm. Invest in these draft stoppers for your doors and windows – seriously, it’s a game-changer. Plus, let’s talk about curtains. Closing them at night is like giving your room an extra layer of warmth. Trust me, it’s a small effort with a massive payoff. 

Now, when it’s bedtime, sock up and grab a thick blanket. It’s like a warm hug for your body. I swear by this combo – it’s like a toasty cocoon. Oh, what do you think about my socks?  

Cosy socks for the win

And here’s a little unconventional move that I like to do, feet warming. Yep, soak those feet in hot water. If you’re feeling fancy, throw in some salt. Not only will it warm you up, but it’s also a ticket to relaxation. Trust me, it’s like a spa day for your feet and a winter win for your whole self! 

Treat yourself! 

Every now and then, it’s totally fine to indulge yourself a little in conquering those small achievements – and it doesn’t have to break your bank account! Just this past weekend, I came across a very warm and cosy cafe in Falmouth called Solskinn at the Poly with a work/study area on its second floor. You could sip on coffee for less than £3 while seizing the opportunity to review your lecture notes. With term 2 dialling up the intensity, it’s become my go-to study hack: always tackle module materials early to avoid feeling overwhelmed during the exam week. Trust me, it’s a game changer!   

Not only will you treat yourself to a little indulgence, but the change in study environment will do wonders for refreshing/resetting your mental health. So, here’s a gentle reminder to celebrate those small wins (it can be anything from submitting coursework to paying attention to a whole week’s worth of lectures), keep your study game strong, and maybe, just maybe, treat yourself to a cosy cafe adventure. You deserve it! 

Remember, it’s all about creativity and resourcefulness when talking about survival winter mode on-budget. Moreover, during this season, it’s also about which school of thought you are in – complaining about the coldness or embracing it and finding a solution to conquer it. Who knows, you might unlock potential new skills, like survival mode! LOL But for real, you’ll upgrade soft skills such as critical thinking and problem solving.  

So, embrace this chilly vibe, but don’t let the cost of staying warm freeze your spirit. With these tips, you’ll be winter-ready without making your wallet burn. Stay warm, stay cosy, and let’s make this winter the comfiest one yet! Happy winter, everyone! ❄☃  

P.S. don’t worry, this chilly season won’t last forever 😉