Get free or reduced price groceries on campus

Updated on 16 January 2023

If you’re struggling to buy essentials like food and personal items, there are places you can go on campus to get these for free.

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One of your regular expenses at university will be buying food and personal items. Whether you’re buying snacks, ready meals, or raw ingredients, or sticking to the lower-priced ranges, the costs can soon add up. Here are some ways to make buying food and personal items more affordable, and how to access for free on our campus.

Affordable food shopping

  • Consider buying food in bulk where you can – a larger bag of rice or pasta often works out cheaper than a smaller bag when you consider price per weight. These staples will last a long time, or can be easily split with others to help bring the cost down.
  • Plan your meals – this could include things like making enough dinner to do a couple of meals, or being able to have leftovers for lunch. This might help you avoid eating on the go, which can be costly.
  • Go food shopping with a list and budget in mind – overbuying or adding impulse buys to your basket can increase your costs rapidly.

Taking advantage of offers

  • Most supermarkets offer points and rewards if you use an app or loyalty card when you shop. Some may give you an immediate discount, while others offer benefits over time as you collect points. Look out for the Tesco Clubcard, Sainsbury’s Nectar scheme, and the Lidl app which you can use at supermarkets close to the University’s City campus.
  • Multibuys – like buy one, get one free – could help bring your costs down, but consider if you will use these before their expiry date. These can be helpful for making non-perishable items, such as cleaning supplies more affordable. For food, you might consider splitting a multibuy with friends to avoid wasting the products.

Accessing free food on campus

In response to the current cost of living crisis, the University and DUSA are providing free food on campus to help students who are having financial difficulties. This is a challenging time for many, and so these services are provided with no judgement, and solely to support students who need a helping hand.

  • Get a free hot filled roll at Air (Level 4) in DUSA on weekday mornings from 08:30 to 10:30
  • The Campus Pantry is available to access a parcel of food essentials. Students may only use the Campus Pantry once every 14 days by booking an appointment on the DUSA website.
  • You can also get free tea and coffee from the Global Room, which has a small kitchen area for heating food. The Library has hot water taps and microwaves for students to heat food.

Finding other free items on campus

  • Period products, like sanitary towels and tampons, are found in almost all bathrooms on campus – these are free to take for use by you or your household.
  • Free condoms and other sexual health products are available from the University Health Service in the OTI Building, or from The Hive (DUSA Level 4).
  • If you use YoYo as a payment method on campus, you can pick up points with each purchase that can then be redeemed against food and drink from DUSA’s bars and restaurants – find out what’s currently on offer in the app.


Guide category Student support