How to save money while studying at Falmouth

11 June 2024

Blue signpost on Penryn Campus with trees and path
Penryn campus sign
Type: Text
Category: Student finances

This article was written by Fine Art BA(Hons) student Sarah.

I’ve studied and lived in Falmouth for the past three years, in this blog post I’ll share some money-saving insights I’ve gathered.

The cheapest, closest shop for groceries is Lidl, as well as Asda, in Penryn, which you can get delivered. Meal prepping and buying store cupboard ingredients is a great way to minimise the cost of your food. Moreover, if you’re house-sharing and your flatmates have similar dietary requirements, cooking together can be a great way to socialise while saving money. Similarly, 'potluck dinners' are a fun way to spend time with your friends and/or flatmates, whilst also being a cheaper alternative to dining out and cooking your dinner independently. Essentially, everybody brings a dish they’ve prepared (a main course or dessert) and everything is shared. This is not only cheaper, but it allows you to share recipes and food with your friends.

Regarding travelling to and from Falmouth and Penryn (and Cornwall in general), I’d recommend buying a student railcard and/or bus pass. With an annual railcard for £30, you can get 1/3 off the price of most train fares. There are also weekly and monthly bus passes and bundle tickets, if you plan to commute frequently. 

For accommodation, moving into private accommodation in my second and third year has saved me over £100 a month and been a lot cheaper than student accommodation when I lived at Carrick View (this is no longer a university halls of residence option). There are, however, more reasonable options for accommodation in first year, such as Tuke House in Falmouth and The Sidings in Penryn.

Additionally, there are several student deals to snatch up throughout town! For entertainment on a budget, there’s plenty to do. Star Glazers is a pottery painting café in town, offering students 10% off on Thursday evenings, 7pm-9pm. Film-wise, on Sundays, Phoenix Cinema offers 50% off selected films, making the price £5. To watch other films for free, you can also hire DVDs from the campus library or stream via the Falmouth student app, which I highly recommend doing! The Poly is also a great creative hub in the centre of town with frequent film screenings, exhibitions (often free), workshops and music offering student discounts. Falmouth Art Gallery is another free gallery to recommend, with new exhibitions every few months. 

If you like trying different cuisines and restaurants, the Pard Card may be a great option for you. It’s a discount card exclusive to Cornwall which gives you special deals across businesses in Cornwall. In Falmouth, there are also several student deals to take advantage of in the café realm! Caffe Nero offers a 25% student discount via the app and Espressini café also offers 10% off. 

The Cornish Bank is also a great venue for students. Fortnightly, Feast For Freedom hosts a delicious vegetarian meal run by volunteers. The Fish Factory in Penryn also frequently offers free food, such as fruit, veg and crisps. Restaurants and cafes throughout town also participate in 'Too Good To Go', which is an app that sells discounted food in goodie bags at the end of the working day. The prices are usually £3, regularly priced at £10+, making it both a bargain and also helping to prevent food waste.

I’ve found projects at university to be quite expensive, which may also impact you depending on your vision. In my last term of university, to combat this I’ve reached out to companies for material sponsorship, which I recommend doing, as I’ve saved hundreds of pounds! There are also community groups on Facebook to find/give away free furniture, supplies and clothes. A few students on my course have been given second-hand sofas/chairs, which make the studios cosier throughout term time. For supplies on a budget, Trago Mills in town also has student days every couple of months, offering 10% off, which I’ve found is great for stocking up on household and art supplies. Alongside this, having a joint household fund to replenish toilet roll, washing up liquid, sponges etc. will also be cheaper.

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