Moving to Cambridge, UK

You may have read (most likely didn’t, I have 2 followers) how I travelled to Cambridge, England from Vancouver, Canada during Covid. I’ve had better times in my life, but I was on a plane for the first time in 18 months so that must count for something.

Accommodation

I found my private accommodation through the Cambridge University Accommodation site (available when you work at the Uni). I have my own bathroom but share a kitchen with one other person. I wanted to arrange it through the Uni because I know scammy scams happen. People showing up with a key only for the locks to have been changed etc. Also, accommodation through Zoopla or where ever seemed to have tonnes of houses with 6+ bedrooms in it and I simply can’t handle that.

When my colleague asked where I was located and I said north in Aubry, she goes “that’s kinda the dodgy end of Cambridge” but in all fairness, the dodgy end here is still kinda posh. There are some unkempt gardens, for rent signs and some construction but I don’t feel like I’m going to get mugged- so it’s high-end by my (low) standards.

Eating

I wanted to be located next to an Aldi or Lidl because I know groceries are a tad more expensive here than in Amsterdam. I did some research and the order of least expensive to most expensive supermarkets are: Lidl, Aldi, Asda, Sainsbury, and Tesco. 

Get a free Tesco Clubcard for discounts in the supermarket. I heard there was a Lidl discount app but maybe that’s the rumour-mill churning out lies about bargains. Crafty fox.

IF in quarantine, Deliveroo delivered groceries from Aldi, Sainsbury and Co-op. It was more expensive but unless you want to sign up for a monthly supermarket delivery service, it’s the only way to get groceries delivered to you when in isolation.

There is a company that sells expired food at discounted prices called Approved Food I haven’t used it (mostly because of delivery fees and the stock they had at the time) but let me know how it goes.

Bits and bobs (also known as tidbits)

Some hairdressers offer free haircuts if you model for them, others give a discount (I found one for 30% off) if you allow their training hairdresser to butcher your following locks.

If you’re in the greater London area, it may be worth getting a Networkrailcard it costs £30 and you can save up to 30% on each journey. I’ve tried to compare some sites and it looks as though Split-Ticket or National Rail may be your best bet for finding cheap rail tickets for long-distance journeys.

I needed to wash my shoes in a laundry bag but I didn’t obviously have one because my entire life fit into one suitcase BUT you can use a pillowcase and tie it with a hair elastic and it works swimmingly.

I’m not sure about the order of the cheapest homeware shops (Primark doesn’t deliver) so I ordered a set of four towels from Argos. They’re about as fluffy as a wet seal but they do the job, especially for £11. Also from there, I got a laundry basket and a Silentnight Airmax Mattress Topper because the springs from the mattress in my accommodation were digging into my spine.

Trusted always for good deals on sports ware is Decathalon where I got my yoga mat.

 

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