Get your very own meal ticket!

Let’s face, it sensible eating is about as exciting as an episode of Countryfile but if you don’t eat properly, you’re not going to be able to think straight during seminars – or look fab for the Freshers’ ball.

But once you’ve paid your rent, mobile phone bill and for a night out with your mates, chances are there’s not much of your loan left to spend on eating well. Enter the Sainsbury’s meal ticket – an easy way to ease the financial burden. The credit card sized card comes in two parts. One card is for students to stock up on groceries and homeware, and one is for your rents to reload with funds. It’s simple to use:

* Pick up a Meal Ticket in store – you’ll find them at the checkouts or at the gift card centre

* Load the card with the desired amount at the till. Parents should keep the top part and students the bottom card – which can be spent in any Sainsbury’s store

* Reload the card at any time in store

* The Meal Ticket is not a credit or debit card so you can only spend what’s on the card

For more information call 0800 636262 or

Boxing clever

Student life sorted... Wherever you’re studying next year – be it London, Leeds or Liverpool – one thing is certain: you’re going to have to cook for, clean up and look after yourself.

three cardboard boxes #2

Sounds straight forward but fending for yourself isn’t always easy - especially if you can’t face schlepping back and forth to the supermarket to stock up on essentials.

Which is why we love Box of Care - a brilliant box full of everyday essentials worth upwards of £45 that will be delivered to your door for just £29.50. One word: result.

There’s two boxes to choose from - one for the girls and one for the guys. Student365’ plumped for the former (girls outnumber boys in our office) which was fabulous and full of useful stuff we didn’t even realise we needed (Kelloggs cereal variety packs, pens and pocket tissues).

Bathroom needs are taken care of with the inclusion of toothpaste, quilted toilet rolls, deodorant (you don’t want to frighten off potential amours), mouthwash and more. Pleasingly all of the items are branded ones meaning that Box of Care is big on quality as well as quantity.

Moving onto kitchen items, there’s the aforementioned Kelloggs cereal variety packs to tuck into - including Student365‘s guilty pleasure, Coco Pops - and a jar of instant coffee (essential when pulling those all nighters). Plus all the cleaning clear you’ll need - think Persil washing up liquid - to make unwashed dishes a thing of the past.

Should Freshers flu strike (and let’s face it if you plan on partying hard, it will), there’s an array of items to help nurse you back to health from Paracetamol and Boots multivitamins tablets to a full first aid kit complete with plasters, gauze dressing et al.


Bottom line? Box of Care is a student essential if ever there was one and, unlike many of the friends you’ll make and meet on arrival at uni, won’t dessert you once Freshers Week has wound up. (We reckon Box of Care should easily see you through the first few months of uni life).

It’s the perfect gift for anyone about to leave school and start uni - or maybe just for you. For while giving is good, so too is receiving...

Juggling jobs

It’s time to face facts. Work is an ugly four letter word, but it’s inevitable that most students are going to have to bag a job during the long summer holidays in order to finance their social lives (and, yes, studies next year). That said some jobs are better than others... Kaye Holland reviews your options

Cinema usher
If you’re a self confessed film freak then this could be the job for you Why: See all the latest big cinema releases first and for free. Sounds good? Ask about opportunities at your local cinema. Why not: Long, unsociable hours for peanuts pay.

Au pair work
Make like Mary Poppins Why: A great way to experience another country and culture a la the locals and get paid for it. Check out Why not: Salaries vary and your ‘charges’ could turn out to be the devil’s own.

Match steward
Calling all footie fans! Sod the season ticket - saving hundreds of pounds in the process - and become a match steward instead Why: With live football now costing an arm and a leg, this is a guaranteed way to see the big match for free. Most clubs need match stewards and full training is given. Contact your club of choice for details. Why not: If you have thin skin, forget it. Heckling and swearing have been part of football since time began.

Artist’s model
Art colleges and adult education centres are always looking for life models Why: You’ll be counting the cash for getting your kit off and sitting still for a couple of hours. Visit Why not: Shy, retiring types need not apply.

Be a human guinea pig
More and more students are taking part in medical trials Why: This is a quick and easy way to pad out the purse both during term time and the holidays. Why not: There’s a high risk factor involved, so think carefully before signing up willy nilly for any trials.

Mystery shopper
Shop till you drop! Retailers are more anxious than ever before and you can capitalise on this Why: Simply suss out the quality of customer service inn shops, cinemas, hotels and restaurants, submit an objective report and get paid for it. Plus you get to keep the goods you purchased. Check out Why not: Catches? What catches? This is a dream job - maxing someone else’s card and getting paid for it! Result.

Shop work
Most shops and chain stores are crying out for staff to work weekends and during the summer sales period Why: Part time hours and fabulous discounts - but choose your store carefully. M&S and John Lewis both have a reputation for rewarding employees with substantial discounts, but not all stores are as generous. Why not: It can take the patience of a saint and then some to resist the urge not to snap at stroppy customers.

Film extra
Quite possibly the coolest way to earn some extra cash. Why: Pick and choose your days to slot around your social life. If you’re lucky, you could find yourself getting up close and personal with the stars. Why not: Remember Ricky Gervais’s sitcom, Extras? Yup, standing around all day can be terribly tedious.

Student365 fan?
You’ve read the mag - no why not work for it? We’re looking for people to spread the word about our funky and free mag. You’ll need to be an excellent communicator with a good idea about marketing, confident, reliable and creative and have a good knowledge of your area. Interested? Email your name, contact details and CV to

Useful websites

Career guidance Award wining careers service Great advice backed up with lots of information

Job finder The daddy of all the UK online job sites, which has over 64,000 current vacancies Info about job centres and how to go about finding a job.

Other sites For advice on your rights at work Get the low down on your tax allowance and related info Don’t be exploited - find out about the minimum wage

Before they were famous If what looks like a dream job turns out to be a dud one, comfort yourself with the knowledge that before rising to superstardom, many celebs had a job they probably didn’t like very much. Yes the path to celebdom is rocky and even struggling wannabes have to eat. There are few glamorous jobs out there for starry eye individuals with nothing more than an art GCSE and a desire to entertain the masses, as these A listers learned...

* National treasure, Helen Mirren, used to work at an amusement park in Southend (yes, really). Her role? A ‘blagger’ - a person employed to attract punters to the rides.

* In a bizarre incidence of art imitating real life, former Friends star Jennifer Anniston used to work as a waitress.

*When he wasn’t delivering freezers, Brad Pitt used to drive a limousine... chauffering strippers between bachelor parties.

* A long, long, long time ago, award winning director Steven Spielberg earned some extra pocket money white washing fruit trees.

* Before hitting the big time, The Voice’s Tom Jones worked as a trainee glove cutter.

Know your rights Just because you’re a part time and temporary worker, it doesn’t mean that you should be exploited. Rules such as the minimum wage apply to you as much as anyone else. The minimum wage for 18-20 year olds is currently £5.03 and for workers over 21 the rate is £6.31. An employee can’t be sacked for asserting the right to be paid the minimum wage. The one exception to this is students on course related work placement schemes who are not entitled to the minimum wage. When it comes to paying tax, the bad news is that students are in the same position as any other worker. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Unless you have hit the job jackpot, you should be able to stay within the personal allowance of what someone can earn before they pay tax. Translation? You need to earn in excess of £9,440 per year before paying tax income.

Why work? Holding down a part-time job not only bolsters your bank balance but your CV too. Paid work helps you develop transferable skills with which to wow potential employers. Today there is the harsh reality of not only being several thousand pounds in the red but the uncertainty of finding a job at the end of the degree. Competition is fiercer than ever and the days when a degree was the passport to a well paid job are long gone. If you have your heart set on a specific career after graduation, a related part time job gives you the edge over other candidates. Keep in mind that any job you take on should be something with flexible hours and semi decent pay that doesn’t interfere too much with your course and social life - let’s not forget why you came to college in the first place. Happy hunting!

Interview: Eliza Doolittle

Three years after her self-titled debut album went platinum and propelled her into the spotlight,  Eliza Doolittle is back with her sophomore effort, In Your Hands. The  talented 25 year old Londoner spoke to Kaye Holland about singing, sunshine and why she wouldn’t have made a good studentHi Eliza! Congratulations on your new album. We love it, but it’s fair to say that it’s a departure from the chirpy pop songs of your eponymous first album... Yes. On my first album I was maybe a little more guarded and focused on my surroundings rather than what I was feeling within. I really let it all spill out on this album. It’s full of discovery and learning so much about myself and how I feel about love and life in general. On my last record I hadn’t experienced much of anything really. It was quite a light album, very feel good.”

Listening to the album, it's clear you have been through the ringer (Eliza's new album was written after her split from tattooed American Benji Madden, of rock band Good Charlotte, earlier this year). The songs that came from the break-up definitely fuelled things in me. I was writing constantly, just getting it out of my system. It’s not a break-up album, though. Maybe the break-up triggered it but it’s really about discovering things about myself I didn’t know before.”

Do you have a favourite song from the album? You know what, they’re all my favourites. I recorded something like 100 songs and selected around 16 for the album so every song that made the cut, I love. Do you have a favourite? [I tell her I like the chipper Big When I Was Little - her hit summer single - the poignant Let It Rain and uplifting ballad No Man Can which elicits a polite: “Thank-you very much. That means a lot.”]

Why was there such a long gap (three years) between this album and the last?  I’d planned to release In Your Hands two years after my debut album came out, but it ended up being longer because of changes that occurred within my record label (Parlophone). It means that I had more time to perfect the album though and can feel really confident about it.

How do you write your songs? I make sure I take a note of all my ideas whenever something pops into my head. If I sing something new in the shower, I’ll jump out and record it. I’m always getting ideas and they go on my dictaphone or my phone.

It’s well documented that you relocated to the States to write and record In Your Hands. Would you ever permanently leave London for LA?  No - I like London too much. That said it would be great to have a house in LA and a house in London and spend six months in each place chasing the sun - summer is my favourite time of year. I’d need to write a few more songs and have  a few more hits to be able to do that, though!

You’re from a hugely successful stage family (Eliza is the daughter of Tony Award winning West End star Frances Ruffele and respected director and playwright John Caird, and the granddaughter of stage school founder Sylvia Young) and have trod the boards yourself (Eliza spent six months playing the young Cosette in the London stage version of Les Miserables when she was eight). Are you tempted to go back to the theatre? I love the theatre and am not ruling out a return to the stage but my focus, for now, is my music. I’m obsessed with writing.

Can you think of an alternative career that you might also like to have followed? That’s a really hard question. When I was really little I wanted to be a taxi driver but by the time I was 12 I knew that I wanted to be a recording artist. Music has always been in my blood.

Your first hit, Pack Up, released in 2010 saw you hailed as the "new Lily Allen" (the two shared a record label and publicist at that point). But whose career would you like to emulate? Beyonce. When I was really young, I wanted to be in Destiny’s Child and  watching Beyonce go solo and evolve into the respected artist she is today has been very inspiring.

Any advice for younger singers such as Miley Cyrus (the former Disney star has been a subject of controversy in recent months, following her performance at the MTV Video Music Awards which saw her mimicking masturbation with an oversized foam finger and twerking with teddy bears)? All I’d say is be true to yourself. You just have to be yourself. If you can do that, you’ll be fine.

Let’s talk fashion... You’re known for your trademark trainers and hot pants - has your style changed since your first album? I still love my hot pants and trainers, but I haven’t worn any little shorts for a while now. I tend to rock one look for ages and then move onto another when I get bored. Let’s see what’s next!

Your real name is Eliza Caird but you chose the stage name of Eliza Doolittle - a character from My Fair Lady. How did that come about? Because like you [readers: I’ve just mispronounced 'Caird'] no one knows how to say my real surname! People think I chose Doolittle because of my family’s theatrical background but actually it's nothing to do with that. It's just a name I’ve been called since I was a child and it’s stuck...

You didn’t go to university. Any regrets on not experiencing student life? No because I wasn’t that into school. I was ok but I was always looking out of the window and wanting to be somewhere else - I always wanted to sing. That’s just me though. I kind of wish I was more studious and really admire uni students who are able to knuckle down and hit the books.

Will you be going on tour with the album? Yes and it will be a global tour, but that’s all I know right now. I’m still figuring out all the details but I love touring and showcasing my songs. The only downside is the homesickness. Do you get homesick often, then? Yes, when I am travelling. My band and musicians become my family on the road but I do miss my real family and friends back home, more than anything  when I’m away. I Skype them all the time and I arrange for everyone to meet up when I get home. I’m not complaining though - I know I have an amazing opportunity!

Anything else you’d like to add, Eliza? Just a big thank you to everyone for their support and I hope you like the new album as much as I do!

Thanks Eliza! Eliza’s new album, In Your Hands, is out now.