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I need a supermarket

I have to confess something. When I went on Erasmus it was the first time that I lived on my own and had to survive on what I bought, cooked and had. And, as this will surely be the case for many people, I am going to leave you with a series of tips/ advice that I learned a little too late on...

1. The best place to go to shop is Esselunga. In comparison, it would be the same as going to Mercadona in Spain (or Asda in England). It is everywhere, it is immense and there is everything you need. And it is also one of the cheapest. You also have Aldi, which is the cheapest, but the quality is not the same or to my liking, it's much smaller and you cannot go for a big food shop, and there is always a replacement. On the other hand, there is Carrefour, which is open 24 hours and if you crave an ice-cream at three in the morning with your flatmates (it's going to happen), you will have no other option than to go there, but the price is considerably high.

I also think that the sheets, cushions, quilts, blankets or kitchen tools are better if you buy them in Carrefour. It is of better quality and it shows! I need a supermarket 2. Shop once a week. In a week you can already see that you are, naturally, in need of more rice and pasta. As you are going to eat a lot of these, you can buy various packets in one shop. What I am saying is that as we do not understand the proportions of what we eat in a week, what will go bad if we do not eat it, or perhaps at first you think that, during that week you will eat this, this and this and then you don't fancy any of it, you'll end up throwing a lot of things.

3. Share some of the expenses with the people in the house. It's a joke that everyone has their own salt, vinegar and toilet paper. This took us some time to understand, but it makes no sense to have four oils with a name written on each one to differentiate them, when you have no other way to do so because THEY ARE THE SAME OIL. And I don't think I need to explain about the toilet paper. So, find things that everyone or some people use and share them. I, for example, shared the flat with a girl called Cindy for my whole stay, and with four other people for less time, so it was only with Cindy that I shared some of the costs.

I need a supermarket The product that Cindy and I shared the most was wine. This one is the best! Very nice;)

4. Make food together. When I arrived, two of my flatmates told me that Cindy did not like to share, that she was never at home and that, when she was, she would lock herself in her room. At ten o'clock those two were sleeping and Cindy didn't take long to come out of her room to eat, and we met. I didn't see her again for three days, until one day I cooked too much food and didn't have anywhere to keep the leftovers, so I knocked on her door and told her she could have it. Suddenly, she hugged me and told me that she had been feeling too lazy to cook food at that time! The two of us sat together and from then on, one day she would cook and I the other, and we would always eat together. In this way we saved money between us, we laughed a lot and, if one of us had a lot of work to do then the other one would cook. Perfect.

5. My star dish this Erasmus was vegetables with rice or pasta. In the supermarket, you buy the vegetables that you like and different types of pasta or rice. Every day, you can eat the ones you fancy, and so the menu changes every day but you still eat vegetables and carbohydrates, which are very important. We, in our house, had a wok, but you can use a normal pan and it would still work. We chose the vegetables that we wanted and we would cut them up, putting some oil and a little soy sauce into the wok (if you put in a tiny little bit then it mixes well with the vegetables and pasta and it is GOOD) and when these are hot, throw in the vegetables on a medium heat. The vegetables will be ready in between five to ten minutes, and you only need to mix them with the pasta or rice that you have chosen and it's ready! I need a supermarket Enjoy!

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