Glasgow is considered by some to be the best shopping city in the UK outside London! Argyle Street, Buchanan Street and Sauchiehall Street are the main shopping streets, where you'll find many clothes shops as well as other shops for daily essentials. All three of these streets are within easy walking distance of the campus.
Glasgow's West End is home to lots of smaller independent shops, cafes and bookshops. The area is easily accessible on foot (a nice walk through Kelvingrove Park!), bus or subway. Have a wander round trendy Ashton Lane, Byers Road or Great Western Road for a relaxing Saturday!
Glasgow is known for its markets selling clothes and household goods at reduced prices. They can be entertaining with the Glasgow ‘patter’ [Glasgow speak] of the market tradesmen and the bustling atmosphere. The Barrowlands Market (known as The Barras) is Scotland’s largest flea market with 1,000 market stalls and nine distinct areas selling clothes, jewellery, furniture and also has food stalls and cafes. It is open Saturday and Sunday 10.00 – 17.00 and is free to enter.
The Merchant Square [71-73 Albion St] is covered courtyard with a cobbled-street and is surrounded by pubs, cafes and restaurants. The market which used to be called Candleriggs market hall is opens at 11.00 on Saturday and Sunday and is also free.
City centre supermarkets
There are several local express supermarkets within the city centre which are smaller and stock more of the basic and essential items:
- Sainsbury’s Local - 236-240 Buchanan Street, 14 W George Street
- Co-op - 132 Union Street, 123 Sauchiehall Street
- Tesco - 236 Sauchiehall Street
- Aldi - 132-136-140 High Street
- Lidl - 37 Jamaica Street
Remember to shop around for the best deals; you may find that some supermarkets are significantly cheaper than others! See below for an idea of what you might pay for groceries, or visit mysupermarket.
- Lims Chinese Supermarket - 63 Cambridge Street, Glasgow. Sells an array of Oriental food and grocery items. They also have a fish counter.
- Matthews Food Ltd - 230-260 Garscube Road, Glasgow. Sells frozen foods, fresh produce, oriental spices, variety of noodles, canned foods, cooking and drinking wine, Japanese foods, Korean foods, South East Asian foods and vegetarian foods.
- Chung Ying Ltd 254 Dobbies Loan, Glasgow. Stocks a wide variety of Chinese products.
- Chans Ltd 37-39 Farnell Street, Glasgow. Stocks a range of Chinese, Malaysian and Indian ingredients including spices, fresh fruit and vegetables as well as an extensive range of cooking utensils.
- KRK Continental Food Store 286 Woodlands Road, Glasgow. Stocks cereals, spices, fresh fruit and vegetables. Also stocks Halal meat.
- Oriental Food 303-305 Great Western Road, Glasgow. Butchers with sells similar goods as KRK Continental Food Store listed above.
Points about shopping
Shopping in the UK may differ from your home country. Here are a few points:
- You are expected to pay the price marked on the item. There is no bargaining over a price except at market stalls.
- Customers are expected to queue to buy their items. Ensure that you are queuing at the correct area and that you keep your place in the line and wait your turn.
- Most shops provide plastic carrier bags for your purchases although some shops charge a small cost for the bags. Some shops also sell long-lasting, more durable bags which are intended to be used again and again.
It is usually cheaper to buy certain items which you can buy bigger packets of, such as butter, sugar, tea, coffee, washing powder etc in large supermarkets. Use the baskets and shopping trolleys provided to collect your shopping. These have to remain in the store after shopping purchased.
Most supermarkets sell their own brand products which are cheaper than other branded products. Look out for special offers and remember large packs usually represent better value for money. If sharing with other students, it may be easier and cheaper to buy certain basic items together which everyone will use.
You may find some items (particularly fresh fruit and vegetables) are much cheaper when you buy them at local fruit shops.
See below for information on basic food items, and roughly how much you should expect to pay for them.
Loaf of bread: 80p-£1.20
Pint (568ml) of milk: 40p-50p
Tinned tomatoes (400g): 40p-£1
Spaghetti (500g packet): 70p-£1.40
Bananas: 50p-£1 per kilogram
Butter (250g packet): £1.20-£1.50 (margarine can be a cheaper, healthier alternative)
Eggs (box of 6): £1-£2
Rice (1kg bag): £1.30-£1.80