The Basics Sorted
The biggest supermarkets are all based out-of-town on the Ring Road, so it's really not worth struggling there without a car. Right in the centre of town there's a Sainsbury in the Westgate Centre, and a large Tesco on Magdalen Street. There are also innumerable smaller Tescos and Sainsburys which are good for picking up a quick frozen pizza or forgotten ingredient. On the Cowley Road, all life flows through the large Tesco Metro, open late every day except Sunday. Alternatively, make your way to the Waitrose in Headington, of the M&S Simply Food in Summertown.
PC World on the Botley Road is the obvious place to go to pick up a laptop and get general advice. If you don't like chains, or if it all goes wrong, your best bet is Computer Assistance on the Cowley Road - head beyond the Regal and up towards the Police Station (http://www.computerassistance.uk.com, 01865 451177). They have a triage system that neatly sorts out whether you've missed something obvious, or whether you really need specialist help.
There's a huge choice in the centre of town, from a WHS on Cornmarket Street to Ryman's on the High Street. A quirkier option is Honest Stationery on the Cowley Road, if you can avoid being distracted by the childish party-bag fillers on the way in.
Cushions, throws, rugs, toothbrush holders and candles: they help you personalise your room and, thanks to the nation's obsession with interior design, they're available at very reasonable prices at a variety of outlets. Try Primark in the Westgate Centre, for example, or Matalan and George at Asda in the John Allen Centre, Temple Cowley. If you've got a slightly more generous budget, there's a Cargo Homestore in Summertown.
As well as each University offering these services, The Oxford Print Centre on Holywell Street offers printing, photocopying and binding, and is well used to the needs of students (www.oxford-print-centre.co.uk).