You need to be smart about where you wish to stay and if your accommodation is fulfilling those needs for you.
Manchester has a lot of options. But all of them tend to be over my budget and crossed the range of about £600 per month. I wanted to keep my accommodation expense low so that I had more money for other daily expenses. I went through a lot of Facebook pages and standalone websites for private houses. Private accommodation tends to be more towards the high price range side and low value. I got in touch with a person who was looking for accommodation as well. We together searched for a house near the University. The best site that I have personally come across is spareroom.com. I was able to find properties in the range of 400-1000 pounds. The ones which are in the price range of 400-500 pounds tend to be away from the university and shared washrooms and smaller rooms. What I did was chose properties in the just high price range and negotiated with the landlords and brought it down to my budget and paid the deposit so that the landlord could not change his mind.
I currently reside in a house with 4 rooms and 3 bathrooms. 2 out of the 4 rooms are ensuite with rent being about £600 per month and 2 rooms were £450 with smaller rooms and common sharing washroom. I requested my landlord to bring the rent down to 400 pounds and he did it.
The house is very new and a 15-minute walk to the University and there are a few shops nearby for groceries. My housemates are very nice and friendly, and we have a very big backyard in which we host parties. There is no extra expense for the laundry. The rent is all bills inclusive and has no overheads. There is enough privacy and no restrictions that we tend to face in private accommodation.
All the best to any new students looking for new houses. My advice for you is to plan and set yourself criteria, which include, private vs university halls, bills included vs bills separate, budget and location. And remember, haggle! - the additional money you could save on rent can go towards experiencing some of the great culture Manchester has to offer!