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At lvl 8, unless you haven't been leveling up much, you won't be able to make great potions anyway. In whiterun, the first town you visit, in the jarls palace, there is a mage that sells spell tomes that you can learn new spells. Many of them are lower leveled
ones, with a few higher ones as well. The nice thing about this game is that you don't have to be a certain level in destruction or illusion to cast spells, you just have to have enough magicka to cast it.
If something has 4 unknown slots under it when you take it go into your inventory and eat it, you will learn 1 effect that ingredient has then you can mix it with an ingredient with the same effect. After doing this for a while you will learn more effects
for the same ingredients. Alchemy is a cash cow in this game. I actually became over encumbered using this skill because I had way to many potions. Didn''t pay a dime for them so every septim made was pure profit.