The first thing many new students notice is the lump sum of money from their student finance waiting for them in their bank accounts. More often than not, you’d go on a little shopping spree, have a few nights out, and do a food shop for the month (before you realise all you need to survive is pasta and Super Noodles).
It’s easy to forget about other things such as uni books, bus passes, and sometimes even rent! That’s why we’re giving you a helping hand, to make sure you can go out on that Wednesday-night social and not feel bad if you really want to buy that new pair of jeans.
1. Bargain Hunt
It’s time to find your inner David Dickinson (with a little less fake tan), and get those bargains in your trolley. Forget shopping at places like Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, and say hello to the trusted prices of Lidl and Aldi. Food shopping can prove to be a constant expense, but by using cheaper supermarkets, you’ll save a lot of money that can be used elsewhere (an extra night out a month, maybe?).
Don’t forget to have a look at the special offers and reduced sections in the more expensive supermarkets. Our top tip is to go at the end of the day and bargain hunt your way through the reduced items, and bag yourself some 15p potatoes or some 29p coleslaw! Taking a trip to your local markets will also give you some bargaining power to stock up on your fresh foods at a reasonable price.
Bargaining doesn’t just go for food shops either; if you’re in need of a new winter coat, or those ripped jeans have become a little too ripped, then use these bargain techniques on your wardrobe shop too. Using shopping outlets on sites such as ASOS, Amazon, and eBay can give you great style at a lower cost. Not forgetting apps such as Depop. Shopping as a student doesn’t have to be expensive – time to get your haggle on!
2. Read All About It
You’ll be surprised at just how expensive your reading list is, so we’ve come up with a few solutions to help save those pennies for something other than course books.
Say hello to the saviour of most coursework problems: Google, in particular Google Books and Google Scholar. Use these online tools to find the books you need without having to raid bookshops and spend a fortune.
Have you thought about going to the library? Well, you should. Most university libraries are either open late or accessible 24 hours a day. There’s hundreds of free books at your disposal, so what better way to save money than by taking advantage of the free materials on offer to you? Remember, if you’re borrowing books, to make sure you keep a note of when they’re due back – you don’t want to be fined, because that’s definitely not saving you money.
Our top tip is to speak to past students and look on your university buy-sell Facebook pages, because we can guarantee that students who’ve graduated will be wanting to sell their old books for cheap. Plus, you never know – you might get lucky and find some useful notes in them.
3. Fill Your Bags
There’s always something going on around campus, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled. Whether it’s Freshers’ Fair, a vintage clothing sale, or even society events, you’ll be able to fill your bags with lots of free (or cheap) goodies.
Stay up-to-date by following your Students’ Union on social media, because they’re always tweeting the latest happenings around your campus. Never miss an event, because then you’ll never miss the free pizza!
4. Make It Clear That You’re a Student
It’s time to take advantage of your student status. You can get a discount on almost anything, that’s right, anything! Student travel passes, clothing discounts, food and drink offers, and not forgetting those money-saving cinema deals. By keeping a close eye on the latest student offers, you’ll definitely be saving yourself some money.
Don’t forget the famous UNiDAYS to collect all your discount codes and your NUS card. Even if a student discount isn’t openly displayed, then don’t be shy to ask if they offer any student discounts, because more often than not they do.
If you find some super student offers, or you have some other handy tips for your fellow students on how to save money, share them with us on Twitter @dwellstudent and on Facebook. Happy saving![/fusion_text]