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Money saving tips for students

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Saving money wherever possible can make a huge difference.  Our hints and tips will ensure you make the most of being a student without breaking the bank.

 

Food

  • Make a shopping list and stick to it.
  • Never shop when you’re hungry as you'll be more likely to buy more than you need.
  • We all like special offers but think before you buy – it may seem like a bargain, but will you use it?
  • Drop one brand level in the supermarket and see if you can tell the difference.
  • Look at the price per 100g to compare different prices.
  • Buy in bulk with others to save costs – essentials like pasta often work out cheaper.
  • If you're a novice in the kitchen invest in a cookbook. You'll often find good books in charity shops.
  • Make a sandwich instead of buying a ready-made one and you could save a pound or more a day – that's £260 a year.
  • Use old bread bags and other food packaging, such as a plastic tub for sandwiches.
  • If treating yourself to a take-away save the containers to use for leftovers and freezing extra portions.
  • Fakeaway instead of takeaway. Getting a pizza from the supermarket could cost you £3 compared to £8 from a takeaway.
  • Save money on bottled water too - get a reusable bottle and full up at the University and Union water coolers.
  • Buying a take-out coffee every day for a week could cost as much as £40 a month. Invest in a travel mug and make your own and in one year you could up to £480 a year.

Lifestyle

  • Set a reminder on your phone for the day library books are due back and return or renew them to avoid costly fines.
  • Walking and cycling can save you money and keep you fit.
  • Challenge yourself to spend-free days.
  • Check newspapers and magazines for vouchers and discounts.
  • Keep a written record of your spending.
  • Buy used textbooks and make use of the University library.

Shopping

  • Invest in an TOTUM card and don't be afraid to ask for discounts.
  • Use reward cards where you can get discounts or points which build up and can be used towards future purchases, such as a Boots Advantage card.
  • Use discount voucher codes available through websites such as VC Students.
  • Try own-brand products, rather than costly brand names.

Travel

  • Look for local deals on buses and trains – you might be able to purchase a termly pass. If you travel a lot by train or coach it might be worth buying a 16–25 Railcard (it's also open to mature students) or a Young Person's Coach Card to save on your travel costs.
  • When buying train tickets, buy as far in advance as possible and check if splitting your tickets will reduce the cost. Websites like Split your ticket can do this for you. All you need to do is enter where you want to travel from and to.
  • If you’re driving to Uni, try to check out local fuel prices in advance of filling up. You could also fill up at fuel stations which have reward cards as points soon add up. 
  • Don’t forget to shop around for car insurance and don’t be afraid to bargain with your current provider if you have found a better like for like deal when it’s time to renew.