It’s that time of year again; exams are almost over, university is finishing for another year and students up and down the country are starting to leave their accommodation. And let’s face it, packing up your belongings and having to move out is never much fun.
How to make a saving as a student
Coming to university and living in halls will probably be your first experience of living away from home. You’ll likely feel a mixed bag of emotions – you’ll be excited, but probably also understandably quite nervous. You may have to learn new skills and responsibilities, like cooking, cleaning and of course dealing with money. But to help get you off to a good start, here are some top tips for making a saving and bagging yourself a bargain as a student…
1. Invest in a travel card
If you’re travelling around the UK visiting friends and family, or simply jumping on the next train to explore the city’s surrounding attractions, you can save up to 1/3 off your rail fare for the year by purchasing a 16-25 railcard. And if you’re a student living in London, you might want to consider applying for a Student Oyster photocard to make even more savings.
2. Join NUS Extra
For just £12 a year – or £32 for 3 years, having an NUS Extra card will give you big discounts across a whole range of top clothes brands, entertainment venues, food outlets and much more. So, whether it’s pizza or cinema tickets, make huge savings doing (and eating) the things you love.
3. Download coupon apps
You probably have a smartphone at your fingertips, so if you do, be sure to download popular coupon apps such as VoucherCodes, Groupon and Vouchercloud. Having these apps at the ready means when you’re out and about, you can easily check for any deals and discounts available before in local shops, restaurants and entertainment venues.
4. Look for second-hand books
Before you raid the local bookshop for everything on your reading list, why not have a look online (e.g. Gumtree or EBay), or search the university notice boards for anyone who is selling second-hand books? They probably won’t be this year’s publication, but the content won’t have changed much over the years; and the price will be much cheaper.
5. Shop at night
Off to do your weekly grocery shop? You might want to wait until the end of the day. Most supermarkets heavily discount food items which are due to go out of date just before they close at night. So get yourself a bargain dinner and fill up your freezer for the rest of the week!
6. Enjoy happy hour
If you’re looking for a low-cost night out, make the most of happy hour offers at the local pubs, bars and restaurants during off-peak times. Many will run promotions such as 2 for 1, or 50% off drinks (and even food) on particular days of the week and before particular times of the day.
7. Cook at home
Most of us love a cheeky takeaway every now and then, or to treat ourselves to a cooked meal out, but the cost can soon add up. So to keep the cost of eating down, why not bulk buy ingredients from the supermarket and cook at home? Ingredients for a tasty pasta bake will cost you no more than a fiver and will easily serve four – compared to the average price of £10 per person for a meal in a restaurant.
These are just a few of the ways you can make a saving as a student, while still getting out and about and enjoying yourself – after all, student life won’t last forever. For more tips and advice on student living visit our news page.
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