7 Simple Ways to Save On Spending for Students

Being a student is expensive, and sometimes it’s difficult to survive off your student loan.

Getting a part-time job can help, but even then, it can still be hard to budget. Here are a few money-saving tips that could save you a few of those precious pounds.

Buy ‘reduced’ food

Food is an obvious necessity that all students must spend money on weekly. If you are working on a budget, then try and snap up ‘reduced’ groceries at your local supermarkets. However, the rush to snap up the best items and biggest deals occur on a daily basis, so you need to know the best windows to go to the shops. If you’re an early bird and are awake and coherent enough on a Saturday or Sunday, visit the supermarket first thing in the morning. The fridges are usually bountiful, so you’ll have your pick of all the latest offers. Alternatively, towards closing times, you can snap up a few bargains then, just look for those yellow stickers! To avoid your discounted purchases from going off, put them in the freezer. Most items will last for months. All you need to do is defrost them at a later date and you are sorted!

Student deals and other tips for transport

Public transport is so expensive. Trains and buses can be a financial burden, especially if you live far away from your university campus. If you need to hop on a train, make sure you have an 18-25 railcard. It will give you a third off each ticket, so you will save bucket loads of cash over the academic year. If it’s the bus is your chariot of choice, then a bus pass may be a cheaper option than single tickets. The same can be said for train passes. If you need to attend lectures every day or most days of the week, weekly or monthly passes will save you a few quid.

In addition to passes and railcards, you should complain if your trains are delayed. If they are late or cancelled, you may be entitled to a reimbursement for the inconvenience caused. Check with your rail provider to see what their terms are on compensating for delays.

Only take cash out on a night out

It’s the end of the week – you’ve worked hard, and now it’s time to let your hair down with a few cocktails. However, nights out are expensive. Take all the cash out you need to enjoy yourself, and avoid using your card, as you can get carried away with contactless payments especially with spending limits constantly on the increase. Make sure you check the cost for using cash points in the town centre, as often they’re more likely charge for a cash withdrawal on a Friday or Saturday night.

Keep takeaways to the minimum

Takeaways are delicious, but they are seriously costly. The food itself is usually pricier than knocking up your own meal, so always aim to cook or have food in your accommodation that you can knock up easily if you’re busy working. If you really want to treat yourself to a takeaway, keep in mind that service and delivery charges are the costs that get you. Whilst it can be a huge pain to walk to your preferred purveyor of takeaway cuisine when you’re tired, it is still worth the walk as collection deals will often save you quite a few pounds. In a perfect world you’d walk to your local supermarket and spend half the money for double the food, it will taste just as good (depending on your cooking chops), and you’ll get your step count up, but we all need a treat every now and again, just make sure you’re not paying more than you should for your chosen one.

Have multiple apps for Taxis

Whilst Uber is usually the go to for students, after all, it’s very convenient and makes it easy to get around before and after a night out; they are expensive, especially if you aren’t filling the cab. There are alternatives, such as Bolt and other such brands. It is worth comparing prices before going out and choosing the cheapest option. Also, keep in mind that ringing a local taxi company may end up a cheaper option, yes you’ll have to speak to someone on the phone (cries in social anxiety), but it’s worth the extra few seconds hassle for the potential savings.

Claim loyalty points when you shop and use cashback sites

Most supermarkets incentivise loyalty by offering customers reward cards. They are mostly free and require very little effort to sign up for. After a few shops, the loyalty points will start to pile up. They equate to money off shopping, petrol, the chance of some freebies, and in recent times they’ve offered in-store discounts of certain products in specific supermarkets.

You can also use cashback sites like Topcashback or Quidco to earn cashback on tracked purchases bought by following links on their websites after signing up. Loads of services, retailers and more are signed up to offer cashback through these websites, so it’s a no brainer to sign up and check whether any purchases you make are eligible for cashback.

Get free coffee when possible

Most of us can’t function without coffee. It is an expenditure that we accept as part of our daily rituals, but the truth is that we spend way too much on this caffeinated miracle. £2.50 here, and £3.30 there. Coffee costs can hit hundreds over the course of a term, so save yourself some money by getting your coffee free whenever you have the chance. Waitrose offers free tea and coffee when you buy something in-store, so you can save a lot of money there. Furthermore, at your university, some departments will offer free coffee on specific days of the week, so keep your eyes out for them. If you’re desperate for a caffeine kick and have to buy one when out and about, avoid the big high street coffee chains, smaller, independent vendors will usually be able to make you a lovely cup for filtered coffee for a quid or less, so make those your preferred destination!