1.Make a Meal Plan
Not only does making a meal plan help you to eat healthier, it also helps you to save money. Instead of spending all of your SAAS on takeaways and expensive ready meals from your local corner shop, set out a plan for what you are going to have for dinner each day of the week. It doesn’t have to be Michelin star standard, but it helps you to only buy what you need on your weekly shop, instead of walking around the supermarket grabbing anything and everything you can see. It also helps if you can cook in bulk, and freeze portions, rather than make enough for 4 people but only eat it for dinner for one night. I always find that my weekly shops are so much cheaper when I’ve planned what I am going to make for dinner.
2.Take Advantage of Being a Student
No matter where you are a student, there will always be fab discounts up for grabs. If you don’t already have it, download UNiDAYS. UNiDAYS is an app exclusively for students and you can log in through your student portal with your student email as soon as you get it. It gives you discounts on a whole variety of shops, for example Topshop, ASOS and Nike for clothing, Ask Italian, Deliveroo and Burger King for food and you can even get Spotify for half of the price. UNiDAYS also have special deals on, so it’s always worth checking to see if they have a discount before you go to the checkout! Many cinemas and concerts also offer student tickets so it’s worth having a look before you book. You don’t ask, you don’t get!
3. Make the Most of Loyalty Schemes
As they say, every little helps so why not sign up to your local supermarket’s loyalty scheme? You might not think that it’s worth it, but if you’re going to be shopping there regardless, you may as well take advantage of the points schemes. Many restaurants and coffee shops offer loyalty cards too so it might be worth using so you can treat yourself to a free coffee! My favourite loyalty card is my Costa card, for every £1 you spend, you get 5 points which is worth 5p and if you don’t really keep a very good track of how many points you have, it’s a really nice surprise when you get to the counter and you’re told you have enough for a free coffee.
4. DO NOT Buy Brand New Textbooks
Take it from me, I have learnt it the hard way. Whilst it’s unavoidable sometimes and the course requires you to buy a brand new textbook which has just been published, most of the time, a slightly older copy will do you just fine. In my first year, I bought every single book brand new and at around £50 per book, my bank balance took quite a hit. I very quickly realised that you don’t need to buy every textbook, some are available online or in the library and others are not very helpful for studying with. Some courses have such helpful hand-outs that a textbook isn’t required at all. In my second year, I joined a page for buying and selling your old textbooks and I saw that one of my required textbooks was for sale and so I messaged the girl and she actually studied the same degree as me, so had all of the books I’d need. I got them at a fraction of the price I would have paid for them brand new. You must shop around and see where else your books are available before just buying them brand new, you’ll end up saving yourself a lot of money.
5. Bring Your Own Lunch and Snacks
In my first year, I lived about a 30-minute walk from campus so if I had a break between classes, or if got hungry, I would just purchase food from places on campus. I ended up spending a fortune on take-away coffees and sandwiches and snacks. Whilst it doesn’t hurt to treat yourself every so often, buying food and drinks on campus every day does add up. If you were spending £5 on lunch every weekday for a month, you would end up spending over £100. If you can make a sandwich or a salad from what you’ve got at home, you’re saving yourself so much money. Another good idea is to take leftovers from dinner as your lunch for the next day. If you cannot live without your morning coffee before your Friday 9am, then just make one in a travel mug (cheaper and better for the environment) before you leave for class in the morning. Small changes like this really do make the difference.