Budgeting and freebies

Life on a student budget can be tough. Especially with summer approaching, it seems there are a million festivals, trips and birthdays to save for – and the worst part, the final student loan payment of the year.

However, fear not! There are many ways you can save yourself money, or even nab yourself some free stuff.

For every day saving loyalty cards and coupons can be great if you know how to use them. Some loyalty cards are simply a tool to keep you coming back, without actually saving you money. Be aware of loyalty cards with time limits on rewards, or minimum spend requirements which seem a little too high. However, loyalty cards which reward you for every purchase and allow you to redeem rewards on your terms, are always useful. If the thought of taking a whole wallet of cards with you every day is off putting, fear not. There are many loyalty programmes which use an app on your phone as opposed to a card, or you could even download an app like Stocard which stores almost all major loyalty cards in one place.

As for coupons, these are not just a myth created for American television networks. They are real and can be genuinely very useful if you find the right ones. There are some big-name brands who always seem to have coupons available – look for the likes of John West tuna, Herbal Essences shampoo, or Giovanni Rana pasta. The saving may only be for 50 pence to a pound but this can add up very quickly and will save you a huge sum of money in the long run.

Now the only thing better than saving money – is not spending any money at all. Freebies are not difficult to come by. Email alerts from the likes of LatestFreeStuff.co.uk can keep you up to date with freebies available in your area, or online. There are new freebies on offer every day and these can be anything from a free cereal bar or box of teabags to toiletries and t-shirts. Often all the companies ask for is a few details and a postal address.

It is also important to ask for freebies every chance you get. If you are making a big purchase like new makeup, or aftershave, ask for free samples of other products. If you’re spending £60 on one item – they are more than likely to offer you a few treats and trinkets to go along with your purchase.

Product testing is another, albeit more difficult way, to get yourself free stuff. Companies are constantly releasing new products, and they need real people to test their products and give feedback. If you have free time, it may be worth registering as a product tester – you could even get some high-end gadgets out of it, such as a new state of the art smartphone.

Competitions are another great way to bag yourself some free goodies. Often small businesses will run Facebook competitions, which simply require you to like the page, and like and share a post, or tag a friend. The prizes for these are often very impressive.

Competitions which are particularly good to get involved in, are ones which require any amount of effort. For example, if they ask you to write a short poem. Humans are incredibly lazy, so as soon as people see that they are required to do anything more than the bare minimum, they won’t even consider it. Fight that urge to be lazy, and you could have a lifetime supply of crisps at your door by next week!

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Born and raised in Aberdeen, Lisa is a true Torry quine. She joined the Ardmuir team in February and brought with her a taste for cheesy disco music and 90s throwbacks. When she’s not in the office or out chin wagging with students in the street, she can be found walking up hills with her trusty sidekick Hulk the Labrador or cutting some very questionable shapes on the dancefloor.

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