[Hannah Bicknell | Features Editor]
What they say about money and trees is true – unfortunately. So when it comes to saving money there is a lot more you can do than you realise. We have put together a list of helpful tips and tricks that will allow you to get the best deals whilst still getting the most out of your experience. After all, university is expensive enough without needing to part with an arm and a leg for your home comforts.
BUY SUPERMARKET OWN BRAND – Instead of the brands, such as Heinz, because they’re just as good and sometimes healthier, but you should always check label.
MAKE MEALS IN BULK AND FREEZING THEM IN INDIVIDUAL PORTIONS – Having food such as stews, pasta sauces and fish pies frozen means you only need to buy the essentials when you shop. This trick can last up to 3 months depending on how much food you make to freeze. (TIP: You can buy takeaway foil containers from Poundland/99p Stores.)
DON’T FOOD SHOP ON AN EMPTY STOMACH – All seasoned students will know that if you’re hungry and go on a food shop, you will buy ten times more than what you need. Have a sandwich and take a list to avoid unnecessary purchases.
USE SKYPE TO CALL HOME/FRIENDS – Not only is it free, but the video chats to family and friends will help with the homesickness, which means you won’t have to spend a fortune on travel to see them.
DON’T GET A TV – STREAM ONLINE – A TV licence is an expensive luxury and one that many students choose to opt out of buying due to the fact that it doesn’t cost them anything to watch their programs on catch up online. The only catch to this is that it is illegal to stream programs that are being shown live without a licence.
BUY A PRINTER – You can print in the LRC but there are charges that apply, so it is cheaper overall to buy a printer that will last you throughout your time at uni. The cost of the ink will still be cheaper than paying for the printing charges.
DON’T BUY MUSIC – USE SPOTIFY OR PANDORA – If you have an NUS card you can enjoy 50% off a Spotify Premium subscription, so it will only cost you £4.99 a month for all the music you’ll ever need.
EVEN MORE STUDENT MONEY SAVING TIPS:
NUS CARD – It is £12 a year or you can buy one that lasts for up to 3 years. It provides students with over 170 savings on top brands all across the UK. You can get one either through www.nus.org.uk or the Students’ Union reception.
GET A 16-25 RAILCARD – You may think you won’t need one but trust us, when you’re going to festivals, visiting friends at other universities or doing anything that involves travel when you don’t have a car, this will be your saving grace. You get 1/3 off all rail fares. (TIP: If you have an NUS card you can get a 12% discount on the price of the railcard making it £26 for the whole year!)