Save money while in uni with these easy money saving tips for students.
Being a student is tough. Budgeting and money worries can really play on your mind when you’re a student and it’s normal to feel worried about your finances.
Luckily, there are loads of ways that you can easily cut costs and save money every single day.
Here’s how you can save money as a student:
Money saving tips
1. Create a food budget
Whether it’s monthly or weekly, a food budget is a good place to start when it comes to cutting costs on monthly expenses.
2. Meal prep
This is an easy way to save money and time by having dinners or lunches ready for you when you’re too busy to cook.
3. Turn off all switches
Keeping your switches left on uses up a lot of electricity so make sure to double check that everything is turned off when you’re not using it.
4. Share Netflix with your housemates
Chances are, you’re all using Netflix even if you’re not watching it together. Instead of all paying for individual accounts team up to get a family account and split the costs equally between you.
5. Use student discounts
Duh, use your Student Beans account to access the best student discounts to help you save on all of your fave brands from fashion to restaurants.
6. Claim birthday freebies
There are loads of places in the UK that will give you freebies on your birthday from Krispy Kreme to PizzaExpress. You can sign up to mailing lists and newsletters or download apps to be eligible for birthday freebies.
7. Buy secondhand
Whether it’s on Depop, eBay or from a charity shop buying second hand is a great way to score some bargains and be more sustainable at the same time.
8. Avoid public transport
Obviously, we all have to get trains and buses sometimes, but for shorter journeys try walking or cycling instead.
9. Get a cashback card
Yep, with a cashback card you can actually earn money or rewards back when you shop.
10. Make lunch at home
As tempting as it is to buy lunch out, it can really cost a lot of money if you’re doing it regularly. Make your lunch at home to bring to uni or the library instead.
11. Sign up to the Pret coffee subscription
Pret’s coffee subscription allows you to get 5 free coffees or other hot or cold drinks a day, for just £25 a month which is super handy if you live near a Pret and drink a lot of coffee. Plus, the first month is free, so you can always try it out for a month and then cancel your subscription.
12. Get a takeaway coffee cup
Although it definitely tastes nicer from a coffee shop, you can make coffee at home and bring it to your lectures too. But, if you can’t live without a Starbucks using your own coffee cup can also cut down the costs of your drink too.
13. Cut down on takeaways
Takeaways can make your money disappear very quickly. As tempting as it is, if you’re trying to save money cutting back on takeaways to just once or twice a month is the easiest way to do it.
14. Budget for night outs
Nights out can be unpredictable and you can end up spending a lot more money than you originally planned to. It happens to the best of us, but try and think ahead before you go on the night out to stick to a plan. If you know you have a few nights out coming up put money aside for it, and try not to go overboard with buying food or drinks once you’re actually out.
15. Switch to non branded food items
Non branded food items are normally MUCH cheaper than the branded versions and you usually can’t taste or notice a difference.
16. Use the library more
Try and avoid buying textbooks unless you really have to.
17. Look out for yellow stickers
If you shop at the end of the day items will be marked down as reduced because they’re going out of date soon and this is a really great way to save money on your food shop.
18. Use bill splitting apps
If you’re arguing about the bills with your housemates, look for a bill splitting app that will evenly split the cost of all bills and shared household items such as toilet roll or washing up liquid between all of your housemates so it’s fair.
19. Borrow clothes from friends
Chances are your friends probably have an outfit you like and you probably have something they like too. Sharing and borrowing clothes from one another for nights out means if they’ve just bought a new top that you were eyeing up, you can save your money in exchange for lending them something you own.
20. Look out for free events
There’s always going to be free local events so keep an eye out and take advantage of them.
21. Do beauty treatments from home
Remember the days of lockdown when everything was closed? Chances are you probably had to cut your own hair or do your own nails. Regular beauty treatments can be really costly, so if you can try and do what you can at home.
22. Make fakeaways
Fakeaways are a great way to enjoy the same great taste of a takeaway but at a low cost, like making Nando’s chicken burgers for just £1.
23. Use leftovers
Don’t throw out food you’re too full to eat and save it for the next day.
24. Switch your supermarket
Supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl are much cheaper than Sainsbury’s or Tesco so try and do your shopping from there instead.
25. Drink more water
Remember, tap water costs nothing. While you might be tempted to stock up on juices or fizzy drinks try and drink more water where you can to cut back on some costs.
26. Stick to a weekly shop
Have one day per week where you do your shopping and try and avoid popping in for things throughout the week.
27. Stick to non live TV and catchup
In other words, you don’t need a TV licence. Stick to Netflix and catchup TV instead.
28. Wash clothes on a lower temperature
This can really help to reduce your bills.
29. Don’t dry your clothes in the washing machine
Similarly, drying your clothes in the washing machine uses up a lot of electricity so always use a clothes airer when you can.
30. Use the dishwasher less
If you’re lucky enough to have a dishwasher in your student house, you probably use it loads. But by hand washing more you can save quite a bit on your bills.
31. Work out from home
You can follow routines on YouTube for free or go for a run instead of wasting money on a gym membership.
32. Bring snacks from home
Always carry snacks in your back when you’re at uni so if you get hungry you won’t have to buy anything from the on-campus shops (which normally charge more for convenience)
33. Be smart with pre-drinks
Pre-drinking is a very effective way to save money, so try and avoid buying drinks out if you can.
34. Have a penny jar
Put all your loose change in a penny jar to save it up.
35. Join loyalty schemes
Whether it’s a Tesco Clubcard or downloading apps- loyalty schemes can give you endless discounts and perks.
36. Buy in bulk
Buying in bulk can also help you to shave a bit of money off of your weekly shop.
37. Stock up
Don’t overbuy but definitely stock up on things you know you need and buy multipacks to stop you from having to purchase so regularly.
38. Take it in turns to drive
If you and your friends all drive, car share and take turns to help save on fuel costs.
39. Buy an annual bus pass
If you do use the bus a lot, buying monthly or yearly passes often help to save money longterm.
40. Get a railcard
A student railcard gets you a 1/3 off train journeys, and as students you probably get the train a lot to either travel home or visit friends.
41. Search for restaurant and day trip deals
42. Go to happy hours
Plan your drinks wisely, as happy hour can help you save before your night out.
43. Check your phone contract
See if you can switch to a lower tariff if you’re paying for data that you don’t use.
44. Make your own sauces
Learn how to make your own sauces or dressings from scratch.
45. Have nights in instead of out
Who said nights in can’t be fun?
46. Have a home movie night
Invite your friends over to watch a movie on Netflix instead of going to the cinema.
47. Delete the Klarna app from your phone
Klarna is incredibly tempting, but it’s also a very quick and easy way to get into debt. Delete the app from your phone and try and avoid buying and paying later if you can.
48. Switch to dupes
49. Cancel subscriptions you really don’t need
Review all of your subscriptions and see if it’s really necessary to pay for them all, there might be some free alternatives out there.
50. DIY old clothes
Repurpose old clothing to make something new.
51. Stick to a shopping list
Write your shopping list before you go shopping to avoid picking up unnecessary things you don’t need.
52. Use Monzo pots
Monzo pots round up your loose change and put it into a savings account for you. It’s a really easy way to save up a bit of money without even noticing.
53. Turn of the lights
Don’t leave your lights on when you go out!
54. Use less heating in winter
Try and be more savvy when it comes to keeping your home warm in winter by relying on hot water bottles and blankets.
55. Check out sales
The sales are a great time to grab clothes for cheaper.
56. Be smarter when going out for dinner
There’s always someone who wants to split the bill between everyone. Make smarter choices when ordering (don’t order the most expensive items!), opt for tap water over ordering a drink and agree to just pay for what you bought instead of equally splitting the bill.
57. Trade in old tech
If you’re thinking of getting a new phone or laptop you can normally trade in your old tech to get money off from the new item.
58. Ditch delivery costs
Opt for click & collect or Amazon lockers to shave off the delivery costs when you’re shopping online.
59. Try budgeting apps
There are apps that can help you to stay on track.
60. Get a slow cooker
Although it’s an investment, it can help you to save costs on food and cooking in the long run.
61. Get Deliveroo plus
If you do order takeaways regularly, Deliveroo Plus means you won’t have to pay for delivery costs.
62. Staycation in the UK rather than abroad
Save money on flights by visiting places in the UK rather than going abroad.
63. Get cheap theme park tickets
Theme parks offer student discounts and reduced prices, so plan ahead to get savings for fun days out.
64. Plan free days out
There are loads of attractions and national parks in the UK that are free.
65. Check the interest on your savings account
If you have a savings account, switch to one with a higher interest rate to help earn a bit more.
66. Don’t auto renew your car insurance
If your car insurance is at the end of the term, using price comparison websites to find somewhere cheaper instead of sticking with the same insurance company.
67. Lower the heating slightly
Turning it down just a little bit can go a long way.
68. Shower more
Showers > baths.
69. Freeze foods
Freeze vegetables and bread that’s going out of date to make them last longer. Also avoid buying frozen vegetables or fruits from the supermarket as these can be more expensive, freeze them yourself instead.
70. Stock up on cans
Cans are always good to keep in the cupboard for quick and easy meals.
71. Go to the cinema during off peak hours
You can save a lot on your cinema tickets by going during times that are less popular.
72. Travel during off peak hours
Train tickets are also cheaper if you don’t travel during peak times.
73. Get a printer
Having a printer in your room means you’ll no longer have to pay for printing credits at uni which can be super costly.
74. Don’t pay for software
Your uni will probably be able to offer you free programmes to help you with your degree instead of paying for them.
75. Upcycle and repurpose things
Upcycling means turning something old into something new instead of throwing it away.
76. Grow things at home
Grow your own herbs and vegetables to cut some costs on your weekly shop.
77. Sign up for free trials (and cancel them)
Free trials are a great way to get things for free, but make sure you’re cancelling them before the free trial ends so you don’t get charged!
78. Don’t shop when you’re hungry
Try not to impulse shop. Remember, you’ll have food at home instead.
79. Have frozen pizzas
Yeah takeaway pizzas are probably better, but you can get frozen pizzas for £1 that can satisfy the pizza cravings.
80. Buy cheaper medicines
Switch to own brand medicines rather than the branded ones, as they can be over double the price.
81. Use Uber or Bolt rather than black cabs
It can be tempting to get into a black cab after a night out, but they can be super expensive! Uber and Bolt also offer regular rewards and discounts to their users.
82. Plan everything in advance
Plan, plan, plan. Always try and get ahead on your plans and when you think you’re going to be spending money.
83. Use hacks to get free coffee from Starbucks
Yep, there are plenty of ways you can get free Starbucks.
84. Work in coffee shops in winter
Take your laptop to your local coffee shop and take advantage of their free wifi and heating, instead of sitting at home with your heating on super high.
85. Avoid private accommodation
Thinking ahead to the next year of uni, private halls can be really expensive whereas renting via a student housing agency or landlord can be a lot cheaper.
86. Only take cash on nights out
Don’t take more money than you need, because you probably will spend it.
87. Make the most of student nights
You won’t be a student forever, and students get loads of things for free or cheaper.
88. Drink cheaper alcohol
Branded alcohol can be expensive so switch to the cheaper brands. Also, try and be more conscious when ordering drinks out as cocktails and doubles can be pricey.
89. Get a student bank account for an interest free overdraft
Student bank accounts normally have interest free overdrafts, so if you do go into your overdraft you won’t have to pay any extra fees.
90. Don’t buy food at the cinema
Yeah, as tempting as it is, we all know that cinema snacks are very expensive.
91. Spend more time on campus
Your uni campus will have free facilities that you can take advantage of.
92. Don’t buy micro trends
It can be very tempting to buy micro trends, especially due to their popularity on TikTok. Unfortunately, micro trends aren’t going to be in trend forever and are going to end up as a waste of money. If you can try and stick to classic and timeless pieces instead.
93. Turn on push notifications
If you shop from apps, turn on push notifications to be aware when big sales or offers are on.
94. Be meal deal savvy
Pick the most expensive drink when getting a meal deal to get the most out of your money.
95. Don’t throw out food too quickly
Best before dates are just a guide, and often food is fine for several days past this. Don’t forget to freeze food too!
96. Switch bill providers
Switching could help cut the costs of your bills.
97. Avoid 3-year student deals during freshers
When you start uni you might be offered 3-year freshers’ deals for the gym or other on campus facilities. Chances are you probably won’t want to travel to campus to use that gym for the whole time you’re in uni and you could actually be being ripped off, so do your research first.
98. Make smoothies or iced coffee at home
Get a blender and make smoothies or iced coffee yourself, instead of buying them out.
99. Use price comparison websites before booking a flight
If you’re planning a holiday always check to make sure you’re getting the best deal on your flights by comparing before booking.
100. Use Facebook Marketplace
People often give things away for free on Facebook Marketplace, or sell things for super cheap so it’s definitely worth having a look for bargains.