Best student money saving tips

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By in Save Money, Shopping. Updated January 2015.

The best student saving tips

What they say about money and trees is true, unfortunately. The number one money saving tip is to only spend what you can afford. That means be careful with loans, overdrafts and borrowed money.

Remember: borrowed money is owed money.  And the more you borrow, the more you’ll have to pay back with interest. Curb your spending and you’ll save on the interest you would pay – get paid not to spend! Now, let’s get into some specific money saving advice.

Check out the student deals section, updated daily with handpicked gems. And bookmark our student discounts directory!


  • Student Food SavingGet a free account on to save up to 20% immediately.
  • Share food costs with flatmates – buying in bulk is cheaper.
  • Don’t food shop on an empty stomach.
  • Try a cooking rota with your flatmates. You’ll each enjoy a variety of foods and spend less time cooking! Plus, you will know exactly what you need, what to cook, and how to cook it.
  • Freeze food – frozen food is cheaper and this means you can buy bargains to eat weeks later. Obviously, your food also lasts much longer.
  • Grow your own veg – get a grow bag and watch the vegetable magic unfold!
  • Resist a greasy kebab after a night out; instead, have something tasty ready back home before you go out. Leftovers from dinner are always good!

Top Tip: check out our article to save money food shopping online and our save money on food article.


  • Save on student travelPurchase a Young Persons Railcard for £30 a year. The card saves you a massive 1/3 on all rail journeys in the UK.
  • Book train tickets in advance from It may also be cheaper to split a journey than buy one ticket, especially if you get your first train during peak times.
  • Get a bike. Once you’ve got it, it’s completely free (and often quicker) to get around. This is an absolute bargain, especially considering people pay £30 a month to go on cycle machines at the gym, and they ain’t goin’ nowhere!
  • If you use the bus more than twice a day, buy a weekly pass to save on fares.
  • Flying abroad? Make sure you get the cheapest flights by using a comparison site like Opodo.
  • Oh, and you don’t need a car at uni. Do you?

Top Tip: Check out our cheap student bus passes article.

University books

  • You can save a fortune buying course books second-hand or online. Definitely check Amazon’s undergraduate section (they do free delivery too).
  • Use the library more. Also, make use of the reservation system so you don’t end up having to buy an in-demand course book. If you do need to buy one, split the cost with course mates and share it.

Top Tip: See our article on how to save money on text books.


  • Student save on shoppingShop online and compare prices before you buy, using price comparison sites such as Kelkoo.
  • Use Quidco and get cash-back when buying online! Big savings can be made, especially on insurance and other finance. You’ll also get 50p just for joining.
  • Buy clothes from vintage and second-hand stores (eg. at the Northern Quarter in Manchester) or charity shops.
  • Always ask for a student discount.

Top Tip: Be sure to check our student fashion and student shopping section for the latest trends and money saving ideas.


  • Quit the gym and cancel your subscription. Go jogging, swimming or cycling with friends, or join an outdoors society.
  • You can make your own beauty treatments using our updated tips.

Top Tip: There are lots of tips on home work outs and how to avoid hangovers/freshers flu in our student health section.

Going out

  • Beat the touts on sold-out gigs – use Scarlet Mist to buy spare tickets at an “ethical” face value or less.
  • Smuggle in your own food and drinks into the cinema.
  • If you are going on a night out to a club, then try pre-drinking or mixing your own cocktails beforehand so that you spend less in the club later on.
  • Look out for deals such as earlybird tickets and text guestlists. This requires group planning, but it is well worth it.

Top Tip: We have a student entertainment and going out section.

Hard cash

  • Put all spare change in a jar. It adds up fast. When it’s full, take it to the bank and exchange it for some crisp paper.
  • Don’t use ATMs that charge you. You could be charged £2 just for taking out a tenner. There is always a message shown if they do charge. It’s always worth a walk to save the money.

Even more student money saving

  • Don’t get Sky, or even a TV. In the last year, the major TV companies have most programmes available to watch online for free. If you must watch Sky Sports, then check out our best TV deals for students.
  • Stop calling home – instead, use Skype or e-mail for free.
  • Get OpenOffice for free to save on Microsoft’s expensive Office package. I think it actually works even better.
  • Save on electricity by turning off lights, unplugging phone chargers, and turning off the TV.
  • Recycle gifts by passing on those presents you don’t want or no longer use.
  • Slice the bottom of toothpaste tubes to get that extra use out of it.


Some of the broadsheet newspapers offer a significant discount off of their weekday issues for students. Like with the banks and their discount bait, these offers are also used to hook students by using the powerful tool of loyalty. Regardless, this is still great for the money saving and news weary student!

If you’re not a big reader anyway, or your study workload means you do not have the time to read more than a few articles, remember you can get every news story on the web for free. Google News fetches headlines and stories from news websites across the world.

Please add your own money saving tips for other students! We’re all in the same boat..

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3 Responses to “Best student money saving tips”

  1. Mark

    02. Nov, 2011

    Look at ways of saving money if you want to eat out, during the week there are plenty of restaurants and pizza places that will run 2 for 1 offers and deals. Many of the big food chains in the main cities (where there are Universities and colleges) will have plenty of deals available!

  2. Kelly Jones

    23. Sep, 2011

    I’d say the rail card is the best money saver… didnt think I would use mine but it saved loads in my first year visiting home.
    Also cooking together as a house is the best idea. Buying in bulk saves.
    Be careful of what you decorate your walls with, landlords can be very picky with blue tac etc marks. So decorate with non-damaging wall stickers instead of posters. I bought some from uni cube and they are amazing.

    • Owen Burek

      23. Sep, 2011

      Nice ideas there Kelly! I too think the young persons railcard has saved me the most money as a student, especially as I no longer have a car and train prices keep rising!

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