36 money saving resources
Want to hack saving money? Get your mitts on our favourite money saving resources and watch the pounds stack up!
10 years of Save the Student has given us plenty of experience with all sorts of useful tools, apps and websites when it comes to saving money. Lots are good, lots are not.
We've distilled all our advice on saving money for this essential checklist.
Unlike our ways to save money, these are resources – once you've got them, they'll do all the hard work for you!
What’s on this page?
Save money on banking
- Prepaid card – If you have trouble sticking to a weekly or monthly spending limit, prepaid cards are a great way to ensure you play by your own rules. And some even have apps to help you budget.
- Student bank account with 0% overdraft – Ideally you won't have to use the overdraft on your bank account, but if you ever do, it's good to know that you won't be charged interest (or fees) for doing so.
Credit: Rog01 – FlickrMoney saving bots are a relatively new phenomenon that are making it easier than ever to stash away some cash for a rainy day.
Using some clever maths, money saving bots can assess your spending, decide how much you can afford to save, and stash it away for you. All you have to do is give the app access to your bank account (read-only, mind), and it'll take care of the rest!
There are a few bots out there, but we'd recommend Chip as it's currently the only one to offer interest on your savings.
- Budget sheet – Nothing will ever quite match up to a good old-fashioned budget sheet, and we've got a ton of tips and resources to help you manage your money effectively.
Save money on bills
- Our household bills comparison tool – From TV to gas, electricity to broadband, our student bills comparison tool is the best way to save on your regular outgoings.
- Water saving pack – It can be easy to forget that you're even being charged for water… until the huge bill arrives. However, these FREE water saving packs should help soften the blow when it's time to pay up.
- Energy saving plug
Nowadays the only way to completely turn something off is to cut the electrical supply. But turning things off in the wall is (depressingly) something we all deem too much effort to do all the time, despite it being massively beneficial for both our safety and our bank balances.
The good news is that energy saving plugs do all the hard work for you. When the device (such as a TV) has been off long enough for it to be safe, it cuts the current feeding it, as well as all the attached devices (like a DVD player or a games console).
For less than a fiver, an energy saving plug really is a great way to save money on your electric bill!
- Our mobile phone deals comparison tool – Select as many or as few filters as you like (including brand and model, network, data allowance and all the rest!), and our mobile phone deals comparison tool will show you the very best deals available.
- The Meter Readings app – It's currently only available on iOS, but if you've got an Apple device, get your hands on the Meter Readings app. With it, you'll be able to track up to nine separate household meters, allowing you to keep an eye on how much your bill will be, as well as how much cheaper (if at all) it would be with another provider.
Save money on food
- Plastic containers or freezer bags – Cooking in bulk and freezing any leftovers is one of the oldest money saving tricks in the book. Freezer bags are cheaper and take up less space, but for when they don't cut the mustard, some plastic containers will do the business.
- Approved Food – Best before dates are just a guideline, not a rule. Approved Food takes advantage of that, and sells food that's ‘past its best' (but still safe to eat) for up to 70% off!
- mySupermarket – Want to know which supermarket offers the best prices on the products you buy? mySupermarket will tell you! But it's not the only app with this trick up its sleeve. Over on Facebook, Natasha Jayne Wick suggested Comparasaurus – great for checking the prices of individual items!
There's no better way to save money than to not spend any at all. As much as we preach money saving and try to only buy what's necessary, sometimes even we go a bit OTT and put a little too much in our baskets. It turns out we're not the only ones, and that's where Olio comes in.
Download the app, and you'll be able to see users in the local area who have got an excess of food going. Maybe they bought too much and it's going out of date soon. Maybe they cooked more than they bargained for. Either way, they'll offer it to you for free (or a donation to a charity).
- Too Good To Go – A little like Olio, this one. Restaurants, cafes and bakeries are no strangers to having a little extra food leftover, and Too Good To Go puts it all into a marketplace where you can get delicious food for a fraction of the normal price.
Save money on shopping
- NUS Extra card – You'd be surprised just how many companies offer a student discount, and more often than not, an NUS Extra card is all you'll need to get it. Oh, and don't worry if you've already graduated – you can still get a card!
- Amazon Prime Student – Even after your free six month trial is over, as a student you'll be able to get Amazon Prime at half the price (£39). With exclusive offers for students, unlimited free next day delivery and the whole Prime film and TV selection included, it'll pay for itself in no time.
- Student deals – Not to blow our own trumpet or anything, but our student deals area is bursting at the seams with only the best handpicked offers.
- Latest freebies – Again, there's no better way to save money than to not spend any at all. Our list of totally free stuff is bound to have something that takes your fancy!
- Loyalty cards – If you're going to shop somewhere, why not get rewarded for doing so? It's worth getting a loyalty card for every shop you use (they're free, so why not?), but check out our list of the top schemes to see which retailers reward their customers the most.
- Cashback accounts
Think of cashback accounts as being like turbo-powered loyalty cards that aren't just restricted to one shop. Once you've signed up to a site like Quidco (as recommended by Rae Coppola over on Facebook!), you'll have access to a range of cashback offers at thousands of shops.
All you need to do is find the retailer on their website, click the link and complete your purchase from there. The cashback site will track your transaction, and once it's gone through, they'll refund you a certain percentage of the cost!
Some sites offer a paid-for premium service, and this will get you exclusive bonuses and higher cashback rates. Plus, if you use Quidco you'll even be able to claim cashback offline in one of the dozens of participating high street retailers!
- Some bags for life – Since the 5p plastic bag charge came in, supermarket car parks across the nation have been filled with people struggling to balance three tonnes of shopping. Get a couple of bags for life (and maybe even fold one up and put it in your rucksack/handbag) and you'll never be caught out again!
- Secret sales accounts – Sign up to a secret sales website and you'll get exclusive deals you won't find anywhere else. Just don't get suckered into making loads of impulse buys!
- Cleo – If you want a breakdown of where your money is going, how much you're saving and even whether or not your mate has paid you back, Cleo can do it all. It's all integrated into a Facebook Messenger app, too, so you can sort your finances while pretending to have friends.
- ASOS Premier – For just £9.95, you'll get a whole year of unlimited next-day delivery. ASOS Premier really will pay for itself within a few orders, and all that money saving is before you even use your ASOS student discount!
- Amazon Underground – Reluctant to pay for apps? Well now you don't have to! Amazon Underground has a huge selection of some of the most popular apps (including Goat Simulator, thank god) and offers them for free. All it asks for in exchange is access to your app usage data.
- CamelcamelcamelCredit: Becker1999 – Flickr
Nothing to do with camels, everything to do with saving money. Have you ever bought something, and then a few weeks (or even days) later seen it going for a much lower price? We have. And it's super annoying.
Camelcamelcamel puts an end to that pain, as it lets you enter the URL of an Amazon product and see how its price has changed over time. If the current price is higher than normal, or it's on a downwards trend, hold off on buying it until you reckon it's hit its lowest price!
- idealo – Camelcamelcamel is great if you want to shop on Amazon, but what if you don't? Enter idealo. As well as price-tracking, idealo will compare the price of a product across a whole load of retailers to help you save the most money.
- Groupon – Groupon has been around for long enough now that we don't need to explain what it does. But we will say it's ideal if you're looking to book a holiday, go out for a meal, have a day out, or buy pretty much anything!
- Student discounts – Always know which brands offer money off with our student discount directory.
Save money on travel
- Skyscanner – There's no better place to find cheap flights. Skyscanner compares the price of tickets across all airlines, and even gives you the company's customer rating out of 10 (just in case there's a good reason that their flights are so cheap).
- 16–25 railcard
Ella actually suggested two money saving resources over on Facebook (the other being an NUS card), but we decided to use her comment for a 16–25 railcard as it was easier to incorporate Thomas the Tank Engine.
Rail fares are ridiculously expensive, and if you're travelling between two major cities, it can sometimes be cheaper to fly via Europe to get there. To ease the pain of shelling out for a train ticket, get your hands on a 16–25 railcard and save yourself a third on the cost!
But the money saving options don't stop there. Coaches are almost always cheaper than trains, and a National Express Coach Card will take another third off the already low prices!
- Trainline – A third off seems to be the industry standard for travel, as booking train tickets through the Trainline should knock approximately that much off a ticket too. And that doesn't even include the third off you can get with your railcard as well. Tasty.
- Uber – Paying for a taxi is far from money saving, but sometimes it's the best and safest choice. Download Uber through us and you'll get up to £10 off your first ride – now that's money saving.
- Parkopedia – Again, having a car at uni is hardly a good way to save money, especially when you consider the cost of parking. However, if you have got a car, download Parkopedia and it'll help you find the cheapest places to park in your area.
Bonus money saving resources!
- Save the Student (duh) – We post a lot of deals and money saving advice content. So much, in fact, that the only ways to keep up with it all are to sign up for our weekly newsletter, like us on Facebook and become a part of our WhatsApp group – that way, you'll never miss a trick!
- Uni Lifehacks book – Some of the UK's most successful students and graduates (including our very own Owen Burek) teamed up to put together a whole book's worth of lifehacks to help get the most of out of uni. This includes money saving tips, so get your hands on a copy of Uni Lifehacks!
36 money saving resources should be enough to keep you in the black during uni – it's certainly a start at the very least. But if you think we've missed anything out, please let us know in the comments below!
These are the best resources for saving money, but how can you make money? Well, here are 40 easy ways to do just that.