10 essential student money-saving tips

Five surefire student shopping tips

1. Don't pay for a name

"Own-brand products can be just as effective," says Oliver Brann, editor of studentbeans.com. For example, there's no point paying extra for branded painkillers that contain the same ingredients as own-brand versions.

Read Rebecca's Rutt's blog: Why shopping at Lidi makes total sense

2. Flex your NUS Extra card

This costs £11 a year but offers discounts on a variety of student essentials, for example 11% off a Railcard, 15% off Virgin Mobile, 5% off laptops at Comet and 5% off at Amazon. The NUS calculates it could save a student more than £500 a year. 

3. Shop and cook together

Sharing shopping costs with friends is a good way to save money; better still, cooking together can be fun and a great way to bond. But plan beforehand: "If you know what you're cooking, you'll be much more likely to stick to what's on your shopping list," adds Brann.

Save money by dropping a brand

4. Use vouchers

Check out websites such as vouchercodes.co.uk and myvouchercodes.co.uk to get additional savings when you spend.

Check out our weekly top 10 voucher codes

5. Shop late

Turn up at supermarkets and markets near closing time and you can pick up heavily reduced food. It could lead to some fairly adventurous meals.

Five key student investments

1. NUS Extra card

This offers a range of discounts on student essentials, making it very easy to recoup the £11 price tag in weeks.

2. Bicycle

If you live off campus, the easiest and cheapest way to get around is by bike. Most student towns have second-hand bike shops, allowing you to pick up a two-wheeled bargain.

Five-minute guide to buying a bike

3. Kitchen essentials

A frying pan, a couple of saucepans, a decent knife, some crockery, cutlery and a corkscrew/bottle opener will see you through your degree and beyond if you go for decent quality. And cooking will encourage you to socialise and save money. 

4. Security

Unfortunately, students are seen as easy targets for thieves, so beef up security for your home and bike.

5. A 16-25 Railcard

At £28 for a year, or £65 for three years, you'll save a third on fares across Britain. Perfect if you'll be visiting friends or family by train.

10 ways to cut the cost of your rail fare