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.
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.
4. Use vouchers
Check out websites such as vouchercodes.co.uk and myvouchercodes.co.uk to get additional savings when you spend.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Also known as discount codes, promotional vouchers or promotional codes, online coupons or discount vouchers, are codes that can be entered at the checkout of many online UK retailers that gives you a discount against the item/s you are purchasing. The codes are generated by retailers and sent to certain members of the public to encourage sales.