Tips to save money at university
The topic of money and budget is one I personally find difficult to talk about because I find it comes with a lot of unnecessary awkwardness, secrecy and sometimes even judgement. Nonetheless, it is an important topic to address and one I think many incoming (and current) students worry about. Everybody’s bank accounts are different, from their balances to their spending priorities and this is something I think is important to remember and to respect. But, whether or not you receive student loans, are on a very strict budget or are at greater liberty to spend, learning how to spend wisely and responsibly is an essential life skill. Here are a few things I personally do to help me save money and track my spendings whilst at uni. First things first: grocery shopping. Making your own meals instead of being tempted by the ease of Uber Eats and Dominoes makes a world of difference! And not just for your wallet…So, here is what I recommend doing to make your grocery shopping as cost-effective as possible:
- Use big supermarkets – if you are on campus, I would highly recommend doing a big shop once a week at Tesco in Cannon Park. Yes, the Rootes Grocery Store is much closer and convenient but it is also a lot more expensive. Instead, save it for the when you are missing one or two ingredients. For students living off-campus, chances are your bus pass gets you to the front door of a big grocery store.
- Buy generic – Tesco’s own rice tastes just as good as Uncle Ben’s. Unless you seriously sacrifice quality by buying generic products, I would recommend doing so.
- Buy in bulk – Many supermarkets offer deals on items bought together so take advantage of them. For example, I use canned chickpeas a lot in my cooking, which I buy in bulk at a reduced price. I know storage space is often a problem in student halls and houses but don’t forget about that convenient space under your bed…
- Loyalty cards – These add up! I know it doesn’t seem like much in individual shops, but collecting points amount to collecting money. So, sign up for Tesco Club Card and don’t forget to swipe it.
- Stick to what you actually need – making a list before going shopping really helps with this
- Student discounts – make use of them whilst you can! Not all student deals are designed equally and some simply open the overspending-on-stupid-stuff trap. Others are actually really useful.
- Amazon Prime for students
- Reduced or free entries to museums etc (some even apply abroad – I could visit the Acropolis in Athens for free this summer!)
- Lots of retailers – definitely sign up to UNIDAYS!
- Eating at Warwick – 10% discounts on student union food and drink adds up! Top up your card with small amounts at a time so you have a better feel of how much you are spending
- Chickpeas 4 ways – get creative with cheap ingredients! One can of chickpeas costs about 50p and I use them in 4 different ways:
- protein source in salads and curry
- home-made humus
- roasted chickpea chips
- stuff vegetables with them
I hope this is helpful inspiration for you guys! Let me know if you would like me to elaborate on any of it or if you have any questions!