Save your pennies

Image of Wills Memorial Building

General money saving tips

There is plenty of information online about ways to save money, with Money Saving Expert being a particularly useful online resource.

  • Make sure you have your NUS card with you as a lot of retailers will give a student discount – even if they don’t explicitly state it, theres no harm in asking! The NUS Extra card also offers further discounts
  • If you are looking to pick up some basic household or electrical goods it is worth joining the freecycle group for Bristol – you will often find people giving away just what you are looking for (but ensure you act quickly as the best items tend to get snapped up rather quickly)
  • Consider subscribing to a “deal of the day” website, such as Groupon. Once subscribed you will receive email updates of regional and national discounts
  • When shopping in supermarkets, don’t always go for recognised “brand” names try “downshifting”, as you will often find supermarkets own brands to be much cheaper (though not always!). Research suggests by doing this people can save up to 15% on their annual food shop
  • Buy books second hand, borrow them from the library, or see if they are available online before shelling out lots of cash. Bristol SU have teamed up with UniList.co.uk who provide a free way to search by city and find second hand textbooks at a fraction of the retail price!
  • Charity shops are a great way of picking up secondhand goods and clothes at bargain prices, with the added bonus that you probably wont run into the embarrassing situation of attending an event only to find someone wearing exactly the same dress as you!
  • Try and make packed lunches at least once a week rather than eating out every day, the savings will soon add up
  • In your household, all chip in together for a communal meal when you can – not only will you save money, it can also be a fun way to catch up with your housemates
  • If you can – walk. Not only will this save you money, it will also keep you fit. If you have brought a car with you to University, ask yourself if you really need it: parking is often a nightmare, public transport or walking is considerably cheaper and Bristol is small enough that you probably don’t really need one (unless you are a student based at Langford or you have to travel a lot for course placements)
  • Always read your bank statements – yes, its often a crushing experience and may confirm what you already know (e.g. that you're skint!), but you may be able to identify areas of spending that you could cut down on, and you can also check to make sure nothing odd is happening with your account
  • Lots of people like Shiny! New! Things! However, if you are really struggling for money (and even if you aren’t) its always worth thinking about whether you actually need the item, how many pairs of Ugg boots can one person own?