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6 top tips for shopping on a student budget in the UK

The UK is not really a cheap study destination. But, by following these easy tips you can get the most out of your money.
BY Sylvia Nankivell |   16-07-2018

Female Students Shopping

Here are two things that are a dead cert. One, student life is tough on your bank balance. Two, you still need to shop! Even the most frugal amongst you require food and clothing.

Having said that, there are ways of shopping well on a meagre budget. Yes, it’s possible to hit the shops without automatically putting yourself in financial trouble.

Our quick guide gives you 6 clever ways to stock up. Read on to find out how to get big savings on essential and even some not-so-essential items…!

Here’s the deal:

  1. Count your cash
    Remember cash? That shiny thing that used to jangle around in your wallet, before you started swiping bits of plastic?

    Relying on cold, hard currency is a great way of keeping an eye on your outgoings. Only take a certain amount with you, and you’re far more likely to be vigilant.

    Just don’t start jangling in any dodgy neighbourhoods, okay?

  2. Eat healthily for less
    You might be wondering:

    My tummy’s rumbling.

    “Do I HAVE to eat beans on toast AGAIN…?”

    Good quality food shouldn’t have to be a luxury as a student. You can combine healthy food with a cheap budget in some unexpected ways. For example:

    Chill out and Veg out: Fresh vegetables are a vital source of good eating. But, as you may have noticed, they are expensive. Go up a few aisles to the freezer section and that’s not the case.

    Frozen veggies get a bad wrap! This isn’t fair because they can keep their nutritional value for a long time and if you don’t boil them that’s even better.

    They’re good for you and convenient so why not pack your freezer?

    Later is greater
    You can buy quality produce if you go to the supermarket in the evening. Various items are discounted because otherwise they’ll go stale.

    The ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ dates on packaging are worth knowing about here. ‘Use by’ means that’s the cut off. ‘Best before’ is a guide. If in doubt, investigate thoroughly!

  3. Vouch for this
    Online deals can give you vouchers and all kinds of discounts on top food outlets and other brands.

    Follow your favourites on social media to get news of the best deals first. You can even save on designer labels. Look good and save money - always a fashionable combo.

    Nothing wrong with looking out for freebies either! You’d be surprised how you can get something for nothing in today’s dog eat dog world…

    But here’s the kicker:

  4. You can get paid to shop
    Ever heard of cashback? Put simply, you can earn a small amount back on purchases by clicking on certain links before you go to checkout. That’s money on top for hitting the shops!

    Sign up with companies like Quidco and TopCashBack and you get the heads up on a range of deals featuring a raft of famous names…

  5. Travel costs
    How expensive is getting from A to B these days? Even hopping on a bus for a quick ride to the shops can set you back a few quid.

    Train travel is relied upon by students up and down the country and knowing where to get the cheapest tickets is essential.

    You’re probably studying far away from home too, so aside from shopping these savings will be very helpful for coming and going from uni.

    Want to know the best part?

    The last tip we’re going to give you is the best. You may not even have considered it in fact.

    What is it?

  6. Organisation
    There’s no point carefully minding your pennies if you don’t have an organised budget in place beforehand. Making a weekly budget is a great place to start.

    As with much in life, if you’re struggling to plan your finances then there’s an app for that. Remember, a decent money saving app is cheaper than an accountant!



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