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9 Ways To Save Precious Pennies As A Uni Student

Being a Uni student is hard: you go from having the time of your life at Freshers, to having a pile of coursework and revision that’s taller than you are. You’re also expected to live off what is, most of the time, just not enough money. Once you pay your rent, you’re usually left with not a lot of cash to buy other things. So, to help you guys out, I have made a list of 9 rules to follow to save cash (I didn’t get the nickname “Phreebie” for nothing!).

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1) Plan your meals

Having a plan of what meals you want to eat throughout the week is a GREAT way to save money on the food shop. It means you can make a precise list of what you need, and not go buying a bunch of food that you don’t need. Keeping your pantry stocked (spices, rice, dried pasta, etc.). Make sure to mix it up though, as you don’t really want to be eating the same 5-6 meals every week.

2) Stick to your list

You make a shopping list for a reason: it’s what you need! Make sure you don’t deviate by eating BEFORE you go shopping, because if you don’t, you’ll be the proud owner of aisle 23 in no time. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, such as finding a great offer or nabbing some super cheap yellow-stickered items. This brings me onto my next point:

3) Yellow Sticker Hunting is you new hobby

These little golden tickets of joy are what make life worth living. They are basically stickers that reduce the price of an item because they need to sell it quickly. Some of the best offers can be found an hour before closing time (e.g. 3pm on a Sunday), or, if it’s a 24hr store, between 6:30-9:00pm. You can find yellow sticker food in most departments: fruit and veg, meat, refrigerated, and bakery are the usual spots. Unfortunately, yellow sticker items are usually out of date that day, or very soon after.

4) Freezers are your friend

A good way to keep yellow stickered items for longer is by freezing them! Some things aren’t suitable for freezing (e.g. sandwiches with mayo on, rice-based products, etc.), but most things are, even if it doesn’t say so on the pack. Also, make sure to do a 1 or 2 monthly freezer inventory, as sometimes you can have a weeks’ worth of food just in your freezer alone if you’ve been collecting yellow stickers/meat offers.

5) Go Searching For Offers

Sometimes, if you’ve been shopping at the same place for a while, you can get tunnel-vision. Make sure you always have a good look at different things, as, sometimes, the branded items can be put on an offer that makes them cheaper than buying the off-brand product!

7) Enter competitions

You can find LOADS of competitions that you can enter to win cool items, nights out, food vouchers, holidays etc., online. Facebook and Twitter usually have a bunch of competitions, where all you have to do it like a page, share a post, or tag your mates in the comments. I’ve won my fair share of cool things in the past (including a Frankie and Benny’s tasting evening for 2 through a Facebook competition), so make sure you give them a go!

8)Take your own food

Whether you’re going to work, Uni, or almost anywhere: TAKE YOUR OWN FOOD! Yeah, a £3 lunch deal may sound AMAZING, and sure, "there’s no harm in getting a Starbucks/Costa on the way into lectures!", but, if you do that 5 days a week for 43 weeks a year, you’re looking at approximately £258 a year spent on lunches and coffee ALONE! Make your own coffee at home and bring it in a travel mug, and make lunch the night before to bring in with you. You don’t need to stick to boring ham sandwiches either:

9) Budget well, Save smart

Have a look at how much money you get from student finance, work, family contributions, etc., and make a weekly/monthly/semesterly budget, so you can keep track of how much you’re spending, and how much you could put into a savings account (you could be saving for a holiday, a night out, or just for when sh** hits the fan and you need a bit of extra cash). Once you have a budget set up, you can know for sure if you’re gonna end up in your overdraft (or worse, run out of the overdraft!).

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