We asked members of The Student Panel to share their best money saving tips with us. We received contributions from the cities of London, Belfast, Leeds, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Times are hard. And students, traditionally a hard-up bunch, are thought to have even less cash to play with with high university fees and a general increase in the cost of living. But to combat the tightening purse strings, there are plenty of money saving deals around. See below for some excellent tips from our contributors. Enjoy!
John Angliss from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London says:
• ICCO Restaurant on Goodge Street does pizza from £3.50 for a full 11 inch pizza.
• The Indian Vegetarian Bhel Poori House in Chapel Market in Islington has an all-you-can-eat feed for cheap.
• Some of the Post Offices in student areas do packaged sandwiches for less than a pound.
• The Rocket on Euston Road, The Court on Tottenham Court Road and both Scream pubs offer cheap beer and burgers. Ask for a yellow card if you’re a student as it saves you a lot of money over time.
• Skoob Books at the Brunswick Centre, the ULU Book Sale (top floor of ULU) and the second-hand textbook section in the Gower Street Waterstones are well worth a visit if you need second-hand books.
• The English National Opera near Covent Garden is running an ‘Access All Arias’ scheme where students can get really cheap tickets. • During the London Film Festival in October, student tickets, while £10 or £15, are still worthwhile if you get to see a premiere or an interview with the director.
• All national museums in London are free. Pop inside to warm up and save on heating bills.
• If a mate has used their pre-pay Oyster card all day, so that it caps off at the cost of a travel card, borrow it off them that evening and your travel will be free. And if you register your Young Person’s Rail card to your Oyster card, the daily travel card limit is capped off at a much lower rate.
John Gourley from The Queen’s University, Belfast says:
‘No Such thing as a free lunch? Well in Belfast there actually is! Two churches around The Queen’s University give completely FREE lunches to students.
• On Tuesdays from 12 – 2 at the Evangelical Presbyterian Church on the Stranmillis Road delicious soup, bread and sausage rolls are served to hoards of students.
• On Thursdays from 12 -2 at the Fisherwick Presbyterian Church, just off the Malone road, soup and hotdogs are the order of the day!
Deborah Silberstein from Leeds Metropolitan University says:
• If you want to keep fit, but don’t want to pay a high gym membership cost, The Village Hotel and Leisure Club on Otley Road is doing deals at the moment. But if you really don’t want to pay for a membership why not start a running club with some friends as Leeds has some great parks like Roundhay Park which is very scenic with good paths.
• Leeds Seventeen Bar and Restaurant in Alwoodley, a 5 minute drive from Headingley along the ring road, has great food and a 2 course deal for £9 on weeknights.
• After your meal head to a bar called Napa which is also in the area. They are doing really good offers on drinks and cocktails all day on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Lloyd Boothroyd from The University of Edinburgh says:
• The Baguette Express chain of sandwich shops offers a buy one get one free deal on your first visit.
• Lava & Ignite on West Tollcross offer free entry on a Wednesday night with a SNAPfax.
• First XV, a rugby store on Haymarket Terrace, offers a 10% student discount on everything.
• House of Frasers is offering 20% off everything with a SNAPfax.
General money saving tips
Philippa Berman from University College London says:
• Befriend someone on Orange, and get them to take you to the cinema on Wednesdays.
• Revive tired T-shirts or faded black socks with a packet of dye and some salt, and take shoes to the cobbler for new soles, rather than buying new ones.
• Find the best charity shops in your area, and visit them regularly to pick up bargains (like a Missoni skirt for £5!) They’re often in places where people are well-off, so in London think Hampstead, Knightsbridge, etc.
• Keep a notebook especially for writing down everything you spend each day to help you realize where your money is going. Knowing that you’re going to have to admit it to the book might make you less likely to have that extra coffee!
• If you’re always buying bottled water, keep a plastic bottle, refill it from the tap every time you leave the house, and wash and dry it when you get home.
And here’s some more:
• Always search online at sites like moneysavingexpert.com before you go out for dinner. It also has information on every money saving/making tip possible, ranging from selling things on eBay, invigilating exams, freebies, TV and film agency work, participating in medical trials…the list is endless.
• Check out website, uk.zilok.com, where you can save money by renting anything from power drills to digital cameras instead of buying them. It’s very good if you only need an item for a day or two.
• There are free theatre tickets for under 26s at the moment sponsored by the Arts Council England. Visit website anightlessordinary.org.uk for more information.
• Carry out daily shops so you don’t end up throwing food away, and go at about 2 hours before closing time. Marks and Spencer reduce anything going off on that day in the evening to a much lower price than Sainsburys and Waitrose (e.g. 50p lasagne).
• Find a friend the same size as you and just have one shared wardrobe. Or host a clothes swapping party!
• If you like arty films, save money by taking out a student membership at one of the art cinemas such as the British Film Institute, the Institute of Contemporary Arts.
• Boil your own rice if you order a Chinese takeaway. It’ll save you a couple of quid per person.
Some lighthearted tips from some of you:
Laurie Campbell from The University of Glasgow says:
• Save money on binoculars, by standing closer to things.
• Save money on doorbell batteries by instead checking every couple of minutes to see if there’s anyone there.
• Save on the cost of cable TV by simply taping programmes now and watching them in 10 years time.
• Share a bath with your partner. It’s economical AND sexy all at the same time.
• Don’t waste money on expensive travel insurance; simply be a bit more careful than you normally would.
And that rounds off this month’s money saving tips. We hope they have been helpful. And feel free to leave your own money saving ideas in the comments section.
(All deals mentioned in the article above were current at the time of publishing. Opinionpanel doesn’t vouch for the quality of goods or services provided by the companies mentioned in this article).