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Extreme Student Cheapskates - enter now!Rent, food, shots in the SU and that weekly trip to H&M make it tough to live on a student budget. If you had to post-it note your milk bottle with an ‘I spat in this’ sign, or maybe survive off of pot noodles and waffles for a year, tell us all about it!

In 50 words or less tell us the skimpiest thing you’ve done whilst being a student (and send us a pic if you have it), and we’ll reward one winner with £25 in shopping vouchers.

How to enter:

  1. Make sure you are signed up to The OpinionPanel Community
  2. Just leave a comment below with your confession, send it to us privately here, or tweet us with the hashtag #StudentCheapskate.

We’ll then round up the top 10 confessions, and give them to the community to pick their favourite. The winner gets £25 in shopping vouchers, to spend in 100s of high street stores nationwide.

Good luck!

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  1. Adam Greer

    Being an avid gamer, I was absolutely devastated when my PS3 got the dreaded “Yellow Light of Death.” Knowing that a replacement would cost up to £200 (Money I could not afford) I frantically searched online for any fixes and after ruling out sending the system to Sony to fix for a fee of £60, I settled on the “hairdryer method.” Not the most technical method in the world, it involved heating the back of the system with a hairdryer on full blast. Thankfully, this worked! 4-5 times I used this to “revive” my dying system. Next time I proceeded to leave the hairdryer on whilst preoccupied. I was surprised to come back to a MELTED Ps3 after hearing the smoke alarm go off. Safe to say I had to save up buy a new PS3. But hey, I saved some money in the meantime!

  2. abigail swalwell

    i always get really concious about spending money on food, i would rather spend my money on clothes or beauty products so when me and my friends are out i tend to share their food when ever i can

  3. Gina Ruaux

    Hideously inefficient oven plus money troubles equals toaster cooking. And thermos cooking; I cooked pasta in my thermos for about a year so I could avoid the hob. And I still cook any and all (veggie) products in the toaster – so quick!

    Pizza slices, hash browns and pastries, though? Messy D:

  4. Joe

    My mate doesn’t buy cups or drinks at alll- he buys pot noodles and uses the empty pot as a cup afterwards

  5. Zoe Johnston

    My work provides coffee and juice for us on our breaks as they have a kitchen anyway. I regularly come in early so that I can drink theirs instead of buying my own.

  6. Hannah

    I put up a facebook poll asking whether I should spend my last £1.50 on peanut butter or laundry.

  7. Sophia gazi

    well, I for one like have to confess that if i was to buy something and it sold it in another store but for a penny cheaper, well as you do i would go for the penny cheaper one even if it does mean more legwork! I also basically live on bread,Pasta and eggs! How cheap and cheerful! x

  8. Amy

    I was in a lecture and my friend told me there was a society meeting afterwards with guest speakers talking about their work industries. And that there would be food. So I went purely for the snacks. Not only did I go whilst completely disinterested in the actual meeting, I stayed so long afterward that I was given some left overs, including 2 litre bottles of soft drinks, a full 8-pack of croissants, big bags of crisps and cocktail sausages. Worth it? Absolutely.

  9. Liz

    I have a stationery fetish and will always snaffle free pens whenever and wherever I see them. I have drawers full of pens, but will always accept another one…

  10. Alice Roberts

    In my hall we didn’t get dinner at weekends. I made it my mission not to spend any extra money on these two meals. My general method: slyly take two extra croissants at breakfast, copious amounts of cheese at lunch, then to combine and heat in the microwave for dinner.

  11. Stan. Braminski

    I found a flapjack in the bin, still in its watertight plastic wrapping. Suspended it in warm water mixed with bleach for half an hour, and then placed it overnight in the freezer for good measure. Next morning unwrapped it, then dropped it chocolate side down on the floor. Still ate it.

  12. Michaela

    My housemate moved out in June but I’m staying for summer and therefore the only one using gas, electricity, etc. To save on the bills I shower at uni saving myself precious pennies on the gas bill.

  13. Jake Mellor

    I didn’t want to pay for food so snuck into the kitchen where a party was going on and stole some takeaway pizza when everyone left to get more booze. Never got caught. Does this count as a confession?

  14. Bradley McNally

    It cost me around £4 to wash & dry my clothes at my accommodation at uni and I ran out of underwear and socks so i bought more in poundland which cost me 2 quid

  15. Ellen

    I once walked for 40 minutes to the next train station (in the rain and with all my luggage) because the ticket home was £5 cheaper from there.

  16. Anon

    Food’s so expensive that I often go to the local M&S food around 7.30pm, and scrimp all their heavily reduced food… 50p for an M&S ready meal can’t be bad!

  17. Jody Lelean-smith

    When out and about in town, pubs or the occasional restaurant, i’d grab wads of toilet paper from the toilets so that I could make my stock last an extra couple of days. Probably saved about £1 in Lidly over the whole year…

  18. Becca

    It sounds ridiculous but to save on the amount of bread used, I used to cut each individual slice in half.. It took very steady hands but hey, I got a double loaf of bread for the price of one!

  19. Sarah fielding

    Whilst I was struggling with money and proritizing alcohol over decent food, I found a website which I thought was absolutely glorious at the time. The website sold nearly out of date food at less than a fraction of the price. Most of it was okay, but some of it tasted weird which I don’t like to think too much about why that may be. My mum eventually started to feel sorry for me and brought me meals which I freezed, the rest of the time I pretty much lived of cheese sandwiches! Moral of the story, prioritise food!

  20. Sara Pidcock

    At the end of last summer, we didn’t have a toilet for a week or so, and a shower for about a month. Me and my housemate always used to nip to the local Wetherspoons for the toilet, and we’d go swimming every day just so we could use their showers.

    Not in the name of money, but I guess it saved us some anyway!

  21. Anonymous

    I feel really bad about it, but it was the only chance to teach a flatmate not to steal my food. I went on holiday and left a bottle of juice mixed with urine in the fridge. When I came back, half of it was gone. Such a horrible person.

  22. Charlotte Swale

    When I lived in halls, I used to come home every 3 weeks or so to visit my boyfriend. Since the laundrette on campus was so expensive, I used to hoard my washing and bring it to his house where I could do it for free!!!

  23. Ellen

    The dreaded dishes are a common occurrence in every single student household but what could you possibly add to this dilemma to make it even worse?

    No washing up liquid.

    One fine evening after a hard long 4 hours of uni lectures the dishes had to be cleaned before dinner,but oh dear – there is no washing up liquid left. Water is simply not enough to get yesterday’s dinner cleaned from all pots, pans and cutlerys of a 5 bed uni house… and least we forget last nights pre bed time cuppa to clean also.

    So clearly there was only one option. The shampoo in the shower that has been there since we moved in and has no owner that we are aware of. Sadly we did use the vaguely cocunut smelling brown not so appealing shampoo. Dispite the fact the shops were open and it was a mere 2 minute walk to purchase such essential washing up liquid we did not do so. And thus continued the use of the shampoo until it was finished. Moral of the story – nothing goes to waste in a student house.

  24. Ellie Williams

    As an avid tea drinker, and shockingly skint Fresher student, I decided that precious money could surely not be spent on something as extortionately priced as tea bags?!
    The story begins with a box of fancy Clipper tea bags, that i’d joyfully received from my parents upon moving into University accommodation, sat precariously on my new kitchen shelf.

    As I stared at them, the prospect of using up such a wondrous product filled me with dread… I walked slowly to the kettle, struck with the impending doom of independence and the realisation of having to support my own tea addiction..

    And so, being the ingenious student that I am, I came upon a wondrous idea. Why make one cup of tea at a time when I can make 2, or 3, or 4, using one tea bag?! As I poured the hot water into my carefully selected favoured mugs, and produced all 4 cups of tea simultaneously, I was dumbfounded by the fact I could expand my idea further!

    Using the glass shot glasses I had acquired for Fresher drinking games, I stored my used teabag for later use, not realising the level of disgust this would generate amongst my new flatmates.

    I realise now this was wrong. I have discovered the error of my ways, and have reduced my teabag usage to 1 bag per 2 cups. It’s a struggle, but one day I will get there.

    I suppose the £25 would enhance my progress significantly, so many tea bags I could purchase… So please, do help a severely skint student out. My next cup of tea depends on it!

  25. Gareth Johnson

    The skimpiest thing I have done so far was when a ‘mystery’ shop was doing a taste test to compare their own food to named brands. So I thought a bit of free food couldn’t go a miss, when I got to doing the test they were taste testing pizza, crisps, sweets, chicken goujons, cheese and cookies. They were even taste testing alcohol such as shot measures of gin and whiskey. So that works out as 2 shots for each alcohol! Throughtout the whole day I kempt going back In and I went to each different team member so they didn’t recognise me. After I stumbled my way home I was rather full and rather drunk!

  26. Sally

    I think the skimpiest thing I ever did was when I had a hospital appointment first thing in the morning and I left the house at 6.30am to walk there… It was over 2 miles uphill and I didn’t want to pay the £0.80 for the bus!

    The worst thing was, I then spent about £3 in the shop on snacks for my return journey so that was a pretty pointless £1.60 saved…!

  27. Shannon

    Living of twix and other chocolate bars for a whole month. We bought from the £1 store to save money as we had bills to pay 🙁

  28. elfatih babkir

    omg the skimpiest thing I ever did is at my brother´s birthday , we smoked so much and i got drunk very badly , after i saw an hamburger , when i bite it i thought i was in heaven hahaha lol but ye it was a day…

  29. Somewhat ashamed to say I’ve been to seminars and various events only to fill my pockets with the different teas, coffees, sugars and packs of biscuits whilst trying not to look too suspicious. It’s all good stuff too, I have a box full of fancy fruity teas and the biscuits are great for a super quick ‘breakfast’ or when on a journey. If noone else takes them, they’re just going to waste, right?

  30. James Coad

    Okay I got one… Me and my mates used to go to events at the local community centre and galleries to get the free food and drink (sorrynotsorry)

  31. Sophie Williams

    Enter me into the comp!
    I went to a uni in London and hated drinking the tap water, so when the library was quiet i sometimes took my empty water bottles and filled them up lol…