University Saving Tips and Tricks, Part One.

Hey guys! Can you believe that I’ll be starting my last year of University at the end of September? It’s gone so quickly and I’m slightly terrified! I thought though, what a more perfect time than to share my money saving tips and tricks to make your student life that little bit easier.

I’m so expert in this, I’m just a soon-to-be third year student living off minimal student loan in London. Sometimes it gets a little tricky trying to balance everything!

I am already planning a part two, so if you enjoyed this one be sure to check out the next post with even more tricks.

Travelling home:
  • My top saving tip whilst at Uni has to be buying train tickets (or bus tickets) in advance. I can’t count the number of times I have paid just £3.30 for a ticket which on the day would’ve cost me nearly £30. If you know you’ll be going home, like during the holidays, booking ahead could save you so much money. Normally the only restriction is a set train time.
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£3.30 tickets make coming home so much easier!

 

Textbooks:
  • Textbooks (and required reading) do tend to be quite pricey. Typical really when they help you with your degree and if you’re anything like me you’ll be given a list as long as your arm of necessary books. In second year alone my book list came to a grand total of 38. Therefore, if I had bought them all brand new it would have broken the bank. Finding books second hand on sites like Ebay and Amazon will save you so much. Most books I’ve got which are second hand are basically brand new anyway, just without the price tag.
Getting a lot of textbooks or required reading second hand is such a good way to save!
Little yellow stickers:
  • Now, if you didn’t already know this, every evening (especially at the end of the week) shops have a reduced section where they put yellow stickers on food making it super cheap. I remember one time when I lived in Portsmouth for college, me and my friends went at the end of the day and I walked away with nearly 15 items for under £10! Most supermarkets put their yellow stickers out around 7pm!
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Even the smallest of savings can help you!

 

Getting a weekend job:
  • Not wanting to sound like a nagging parent but getting a job on the weekends / when you have a lot of time off will help massively. Whether you need a little extra for rent which your student loan won’t cover or you want a little treat, getting a job and having an additional income every month is a blessing. Speaking from someone who’s loan doesn’t even cover half my rent (and no, I don’t live in a palace) having a job when I’m not at uni helps so much. Just remember though, balance is key and university assignments do come first.
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I worked at Hamleys last year as a Christmas Elf and not only did it help me support myself through uni but it was so much fun too!
Bulk cooking meals:
  • If you look on most money saver student tips bulk cooking meals will be on the list at least 90% of the time. If you have the freezer space it’ll work out cheaper in the long run if you bulk buy food and bulk cook it. Plus you don’t have to cook from scratch after a long day if you don’t want to. Meals like curries, chilli, lasagne and pasta sauces are easy meals to bulk cook. Cameron even made 50 meatballs from scratch the other day and they lasted us ages!

Don’t worry, I was never going to show you a picture of 50 uncooked meatballs (how unaesthetic) so have a photo of the numerous moustache gingerbread biscuits me and Cameron made the other day!

Hope you enjoyed and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for part two! If you think I’ve missed a key tip, why not leave yours in the comments below, you never know who you might save!

Make sure you check out the other posts in the series and in relation to university:

University: What I Wish I’d Known (Part One)
University: What I Wish I’d Known (Part Two)
University: What I Wish I’d Known (Part Three)
University: What I Wish I’d Known (Part Four)
Fresher’s Week, Friend or Foe?
University, 9 Years Ago; An Interview
University, 13 Years Ago; An Interview
University Alternative, MOOC; An Interview
University Saving Tips and Tricks, Part Two
University Bookshelf Tour
My University Experience So Far

38 Comments

  1. For us textbooks where not really a requirement so I make sure to ask my professors if they require textbooks since the prices are so expensive. I also bring packed lunch with me. I don’t really cook but I hope I can learn eventually. Looking forward for part two!

    1. Ah you’re so lucky, I have already bought 22 required reading books for just 3 modules in one term, it’s mad! Yes, packed lunch is a definite! Thank you, hope you enjoy it! 😀

  2. thank you this has helped me so much. I’m about to go into my first year at uni and even though I have the maximum loan amount I have no idea how I’m going to be able to survive as I’m the worst at budgeting. I can’t wait for a part 2!

    1. You’re more than welcome, that’s so nice to hear! I hope these tips help you, it’s so easy to get caught up in uni life and spend spend spend! I’m sure you’ll be more than fine though! x

  3. 1984 is one my favorite books!

    1. I really enjoyed it when I read it!

  4. I’m aaaalways here for more money saving tips! Textbooks wise, I always make sure to see if I can find the pdfs online first. I found my entire £25 grammar textbook for free just through googling last year, and even managed to find every book for one of my modules. It can be time-consuming but defo worth it.

    -pixieskiesblog.wordpress.com xo

    1. Wow! That’s so handy! I had to buy a book for £70 last year but found an international students edition for half the price, emailed the editor and they said it’s exactly the same book – it’s definitely worth searching around!

  5. These tips are all so good, imogen! I’m going into sixth form but I’m always looking for ways to scrimp and scrape a little and save money; I totally agree about buying second hand books. Luckily, all of my a level English lit reading books were second hand – Amazon have an amazing tool where you can choose to get a second hand copy for cheaper than the new version, and EBay is a godsend for a nice 99p book! It definitely helps to save money in the long run as some books/textbooks are really expensive. Sadly, my psychology text book can only be purchased new as it’s just been published this summer, but at least I managed to save on some other bits. Lovely post!🙌🏻

    Soph | http://www.lovesoph.co.uk

    1. Thank you Soph! I know, they’re so handy aren’t they? Often they turn up in better condition than the brand new books too, so it’s definitely worth saving those pennies! Yeah, you won’t be able to get them all second hand unfortunately but if you can get as many as possible then it will only benefit you in the long run! 😀

  6. What a helpful blog post! x

    1. Thank you, glad you found it useful! x

  7. hildajow says:

    Such great tips, would have loved to read a post like this when I was at University. Enjoy the next year 🙂

    1. Thank you so much!

  8. amy3harris says:

    I’m also going into my third year of university in September and oddly enough I was great with handling my money in first year but when it came to second year and I moved into my student house I started to care less about where I was spending my money when really I should have been saving and being more careful oops! But this year I’m determined to become more money savvy and save money instead of spending it all! One website I highly recommend for getting second-hand books is https://abebooks.co.uk, I’ve managed to get all my books for around £2.65 with free post&packaging 🙂 x

    Amy x | fleurdubelle.blogspot.co.uk

    1. Oh no way? I feel like that’s easily done though as in halls especially you don’t have to worry about bills, you just buy whatever! I’m planning the exact same thing so I hope these posts can help you a little bit! Ahhh, yes I love that site too, I always forget a couple as there’s so many good ones! My Mum always makes a huge spreadsheet of books and searches for them on multiple sites to see which is cheapest! Thank you for your amazing comment! x

      1. amy3harris says:

        Yeah that is exactly what I found! But these posts will help me greatly! They’ll give me the motivation to save money instead of spending it and your tips are great which I can incorporate into my lifestyle 💛 that is a good idea! Your mum has it sorted. I’ll be doing the same this next academic year and see what deals I can find! x

        1. Ah that means so much, that’s all I’m trying to do as honestly I wish these posts were around for me when I started, let’s just say there was one too many little trips to the local Tesco for random things I really didn’t need or actually want! There’s another post coming soon with similar tips which I hope will help too! <3

          1. amy3harris says:

            It is great that you are now sharing your tips and tricks to those who are going to university in September and to those who are already uni students and need the motivation to stop spending and start saving. That was me in first year when I was constantly popping to our Sainsbury’s local to grab snacks and drinks haha! Luckily we don’t have a Sainsbury’s by our house anymore! Oh yay I’ll look out for it, I’ll be taking in all these tips and tricks 💛 x

          2. Thank you! 😀 It’s terrible isn’t it, you just think ‘Oh I’ll pop and get a snack quickly’ and next thing you know it’s half hour later and you’re walking out with three bags full! x

          3. amy3harris says:

            Yeah! And then popping out to the shops to quickly grab a snack starts to become an everyday occurrence haha!! There are always so many snacks on offer so you end up thinking you are saving all this money when in reality you aren’t haha! x

          4. Yep! You’ve just described me perfectly! xx

  9. theamalog says:

    This makes me miss my university days. Did most of this and was able to survive University. Great post. Keep posting more of the money saving tips.

    1. Thank you so much! I definitely will!

  10. Those are really nice and helpful tips! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you so much Cat! x

  11. Great tips. I wish I have known these when I went to university. Luckily, I only went one for one year, so didn’t “waste” too much money on these things.

    1. Thank you so much, ah see, that’s definitely the easier way to do things! 😉

  12. Great tips! Buying secondhand books has saved me a lot of money during my college days.

    1. Thank you – it’s so simple but so effective! x

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  14. Really loving these uni posts! Passing on some great tips & information to my daughter! Thank u so much 😀💛🤗

    1. Yayy, that’s amazing to hear! Thank you. <3

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