Money can be tight at university, but luckily students over the years have come up with a variety of ingenious ways to save the pennies.
Here are eight weird tips to stretch out your student loan, which could save you as much as £82 per week.
Be a party personHosting your own house party is great as people forget to take their left over bottles home with them, allowing you to establish a substantial liquor cabinet. "Be a good host and let everyone put their drinks in the fridge," says emmah – that way they’re more likely to leave them behind. You can also ‘recycle’ the undesirable drinks by taking them to someone else’s party, suggests Becca-Sarah, or even give that left over bottle of gin away as a gift to an unsuspecting family member.
Savings: £20 per week
Be canny with condimentsSugar, salt, ketchup… sweet chilli… BBQ sauce. There’s so many delicious condiments to tempt you away from your money. “I take sugar and salt sachets from the uni canteen so I don't have to buy any” says SkinnyKat. Now you might not save much by just collecting salt, but it all adds up. If you stock up on freebie condiments wherever you can, you could end up saving yourself as much as £2 a month. Hey, that’s a pint down the SU.
Savings: £0.50p per week.
Double tea-baggingOn average 165 million cups of tea are drunk every day in the UK. Think about how much you could save by re-using teabags, especially if you’re partial to a more expensive herbal tea. “It just takes me a minute or two longer to do, but over a lifetime, if I only use half as many tea bags, that saves quite a bit overall,” explains nic-nac. You can get two – or even three- cups out of a
herbal or fruit tea bag, and it also works for regular tea. If the brew’s a bit weak second time around then that’s another bonus, you can ‘use less milk and save on that too!’ says gianthead.
Savings: £1 per week.
Pack school lunchesBuying lunch every day is one of the fastest ways to burn through your student loan. Even the cost of a coffee before lectures adds up over time. “Bring your own packed lunch and a warm drink in a hot flask, so you avoid Starbucks” advises tcannon. Some canteens have free hot water, so you can bring your own teabags. This also has the added benefit of letting you make healthier lunches, which will keep your energy up during the day. Eating out is really costly, so save it for special occasions.
Savings: £20 per week
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Make like Snow White“I had a friend who lived in a flat of 10 people and for his meals he would wait around while everyone else cooked and ate what they left on their plate”, says xoxAngel_Kxox. Her friend isn’t alone, “I eat any left overs my flat mates have thrown in the bin,” confirms wildrover. If you're prepared to be totally shameless, you’ll be able to acquire a varied diet for free. Just think of it like tapas.
Savings: £25 per week
Save waterIf you’re paying for water then ask yourself if you really need that bath or second shower. “Don't shower or if you must, shower once a week,” says unknownking32. Not only are you reducing your water bill, but you’re saving the planet, too.
If you’re part of a sports society or use the gym then you can make the most of their showering facilities. You can also “fill your bottle of water up from the canteen to save on your water bill” says muffingg.
Savings: £3 per week
Be economical with your laundryThe launderette is another big money sink, and home appliances use electricity to run. If you’ve not got enough clothes to fill the machine, consider doubling up your washing with a mate.
It also helps to plan your washing in advance. "If it’s a month till the semester is to be over, then I do not wash clothes until I go back home to chuck all of it in the washing machine", recommends Fashion Girl.
“Don't bother drying your clothes using a tumble dryer, instead use a clothes airer,” says Pallas Athena. Airers are cheap and you'll be saving on the cost of paying for tumble drying, plus your delicate clothes will love you for it. This is harder during the winter in damp student housing, but what's so bad about smelling faintly of mould anyway?
Savings: £2.50 per week
Huddle in the library
Managing to survive winter in a freezing student house is almost a rite of passage, and running the central heating all day adds up. You might as well just light a fire with your cash and huddle round that for warmth. The answer? Don’t spend the winter in your house. Let other places keep you warm.
The library is a perfect choice. “Staying at the warm, toasty library on cold evenings saves money on heating,” says SkinnyKat. It’s completely free, plus you might actually get some work done. While you’re there you can also charge your mobile phones and other devices there to save on even more electricity.
lf you’re feeling less productive, you could also use all that money you saved to retire to the pub.
Savings £10 per week
Got any more weird money saving tips? Share them in the comments below!