How A Student Can Save Money
|Education : University|
Food is essential but can be expensive if you buy all the wrong things. You can save a lot of money by doing things like taking your own sandwiches for lunch rather than buying them. A loaf of bread itself costs a fraction of the price of a shop-bought sandwich. Similarly, if you like chocolate bars, crisps and other snacks, buy them in multipacks rather than singly everyday.
Buying in bulk can be a lot cheaper. Things that can be stored eg. Pasta, rice and so on can easily be bought in bigger sized packets that will last longer. If you live in a shared house, you can get together and buy staples like teabags, coffee, loo roll etc in bulk too. This will save a lot of money in the longrun. The "Buy one, get one free" deals should also be taken advantage of where possible.
Get a students recipe book and learn to cook! It doesn't have to be anything sophisticated, but cooking meals from scratch is a lot cheaper than ready-made frozen ones, and better for you too. It need not take much longer either as the recipes in beginners books are designed to have a short preparation time.
If you really can't be bothered with this, frozen items like fish fingers, potato waffles, oven chips, potato croquettes, or foods like baked potatoes, pasta, toasted sandwiches, beans and spaghetti are all able to be bought cheaply, especially if you buy the supermarket's own brand as much as possible, and will fill you up! Pizza can also be made cheaply by buying a cheap base and adding cheese and vegetables to the top.
Try and use your groceries so that food can be used for more than one meal. Leftovers can be used for lunch the next day. Also remember that you really shouldn't go supermarket shopping on an empty stomach, as you will inevitably be tempted by lots of things you don't need just because you are hungry!
If there is a market nearby, buy your fruit and vegetables there instead of the shops. If you turn up late in the day, the stall holders will be wanting to get items sold quickly and so things will often be even cheaper.
In the house, don't waste electricity by leaving lights and other appliances on when nobody needs them. You can really save money on electricity and gas just by being careful.
If you have to travel by train or bus daily, invest in a Young Person's Railcard or a Zonecard - the staff at the railway station will tell you what is better value, or contact your local bus company to see what you could save by buying a monthly or termly ticket. If you can walk quite easily, do that instead.
Learn how to make a budget and stick to it. First work out what all your outgoings are and take this amount away from your incoming money. If you are in credit that's okay, but if there is a deficit you need to cut down in one or more areas of your life!
When it comes to buying clothes and shoes, try to really think first if you need the item or not. Don't impulse buy. Wait a week, think about it then go back and see if you really do need it. Remember that shops like Topshop, Miss Selfridge and a whole other range of high street stores all offer a student discount. Make the most of this as many these shops are great for getting shoes and accessories as well as the latest catwalk imitations.
Finally, one you might laugh at but is really very useful!! Go to your doctor or nurse for free condoms, and very often even your student union will have an unlimited supply in the welfare centre. Worth a try!
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- Thu, Jul 22nd 2004