15 Postgraduate Tips for Frugal Student Living


Student living can be tough, especially when you're working with a tight budget.

Check out our postgraduate tips for living student life the frugal way:

  • Go to the supermarket just before closing time if you want to get the best deals on fresh food - Waitrose and M&S are particularly great for this, with lots of expensive items reduced to mere pennies!
  • Cook from scratch - Cooking from scratch is so much cheaper and way more fun. Before you say, pre-made meals are cheaper just consider the cost of each  individual  ready-made serving compared to a home-cooked meal that could easily make 4-6 servings. Plus it's not just your wallet that will benefit, your health will too.
  • Don't eat out - Eating out with friends may seem like an essential part of student life, but all those expensive meals add up. Invite your friends over to yours for dinner instead and all bring something along to fill the table .
  • Take a packed lunch to uni - However tempting the lunch room is, resist! Taking along your own packed lunch will drastically cut your food bill.
  • Buy in bulk - Buying in bulk is a no-brainer. Whether it's bog roll or booze, you can pretty much buy anything in bulk these days using sites like ShortersClub .
  • When on a night out buy the whole bottle rather than individual glasses - a glass of wine can be pricey so club together with your friends and go in on a bottle instead.
  • Have a few drinks before you leave the house - Even the student friendly bars and clubs can be overpriced, so why not get together with your mates before heading out and have a few drinks to beforehand.
  • Get free condoms - Why buy condoms when you can get them for free?

    Family planning clinics and GPs give out free condoms, as well as sexual health advice and checkups. All you need to do is ask.
  • Forget the TV and watch programs/movies on your computer instead - If you have a TV you need a licence and with plenty of easy ways to watch online (BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Amazon) why bother! Get yourself a cable to connect the computer up to the TV and away you go.
  • Buy second hand - You'll be amazed at what you can get both on and offline for just a fraction of the original cost these days. eBay, Amazon, or even charity shops, you can find virtually anything as new without breaking the bank.
  • Work where you shop - If possible apply for a position at your favourite chain or store. Staff discounts are an awesome perk to working in retail. Get a job for any of the Arcadia Group shops such as Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge etc, and you'll be entitled to 25% off. New Look employers get 50% off!
  • Rent textbooks - Sites like Blackwell and Alibris  offer textbook rental helping you to make massive savings of the original cover price. Chances are you only need the textbook for one term.
  • Always ask for a student discount -  Nearly all places offer a student discount, some of them just don't advertise it. Get the most from your money buy actively asking about available discounts. Make sure you have your student card handy.
  • Freecycle - Join the Freecycle network and get stuff for free from people giving it away near you. Plus it is the perfect answer to all your personal recycling needs.

Read our section on Student Living Costs for further budgeting advice.

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