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The Economics of Shopping (for students)

Check out our money-saving tips to help students shop smarter and save more. Shopping smarter means knowing how to tell the good deals from the not-so-good, and we always have plenty to offer the savvy new student. Here are just a few tips and pointers to help you hunt out the best bargains.

Work a little smarter – with cut-price stationery
2000-word essay or catch-up with mates at the student union? Decision, decisions. But when you do decide to get down to work, make sure you’ve got what you need to hand. Grab all those stationery essentials – like printers, laminators, paper, folders, ink cartridges, calculators, notebooks, pens, pencils and highlighters – at Ryman. Prices are very student-friendly with great offers, plus a handy 10% student discount.

Tip: Take your student card to get your 10% discount.

Save big on those little home comforts
Picture this…family members are paying a visit and the flat’s not quite up to scratch yet. A couple of old chairs and a saggy sofa await them. And there are no clean mugs (or teaspoons). If your student accommodation lacks a few of life’s luxuries, a trip to Homesense could be a smart move. From kitchenware to furniture, photo frames to clocks and cushions, you’ll always find something to add a little comfort or character. Stock changes all the time and with up to 60% off RRP, a trip to Homesense really could save the day – and some cash.  

Tip: Look out for special offers on mugs, plates and bowls.

Get the lowdown on high tech
High tech needn’t be high cost. For big ticket items like laptops, PCs and tablets, shop around to see what’s on offer. For great deals on laptops, tablets or desktops, drop into Currys PC World or Argos – there are usually some good deals at the start of term. And if Apple products are your thing, ask about education pricing at The Apple Store – a student discount is usually available.

Tip: Student discount? Be rude not to ask.

Keep a lid on the cost of food shopping
OK, whose turn is it to do the food shop? And who owes who from last time? Can you not buy that horrible soya milk again? If you’re self-catering, food shopping – and conversations about it – are a fact of life. But no stress, if you know where to shop. At low-cost retailer Aldi, prices are low across the board – with no compromises on quality. With staples like pasta and rice and more indulgent deli items like goat’s cheese and olives, you can definitely ‘spend a little and live a lot’ and live the Aldi way.

Tip: Check out Aldi’s weekly fresh fruit and veg deals, as well as their ‘Special Buys’.

Get life’s essentials for less
If there’s one place you can find pretty much anything you need, it’s probably Wilko. You’ll love what you can find instore – from duvet sets and storage boxes to everyday essentials like shampoo and toilet roll, all at nice low prices. And if your student home needs a little TLC, there’s always the well-stocked DIY section for paints, plugs, fillers and fixings.  Wilko really is the one-stop-shop.

Tip: Cleaning up after a house party? Check out Wilko’s wide range of air fresheners and carpet cleaners!

Keep it simple with a set budget
Easier said than done. But when you’re down to your last few quid, a trip to Poundland can help stretch your budget a bit further. Not only is it great value for a whole range of items – we like the toiletries and stationery sections – everything’s just a pound (obviously). Which makes budgeting and quicks that bit easier.   

Tip: see what you can get for a fiver.

Grab a low-cost lunch
Student life can be pretty hectic. And it’s easy to fritter away cash grazing on expensive takeaways. Which is why if you’re on a budget, Greggs is a great money-saving option for lunchtimes. From pasta salads to soups, sandwiches and baguettes, there’s a delicious menu that won’t break the bank. Tuck in, we say.

Tip: Join Greggs Rewards to claim free coffees.