1) Weigh up the pros and cons of shopping online. It forces you to stick to a budget, check the latest offers and try not to impulse buy.
2) Bulk buy essentials if it works out cheaper. Things like pasta, soup, toothpaste…
3) Plan weekly meals and make a shopping list to prevent throwing food away, taking into account going away at the weekends. Shop after 7pm or on Sunday afternoons when there may be bargains on offer on perishables eg bread and veg.
4) Make a sandwich a day instead of buying a ready-made one – use your favourite ingredients and you could still save a pound or more a day – 260 weekdays = £260 a year.
5) Look at price per 100g to compare different prices.
6) Always buy unpackaged fruit and veg – better for the purse and possibly the environment. Leicester Market will usually beat supermarket prices especially towards the end of the day when stall holders heavily discount prices.
7)Have meat-free days – good for your health and your pocket.
8)Learning to cook will make you popular with your flatmates and save you a fortune over the year too. Have fun with an inter-flat ‘come dine with me’
9)Buying a takeout coffee everyday for a week could cost as much as £40 a month... Over a year that's £480!
10)Customise clothes and accessories rather than buying a new outfit.
11)Set a reminder on your phone on the day library books are due back. Return or renew them to avoid costly fines.
12)Challenge yourself to spend-free days.
13)Keep a written record of your spending.
14)Once you arrive at university, join your local Freecycle or Freegle group. This is a mailing list where local people offer up items they no longer want, for free – as long as you agree to collect them. You can find furniture for your student house and all manner of things! You can also put out ‘wanted’ emails, requesting items that you would like to own.
15)Buy used textbooks or make use of the library.
16)Get your hair cut by a trainee, it's cheaper!
17)Remember that no one can afford to party every night- so don't feel pressured! Excessive drinking impairs judgement and can lead to spending too much money. Always plan what sort of night out you're having and how much you're likely to spend and try to stick to it.
18)Get an NUS Card and use it!
19)Use reward cards such as Boots Advantage, Nectar etc for those invisible savings and gifts.
20)Look out for shop own brands eg Boots/Superdrug own paracetamol rather than brands names.
21)Look out for bargains in Poundland and 99p Stores – there is so much more on offer than just cheap cleaning products.
22)Check your budget. Get an agreed amount of cash out at the start of the week and don't get any more out and take cash rather than credit/debit card on your shopping trips!