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Smart shopping: A blog by Charlotte, Student Money Assistant

Smart shopping: A blog by Charlotte, Student Money Assistant

Trying to juggle finances while studying is not easy. However, using these smart shopping techniques you can help save your money, and reduce your stress allowing you to focus on your studies.

Here are five top tips for smart shopping you can use to maximise your savings:

  1. Sign up for Rewards Programs: Reward systems are in place in most supermarkets and retail shops, like Tesco’s, Sainsbury's, and even Boots. These systems allow you to earn points or cash back on your everyday purchases! These can be a fun bonus once you’ve accumulated enough points, you can treat yourself to something you’ve had your eyes on.
  2. Avoid Impulse Purchases; the 24-Hour Rule: If you’re an impulse shopper, this tip is for you! When online shopping it’s easy to get excited and make thoughtless purchases. Next time you’re shopping online keep the item in your basket for 24 hours and come back to it. You may find once the impulses have subsided, you can reconsider the purchase and you may find you don’t want it as much as you did previously!
  3. Shop Generic Brands: All your favourite supermarkets offer both branded and generic brands of the same products. This tip allows you to cumulatively save on products with the generic, store-owned brands that are just as good quality-wise, but with a much lower price tag. This is a seemingly small swap but makes a massive difference in the long term.
  4. Plan Meals in Advance: Never go shopping empty handed! Beforehand, consider what meals you want to make that week, what ingredients you may need, and make a list. This, again, seems very small, but it keeps you on track to buying things you need and helps reduce waste.
  5. Student Discounts: Many businesses near universities offer discounts to students, including restaurants, cinemas, and entertainment venues. Don’t be shy! Always ask about student discounts before making a purchase – some places don’t advertise their discounts, but still offer them, so don’t forget to take your student ID everywhere! Alternatively, you can download student saving apps like UNiDAYS and Student Beans and sign up with your university email address, and unlock hundreds of discounts!

For further support, contact Student Funding Support by email ( opens in a new window), phone (024 7615 0096), or in person at the Wellbeing Reception in Senate House (10am-3pm Monday- Friday). You could also check out our Money Matters web pages for more tips on how to save money on your shopping.