Are you a student searching for some easy ways to save money in college? Being a college student is challenging because this is probably the first time that most of us are learning to budget and purchase essential things for ourselves. In my three years of college, I have learned a few money hacks that will help you save money on shopping, grocery, transportation, travel, and educational expenses. I completely understand the struggle, which is why I am sharing some really smart and easy tips to help you save money.
Here are 20 Insanely Easy Ways to Save Money in College!
Navigation for this post to make your life easier 🙂 :
SHOPPING & GROCERIES
If you’re a student, the first website that you have to check out for is UniDays. UniDays offers students FREE online and in-store discount codes for your favorite stores such as H&M, Kate Spade, Aerie, and so much more. Not only do they offer discounts for clothing stores but also for beauty, food and drink, health and fitness, lifestyle, technology, and athletic stores. They even give students $20 Costco Shop Card and $15 Sams eGift Card! It seems too good to be true, but ya better believe it. I’ve used my Unidays codes countless of times throughout college, and it has saved me tons of money.
GET YOUR FREE COLLEGE PACKING LIST FOR 2020
Trust me. This free college packing list will make packing so much easier for you! Click the button below to receive it directly in your inbox.
Did you know that there’s a way for you to shop and get cash back?! Rakuten (previously known as Ebates) will literally pay you to shop at your favorite stores through their site. Just like Unidays, it is free to join Rakuten, and it offers cash back for a variety of stores (clothing, beauty, groceries, travel, etc.).
Although Rakuten is not limited to just students, we students are at an advantage! Some of the websites on Rakuten are also offered on Unidays. This means that we can apply Unidays discounts and get cash back from Rakuten while shopping! I recently found out about Rakuten this year and wish that I had joined sooner.
If you join Rakuten through this link and eventually spend $25, you’ll get $10 back immediately!
Click here to join Rakuten for free.
Just from its name, you can already guess that Honey gives you some really sweet deals with zero effort on your part. Honey is a FREE Google Chrome extension that will instantly generate coupon codes for a website and apply it to your cart while you are shopping. You no longer have to waste time searching for coupon codes because Honey will automatically do it for you! Be sure to check if you can add UniDays codes and Rakuten cash back on top of Honey.
Ibotta is an app that also offers amazing cash back deals to your favorite grocery and retail stores. The difference between Ibotta and Rakuten is that for Rakuten, cash back applies for everything you purchase at a store. For Ibotta, there are cash back deals for specific items at that store. It’s important to note that most Ibotta deals are limited time offers! Once you’ve purchased the item in store, all you have to do is scan the barcode at the end of your receipt and the app will verify that the deals apply. If all goes well, you’ll get cash back! Some of the major stores that are offered are Walmart, Target, Rite Aid, Raley’s, CVS, Walgreens, Safeway, and so much more. Join Ibotta to find out if the products that you buy are redeemable for cash back!
5) Buy Groceries in Bulk
If you’re buying nonperishable food or house supplies, try buying in bulk to save extra money! Costco is the best place for everything you need in bulk. Make sure to claim your $20 Costco gift card from UniDays, and sign up for Ibotta to get cash back in-store!
6) Amazon Prime
Amazon is like the Costco of the internet. Everything you may possibly need can be purchased through Amazon. As a college student, it can be inconvenient to buy last minute essentials off campus because you may not have a car or enough time. Most colleges now have an Amazon store or hubs where you can easily pick up things you bought on Amazon. With an Amazon Prime account, you can have your items shipped in one day and sometimes even the same day. Instead of spending time and money on an Uber, all you have to do is walk to the Amazon store or hub at your school to pick up your items.
When you sign up for Prime Student, you get 6 months of Amazon Prime for free! You’ll gain access to same/one-day delivery, free shipping, exclusive discounts just for students, and Prime Video (Amazon’s version of Netflix).
7) Buy a Water Filter
Instead of buying bottled water every week, it’s a good idea to invest in a water filter. You’ll save money and time because you won’t have to continuously go to the store and restock on bottled water. You’ll also be helping the environment by reducing plastic usage. If you’re able to buy something that’s reusable, do it! Below, I’ve linked some really popular water filters that most people in college have. I’ve tried the Brita Filter and Zero Water Filter, and the water that gets filtered tastes great for both!
Related Post: 10 Must Have iPad Apps for College
Related Post: Cheap Back to School Supplies for 2020
TRANSPORTATION AND TRAVEL
Are you and your friends planning a getaway trip from campus? You can book some affordable rooms or houses through the website Airbnb. For example, you can find whole apartment studios for less than $40 per night! If you’re splitting the cost with others and planning to cook, you’ll be saving tons of money. Sign up through my link below to get $55 off your first trip!
9) Rideshare Pools
A hack that I’ve learned for ridesharing is to use their Pool or Shared option to get cheaper rides. With the Pool option, you will share a ride with someone else that’s going the same direction as you. However, most of the time, you may not even end up sharing a ride with anyone. This means that you can get a solo ride for a way cheaper price! Also, remember that you can get some sweet deals for Lyft with Rakuten! Rakuten is offering $0.20 cash back for every ride you purchase through Lyft, as well as $10 cash back for your first ride.
Once you download the app, use my code p31beauty in the Free Rides screen for a free surprise. 🙂
10) Use Public Transportation
Besides walking or biking, the cheapest option for getting around is taking public transportation! Most schools have either free or discounted public transportation deals, so make sure to take advantage on them. I take the bus everyday to and from campus because college parking passes are super expensive. I do have a night and weekend parking pass, which is way more affordable. If I need to be back on campus at night, I usually bus home and pick up my car. I highly recommend getting a night and weekend parking pass if you live near campus and want to save money!
You could also carpool with a buddy and split the parking fees if that works for you!
GET YOUR FREE BACK TO SCHOOL SUPPLIES CHECKLIST FOR 2020
Trust me. This free back to school supplies list will make shopping so much easier for you! Click the button below to receive it directly in your inbox.
12) Sell/Rent/Buy Textbooks through Amazon
Textbooks sold on campus are incredibly expensive. We’re already spending so much on tuition! To get the cheapest prices for textbooks, I highly suggest renting them out because what are the chances that you’ll use it again once your class ends? You could also sell your old textbooks to make a few extra dollars! A great place for selling, renting, and buying textbooks is Amazon. For example, a new 11th edition Campbell biology textbook is originally $234.99 from the publisher’s website. Through Amazon, you can rent out the textbook for $19.99 and buy the eTextbook for $59.99. In addition, those who have Prime Student can get free two-day shipping on all textbooks. This is another incentive to get Prime Student! 🙂
13) Sell/Rent/Buy Textbooks through Chegg
Chegg also sells, buys, and rents out textbooks. Looking at the same Campbell textbook mentioned above, Chegg is offering it for $24.99 to rent! If you end up renting the textbook, you’ll get free shipping if your order is over $35 and free returns for all orders.
14) Adobe Creative Cloud
Do you want access to the best photo and video editing softwares such as Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, and Premiere Pro? Look into getting Adobe Creative Cloud, which is only $19.99/month for students for all of the Adobe apps. It may be free from your school as well! Regular price is $52.99, so you’re getting over 50% off. Personally, I use Lightroom all the time to edit my photos, and I use Photoshop to create graphics for my blog. I’m sure that Adobe Creative Cloud is not the only expensive product that gives major discounts to students! Always look to see if a company offers student deals.
Groupon is a must-have if you want discounts for local attractions, businesses, restaurants, and products! Local businesses are able to advertise deals through Groupon. If you end up purchasing them through Groupon, all you have to do is show your confirmation email at the location. I’ve used Groupon for restaurants around my campus, as well as eyebrow threading. Girls, you know how eyebrow threading can be expensive! Through Groupon, I purchased a deal where I got 3 threading sessions for only $22!! It’s free to sign up for Groupon, so be sure to check out the deals around your area.
16) Spotify, Hulu, Showtime Deal
Spotify has a really awesome deal where students can get Spotify Premium (no ads!), Hulu, and Showtime all for only $4.99/month. This is honestly so worth it for me because I listen to music all the time while I’m walking to class and studying. In addition, my favorite shows are on Hulu such as This is Us and Killing Eve! This is definitely a steal.
17) Buy Used Items Locally
Many colleges have Facebook pages set up for students to sell their used but good quality items. For example, UC San Diego has a page titled “UCSD Free and For Sale 3.0” where UCSD students and alumni sell everything from furniture, kitchen appliances, to clothes. Personally, I’ve used this Facebook page to buy my bed frame, which was only $50! Normally beds frames are over $100, so I was really happy that I could save over $50. If you don’t have a car for pickup, some sellers are willing to drop off items or meet up for free or a small fee. You can also search for used items in your surrounding area on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist!
18) Shop in the Sale Sections Online and In-Store
Whether you’re a student or not, there’s no shame in heading straight to the sale section when entering a store. Believe me, I do it all the time haha! Imagine how much you’ll save when you purchase things from the sale section and apply your Unidays and Honey coupons and Rakuten cash back. That’s a lot of money!
19) Sign up for Rewards Cards at Your Go-To Grocery Store
If you get groceries every week, you might as well sign up for your go-to store’s rewards program to save extra money! Most stores offer free rewards programs and will give you a rewards card for signing up. This is absolutely not a credit card! With a swipe of the rewards card, you’ll get the lowest prices that they offer.
20) Split Groceries and/or Supplies with your Housemates
The title pretty much sums it up! If you know you won’t be able to finish a grocery item before the expiration date, then you should see if your housemates would be willing to share with you. Together you can save money and prevent wasting food!
Thank you so much for reading! Let us know in the comments if you used any of these tips. If you have any other suggestions, let us know down below as well!