Trips and Tricks

Money Saving Ideas

  • Plan a weekly menu and write a shopping list according to the menu.
  • Stick to your shopping list when in the shops.
  • Packed lunches are much cheaper than bought sandwiches or eating out.
  • Always check out the reduced items and things on offer at the supermarket – for example, supermarkets often reduce fresh produce at the end of the day.
  • Check sell by dates to ensure that you purchase goods with the longest shelf life to avoid throwing food away.
  • Buy in bulk but only when you’re sure you will use the product.
  • If you can cook together, then share the cost of meals between you.
  • Own brand products are cheaper but just as nutritious.
  • Use coupons and vouchers, collect points and offers carefully.

Other Money Saving Tips

  • Prioritise - ask yourself whether you really need an item or whether you just want it.
  • Buy in the sales – Christmas cards are cheaper in January.
  • Try your hand at making Christmas/birthday presents.
  • Keep a record of your expenditure and always check against your bank statement.
  • Keep receipts and guarantees in case goods become faulty.
  • Always budget for irregular expenditure – Christmas/birthdays.
  • If sharing a house, see if you can share certain items such as an iron or hairdryer or when cooking or doing a wash load.


  • Ensure you know what money is coming in and going out.
  • Keep a record of what and where you spend.
  • Allocate your income to the priority spending first and then the non-priorities.
  • Take advantage of your bank’s free banking facilities.
  • Keep a copy of all correspondence from banks, and/or credit card companies.
  • Acknowledge that if things go wrong financially, it can affect you emotionally and seriously distract you from your studies.
  • Seek advice speedily. The longer you leave a problem the harder it will be to sort it out.


  • Overspend at the beginning of your first term. Remember your money has to see you through the year.
  • Buy non-essential when struggling to pay for essentials.
  • Ignore signs that spending is getting out of control.
  • Guess at what you are spending.
  • Be afraid to talk to someone and seek advice if you are having problems financially. Talk to your family, the Advice Unit, or bank staff.
  • Make rash promises to pay when you know that you can’t.
  • Exceed your overdraft limit without previous authorisation.
  • And finally don’t forget that unexpected things can happen that you may not have budgeted for, so try and keep aside a contingency fund.

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