Top Ten Thrifty Tips and Tricks

by Chloe Cheung

Money, money, money – must be funny… In a rich man’s world.

So sang Abba.  For many students, finances are a particular concern.  In this article I’ll be sharing some recommendations for making savings on daily expenditure.  Every penny counts!

  1. Make food, not war
    Not only will preparing your own food save you money, but also homemade food often tastes better too, because of all the love and care you put into it. Whilst this requires advanced planning, in the long run it really makes a difference when you’re on a budget.
  2. Try supermarket own brands and ‘value’ ranges
    Often there’s not much difference between these and branded goods, except the budget items often have much simpler packaging. By buying these no-frills goods, you can cut down the cost of your weekly shop considerably
  3. Swap, don’t shop
    Try swapping your clothes instead of buying more. Clothes swaps are a great way of revitalising your wardrobe; by swapping something you don’t wear much any more for something someone else has handed in, you effectively get a ‘new’ piece of clothing without having to spend more money! One person’s trash is really is another’s treasure.
  4. Shop second hand
    If you do want to shop, not swap, then charity shops can house hidden bargains. If you’re visiting a different city, it’s often worth popping into some of the local charity shops to have a look. Plus, there’s something so satisfying about trawling through the rails and spotting something amazing.
  5. Something old, something new
    Rather than buying new clothes and shoes, try your hand at customising your existing items. Covering shoes with glitter or maybe sewing some elbow patches onto your favourite jacket will impart a novel twist on what you already own.
  6. Be sales-savvy
    Although those lime green shorts that are two sizes too big are 90% off, do you really need them? Save your money for foundational wardrobe pieces you’ll wear time after time.
  7. Get crafty
    Whether it’s painting your bedroom yourself rather than paying for someone to do it, or making a present for your friend’s birthday rather than buying one from a shop, DIY is a simple and fun way to save money, as well as getting those creative juices flowing. Whatever your project, there are many step-by-step guides online, so even novice DIYers can get stuck in
  8. Layer up
    If you are charged for your energy consumption either in halls or in privately rented accommodation, wear more clothes rather than turning the thermostat up! This is also good for the environment – save the polar bears!  Alternatively, libraries are often heated sanctuaries for chilly students, so head down there for a toasty nap (or to get started on the reading for your next essay – your call).
  9. Bag a freebie
    Often, this involves being in the right place at the right time, but companies do give out free (and often full-sized!) products on a regular basis. Recently, Ernst and Young have offered free coffee and JustEat have given out free food to hungry students. Good places to pick up freebies in Oxford are in Radcliffe Square and on Cornmarket.
  10. Coupon, coupoff
    Before you spend money, check if you could save money by using a coupon or voucher. There are numerous apps and websites for this, the most popular being Groupon and Wowcher, which offer special deals on holidays, restaurants and days out (to name a few). For students, money saving discount schemes like NUS Extra and UNiDAYS are also very popular, and offer regular discounts on high street and online retailers.

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored by or affiliated with any of the websites or companies mentioned.

The Poor Print

Established in 2013, The Poor Print is the student-run newspaper of Oriel College, Oxford. Written by members of the JCR, MCR, SCR and staff, new issues are published fortnightly during term. Our current Executive Editors are Siddiq Islam and Jerric Chong.

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