The Student Money Manual has a wealth of information about income and what costs you can expect as a student. Sites like Moneysavingexpert also have many great tips and deals but here are some of the most useful ones for students!
Cooking for yourself or with your housemates is cheaper and healthier than eating out and getting takeaways; if you're sharing meals with your housemates it will lower the cost even more. Plan your menu for the week, make a shopping list and stick to it! This will make sure you only buy what you need and less food will go to waste. You can also shop around for for the best prices using sites and apps like Latest Deals.
Supermarket own brands, particularly their value brands, are cheaper and often even preferred by consumers in blind taste tests. Try sampling a value version for one shop and see if you like it - even if you prefer the brand, you may still find the difference in price makes up for it.
Take a packed lunch to your classes or work and bring your drinks in a flask or reusable bottle - it will be cheaper than buying sandwiches and coffees on campus every day.
Asda and Sainsbury's do Meal Ticket Cards where a parent or guardian can put money on the card and the student can spend the money on food and hardware.
Student discount sites and apps like NUS's Totum, Student Beans, My Uni Days, Save the Student, My Student Discount and Student Money Saver give student deals. You can register as a student using your Keele email address and some of their apps can be used as student ID.
Many restaurants, entertainment venues and shops also offer student discount if you show your student ID so look out for this on their websites or in the buildings.
Freecycle is a useful resource for local people to list items they are giving away. There is also the Facebook marketplace.
Books for your course are usually very expensive when brand new but they can often be bought second hand from previous students, so check out local charity shops and look online for discounted textbooks before you spend your money.
Medicine and Health Bills
Don’t pay extra for brands or for medication that claims to target one type of pain - more basic medicine can be cheaper than brands even though the ingredients are identical.
Take care when buying medication for a specific type of pain. If you look at what's in the medication you will find many of them have the exact same content yet claim to be for pain different areas - often the same brand will just use different packaging and charge more for the same pills.
If you're on low income, The NHS Low Income Scheme can help you cover health-related costs on the NHS such as travel, prescriptions, dental and optician’s bills. To apply, download the HC1 form, complete it and return it to the NHS.
You can also buy a pre-payment certificate (PPC) to save you money if you need regular prescriptions of at least two items. You can read about pre-payment certificates on the NHS website.
Local bus services offer a bus ticket called the 'Keele Key' for students and staff, to lower the cost of travelling locally. You can read about the scheme on the University website.
A 16-25 railcard gives a third off train tickets in the UK and comes with some bonus offers. It’s also available to full-time students over the age of 26. It does cost some money but you can save some by buying a three-year card and by buying online. Some banks also offer free railcards if you open a student account with them.
National Express's Young Persons Coach Card gives a third off standard and fully flexible coach tickets for those aged 16 - 26 or in full-time education.