How To: Save Money in College

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You may have read my Black Friday post, in which I explained why Black Friday is the most underrated holiday of the year. Moreover, I urged my readers to get into the Christmas spirit by decorating, being merry, and most importantly, shopping! The days following Thanksgiving are filled with plenty of opportunities to find great deals on gifts for your family, friends, and hey, maybe even yourself. For those who missed out on Black Friday, fear not! For an equally admirable holiday is upon us: Cyber Monday!

Cyber monday may actually be even better than Black Friday because it combines two of my favorite things: shopping and the Internet. Employees and students everywhere can forgo their usual workload in order to peruse online discounts and deals, shop around for the best items at the best prices, and score on free shipping. There is no such thing as waiting in line on Cyber Monday, and shoppers can rest easy knowing their packages will arrive well before Christmas. The best part? You can do it all from class!

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In honor of the holiday, I’ve compiled a list of ways college students can (and should) save money in college. After all, college is expensive. Companies know that, and they want to offer you discounts to their merchandise in order to make you a loyal customer. You just have to know where to look.

Textbooks

When it comes to textbooks, no one compare to Amazon‘s prices. Buy new, used, hardcover, paperback, or even different versions of the book. While you’re there, feel free to stock up on unicorn meat, cereal marshmallows, and nothing. Enter your university email address to sign up for Amazon Student Prime and receive free 2-day shipping on all your purchases.

Chegg is also a popular option for saving on textbooks, and for good reason. Can you say 90% off?

Personally, I love Textbook Brokers, although they aren’t located everywhere. Buy used books, get cash for your old ones (for your end of finals party fund), or rent books for the semester.

If you can, opt for a digital textbook, which saves the publishing company money on printing, and saves you money for beer.

Food and Essentials

Bat your eyes and ask your parents for a Costco membership this Christmas. You’ll save by stocking up on the items you use most, like toilet paper, red cups, coffee, and so on. And no one can beat Costco’s prices on alcohol. Plus, once you’re inside, all bets are off. Who doesn’t love a day of running around Costco, sampling each food item they offer? In addition, Costco members can save big on deals like movie tickets and travel packages. By the way, if you’re wondering how you can thank me for all of this advice, I’ve had my eye on one of these for quite some time…

Chipotle, Buffalo Wild Wings, McDonald’s, Qdoba, Subway, Chick-fil-A, Burger King, and plenty of other food restaurants offer free drinks or discounted meals with proof of student ID. Some grocery stores, such as Kroger, offer student discounts as well. Make sure to carry your student ID on you at all times, and don’t be afraid to ask employees if their business offers student discounts.

Clothing

Ann Taylor, J. Crew, Juicy Couture, LOFT, and Top Shop all offer discounts to college students with proof of student ID. These are especially helpful when you’re ready to start building your professional wardrobe. Some department stores, such as Nordstrom and Macy’s, even offer personal shoppers to assist students with buying professional clothes. Those personal shoppers not only know every item the store sells, but can help you dress for your body type, express your style with business attire, mix and match different clothing items, and can offer you a multitude of discounts!

For designer items you only need for one fabulous weekend (Say, a fraternity formal?), try Rent the Runway, which allows you to wear an item for four days at a discounted retail price. Poshmark is a great website for buying and selling gently used apparel. Tuckernuck is perfect for the college prepster who doesn’t have time to shop around for discounts. And Nordstrom Rack is only the greatest store of all time because it combines two amazing concepts: Nordstrom and saving money.

One great website I discovered not along ago is UNiDAYS, which serves as a hub for student discounts from tons of different clothing brands such as Urban Outfitters, TOMs, and ModCloth. Enter your university email address once, and you’re ready to start saving!

Some universities even offer coupons for professional clothing through the on-campus career center or business school. Keep your eye out for emails about discounts!

More

For a fantastic compilation of one hundred brands that offer student discounts on everything from school supplies and books, to clothing and general merchandise, to electronics and digital services, to food and dining, to travel, entertainment, transportation, insurance, gym memberships, and other services, check out this website!

Don’t forget that plenty of local restaurants, bars, and other businesses in college towns cater toward students by offering discounts with proof of student ID. Like I said, carry yours on you at all times, and don’t be afraid to ask about student discounts!

So take advantage of these incredible student discounts while you can, and happy shopping!

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Any of your favorite stores that I missed? Let me know on Twitter and I might retweet you!

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