Top 10 money-saving tips from students, and the best of the rest

Ella Olsson (Pexels)

At our recent Money Week event, we asked students for their top money-saving tips in exchange for one of our useful (and attractive) branded lunch-bags – here are the most popular tips* grouped by topic, and a few of our favourites too:

Our top money-saving tip!

Unsurprisingly, our most popular tip was food-related – and linked to our lunch-bag giveaway: ‘Make and bring your own lunch in.’

This is so simple – by doing this, you can save nearly £550 per year (based on a per-day average of £4.40 for a typical sandwich meal-deal, compared with £1.27 for estimated packed lunch costs for 5 days per week over 35 weeks).


Here are the rest of the most popular food tips:

‘Plan your meals – budget, write a list and stick to it.’

‘Don’t go shopping on an empty stomach.’

‘Batch-cook big meals and portion these out. Meals like lasagne, pasta, curry, chilli, and more can be frozen and save you money later.’

‘Learn to cook – it’s cheaper and healthier. Swap takeaways for homemade.’

‘Share meals with housemates/ friends.’

‘Compare prices in different shops – shop at Aldi and Lidl, and go to the supermarket in the evening for reduced food.’

‘Bring in reusable travel cups, bottles, tea bags, coffee sachets, etc, and ask for free hot and/ or cold water.’

‘Buy non-perishable goods like pasta, rice, crisps, etc, in bulk.’

‘Get creative with leftovers or unwanted food – freeze your own leftovers or use for sandwiches/ packed lunches the next day, download apps like Too good to go and OLIO for goodies.’


‘Make a list and prioritise – buy essentials and avoid spending money on unnecessary things. Ask yourself whether you really need it before buying.’

‘Look for bargains and make comparisons – visit Poundland, Primark, and charity shops to shop more economically.’

‘Swap for cheaper brands where you can.’

‘Always check for discounts e.g. student or voucher codes, reductions and offers.’

‘Have one no-spend day per week.’

‘Don’t spend to compete with other students e.g. expensive clothing and brands.’


‘Walk where possible – stay healthy, save money.’

‘Use the bus/ park-and-ride to get to university.’ 

‘Avoid using taxis – use buses or your feet instead!’

‘Share transport e.g. using the same taxi or car as friends to save money and time, reduce traffic and air-pollution.’

‘Cycle instead of driving.’

‘Book travel in advance to save money.’

‘Use a railcard when travelling – it saves £10-15 per week.’

Banking/ saving

‘Create a monthly/ weekly budget and stick with it – you can do this with a spreadsheet, or a bank app.’

‘Always make a budget (Monzo app is really good for this) and identify where you overspend to cut back.’

‘Have two bank accounts – one for bills/ everyday spending, and a savings account that you don’t have easy access to.’

‘Get a Save the Change account – save when you spend.’

‘Try to save a little where you can – it may be hard, but can make a real difference. Remember that every penny counts.’

‘Cut down on habit spending, and reduce buying clothes.’

‘Empty your spare change into a piggy bank/ jar – take it to the bank when it’s full.’

‘Don’t use contactless payments.’

‘Use cash instead of your card – take out your spending money at the beginning of the week so you can keep to your budget.’

Thank you to all of our students who took the time to share their top money-saving tips with us – we’re pleased to hear that these have been successful for you.

Many of these tips are quite simple, and others require some further planning – you might find this daunting, but this is often easier than you think. Remember that even making small changes can make a difference to your finances; keep going and before you know it, you’ll have created a new money-saving habit or two!

We hope we’ve given you some inspiration; if you’d like further tips, see other posts including How to budget, Sustainable spending – how to go green and save money, Top 5 good money habits to start, Make small changes to save money, Apps to help you save money, or contact us for further guidance.

Do you have any tips which have worked for you? Let us know and we may feature them on our blog.

 (*some of these responses have been edited/ amalgamated for conciseness and readability)