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Scoring Big Student Savings

A college student’s life can be a constant juggling act, trying to balance classes, a social life, and a job. With the pressures and commitments to schoolwork, it’s difficult to work more than a part-time job, and even though loans and grants can help, money is usually pretty tight. There are a few things you can do while you’re in college to make sure you get the best deals and biggest savings on things you need and even some ways to get necessities for free.

Play the ‘Student’ Card…Literally

One way to always be prepared for surprise money-saving deals is to carry your student ID card with you at all times, no matter where you go. That way you have it, and you can pull it out when an opportunity to earn a student discount arises. Not sure where the deals are? Just ask! Before you check out at the register or place your order with the server, politely inquire whether they offer student discounts. If they do, they’ll be happy to let you know – that’s why they have the discounts in the first place.

Some stores offer pretty significant discounts on all sorts of different items, and often all you have to supply is your student ID or your .edu student email address. The Apple store and other electronic stores, clothing stores like J. Crew and Top Shop, and many restaurants, pubs, fast-food places, and even some specialty grocery stores offer discounts that range from 10 to 40% for current students.

Be Flexible

Sure, it’s nice to have the best of the best when it comes to your favorite products and foods. But generic brands of things like cereal, oatmeal, potato chips, and other snacks are often just as tasty and a fraction of the price. Consider how much money you could save and cutting costs this way suddenly isn’t such a turn-off. Other places you could go with generic or smaller brands: shampoo, hand soap, cleaning supplies, paper products, and office supplies.

Speaking of which, next time you head out to stock up on blue pens and Windex, hit the dollar store or a Five Below. You’ll probably be amazed at how many college student necessities you can find there on the (very) cheap. Office supplies, storage solutions, DVDs, workout gear, cleaning products, body wash, hair products, blankets, pillows, books, phone and computer accessories, and more, all for significantly less than you can find them in the drugstore, supermarket, or department store. You can find brand names too, so don’t assume you have to give up quality products!

Every penny you can save counts when you’re a college student struggling to stay afloat and keep your bank account out of the negative. Try these solutions and watch your savings grow.

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