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Ways to save money 1,2,3

Order your cab through an app

Since mobile taxi app Uber blew up a few years ago, a few more players have entered the game, like Bolt and FREE NOW. Compared to traditional black cabs, you can often save around 50% on taxi rides in most UK cities and abroad. Better still, these companies often have discount codes for new customers – click the names above to see if they're offering anything right now.


Trim the cost of haircuts If you really can't live without a big-name salon, find one that has a local training school or ask if your usual mop shop needs hair models. You may not get to choose exactly what you want, but you can shave pounds off the typical £30+ cut (or get one for free).

There are lots more tricks and tips, so check out our ways to save on haircuts.


Don't pay to withdraw your cash It's tempting to just suck up the cost of using ATMs that charge, but that can mean you're paying as much as £2.50 a pop just to get at your own cash. That's a 25% charge if you're taking out a tenner! Unless it's a real emergency, walking to the nearest free machine instead (Google Maps is your friend here), paying by card or borrowing from a mate will leave you better off.


Get a (nearly) free coffee every day Back in the day, anyone who had a Waitrose card could walk into the store and pick up a free coffee. Unfortunately, they realised that a lot of people weren't ever actually buying anything from the shop, so they pooped the party and changed the scheme. However, Waitrose's new policy still allows you to pick up a total bargain. The only rule is that you must buy something* if you want the free drink, but there is no minimum spend. In other words, find the cheapest thing you can (preferably something you need anyway – a piece of fruit is a perfect example) and use that. There are stories online of people finding the smallest mushroom they can so the weight costs just 1p, but that's arguably a little extreme. * The 5p plastic bags don't count, sorry.


Or get a discounted drink from a coffee shop Being told to buy a drink from a coffee shop is probably the last thing you expected to read when we said we'd teach you how to save money. But this is specifically aimed at those of you who are absolutely dead set on getting your fix – in which case, you may as well save a few pennies in the process. Starbucks, Costa, Pret and Nero all have their own spins on this one, but essentially they all reward you for using your own reusable cup when you buy a drink from them. To say "thanks for saving the planet" they could give you some bonus loyalty points, or even a discount off the drink. Or, ya know, just brew your own gourmet coffee with an Aeropress.


Grow your own food If you've got the patience to grow your own veg, you'll find money really can grow on... plants. You don't need lots of space or equipment to grow herbs and small veg – a bag of compost and some seeds will do. You don't even need to shell out for pots, as lots of plants can thrive in old wellies, buckets, hanging baskets and window boxes.


Become a vegetarian for 2 days each week Just like cheese, meat is one of those things that you don't realise is so expensive until you go to uni. Going vegetarian for a couple of days a week will save you having to splash out, and also give you a chance to eat more veg! If you absolutely can't cope without something meaty in your meals, there are plenty of delicious meat substitutes out there. We're big fans of products like Quorn – they're usually much cheaper than normal meat, with nearly as much protein and almost none of the fat.


Go foraging to eat on the cheap Credit: Mirage_studio – Shutterstock If the closest you've come to foraging is trying to remember where you put the Jammie Dodgers, there's a whole world of free food out there. We're talking wild garlic, fish, cockles, berries and mushrooms for starters (get a wild food book or course under your belt to stay safe). If it all sounds a bit ‘survivalist' for you, try the urban alternatives: supermarket launch events, Olio and closing time in your local chippy can come up trumps for free food.


Don't drive with a tank that's empty or full It sounds odd to say that you shouldn't fill your tank to the top, but there is some science behind it. A full tank of petrol will add weight to your car, which means your engine will have to work harder (and guzzle more gas) to keep you moving. So you should try to empty your tank, right? Wrong – your engine could get seriously damaged if you regularly drive with a small amount of petrol in the tank. Try to keep the fuel gauge at 50% – 75% to ensure a happy medium.


Open your windows at low speed, use the AC at high speed We've all been told off for opening the windows while the air-conditioning is on. But the truth is, sometimes it makes more sense to open your windows and turn the AC off. AC can use up to 5% of your fuel, so turning it off could preserve some petrol. That is until you start travelling at high speeds, at which point having the windows open will increase drag and make the engine work harder to keep the wheels turning. So, in short: windows at low speed, AC at high.


Keep your tyres inflated Aside from being much safer, making sure that your tyres are inflated to the recommended level could save you a bit of cash too – about 3% of your petrol costs, in fact. It takes more force to turn a wheel with an under-inflated tyre (ever tried riding a bike with a flat?), so try to keep those babies airy. And read our guide to cutting the cost of driving for a whole load more tips!


Use price matching Price matching is only really worth it if the retailer offering it can also give you something extra. Maybe it's cheaper delivery, loyalty points, or even an extended warranty that you won't get elsewhere. It's also worth remembering that a fair number of price matching retailers let you use the service even after buying the product. In other words, if you buy something from them and then see it available for less somewhere else (or in some cases, even on their own site), you can ask them to pay you the difference. That said, there are often a few caveats with price matching. Not all retailers in the UK offer it, and among those who do, the rules differ. Some are very strict about the shops whose prices they'll match, while others will only give you a short window of time after your purchase to find a lower price. Always check the Ts&Cs!


Squeeze the most from your toiletries Credit: TanyaKim – Shutterstock Just because you can't squeeze out any more toothpaste, it doesn't mean there's not another week's worth of pearly white gunk in there. Cut the end off the tube to get at the rest of the toothpaste, shampoo, moisturiser or whatever you're using, and you won't have to replace them as often.


Use less electricity There's no sense torching your electricity bills when simple fixes can save you cash. Use energy-saving bulbs and turn off lights when you leave the room, put on extra clothes before turning on the heating, and don't leave your gadgets plugged in when you're not using them – turn the socket off. Or try these cheeky fixes.


Watch football on TV for free Being a devoted football fan in the UK can be expensive, even if you're not paying to attend matches in person. If you want to (legally) watch most competitions, you'll usually need to subscribe to at least one sports package with your TV provider, if not more. However, as we explain in our guide to watching football on TV for free, there are some hacks you can use to legally watch Sky Sports, BT Sport and Amazon Prime Video for less – and, in some cases, for nothing at all.


Make your own cheap alternatives to cleaning products If you're old enough to remember How Clean Is Your House?, you'll know that Kim (more recently of Celebrity Big Brother fame) and Aggie were always showing you how to make your own cleaning products with things you've got lying around the house. It turns out they weren't spinning us a yarn of lies, and by making your own cleaning products you could get the chores done using vinegar, lemons and even Coca-Cola.

How to save money as a student

Know your discounts Get yourself a discount card to hoover up any student savings going. You'll need to pay for the TOTUM membership (the three-year card is the best value), but you could recoup your costs in as little as one spend with 50% off Spotify, 10% off ASOS or discounts on Amazon. Like to eat out? It's also worth adding a tastecard to your arsenal to knock 50% off at thousands of restaurants in the UK. If you don't want to pay for your discounts, you can still use your student ID instead at a range of places, from clubs to cinemas – check out our full student discount directory. Oh, and don't worry if you've already finished uni – you might be able to get a TOTUM card when you've graduated.


Earn money from your Student Loan Whenever (if ever) you have a lump-sum of cash that you don't need straight away, stick it in a high-interest cash ISA. If you've got other funds to live on (income from a job or a student start-up), you'll earn more tax-free interest by leaving your savings alone to accumulate.

Save on postage costs with Amazon Prime Amazon's Student Prime trial gives you six months of free one-day delivery with no minimum spend, and thereafter 50% off the usual yearly membership fee. Oh, and you also get access to the full Prime Instant Video catalogue along with other exclusive Prime offers. Of course, after the free trial ends, a Student Prime membership will only save you money if you actually order from Amazon regularly enough to benefit from free delivery, or if you're always paying to watch films and TV. Otherwise, you might be better off cancelling after the trial expires.

  1. Get your tax back Most students won't earn more than the personal allowance each year, so shouldn't be taxed on any of it. If your employer has you on an emergency or incorrect tax code, or if your bank knocks tax off your savings' interest, you're entitled to reclaim it. If you run a student business, you can also claim for allowable expenses – meaning there's less tax to pay on profits.

  2. Consider alternative student accommodation Don't assume uni accommodation is always your cheapest option. If you're prepared to get creative, you could save a ton – like the student who lived on a yacht for a quid a day, or the guy who camped out to cut costs. If that's a bit too bushcraft for you, you could save around £418 a month by living at home. Or use Rightmove to filter areas and private accommodation that fits your budget. But whatever you do, make sure you use our ways to save on rent.

  3. Get student funding There's heaps of cash tucked away in bursaries, scholarships and grants – the trick is to hit as many angles as you can (location, dependants, gender, subjects studied). Your uni will have some schemes, but there are private scholarships, sponsorships, grants and emergency funds floating out there too. See if there's anything you're eligible for. Disabled Students' Allowance is worth checking if you have a disability or learning disadvantage (e.g. dyslexia), with cash available for computers and specialist kit. But don't switch off if you don't meet any of the more common criteria for extra funding. As our guide to weird bursaries, scholarships and grants can testify, there's cash out there for pretty much everything – it's just a case of finding out what!

  4. Read for free If you can't get hold of books through the library or second-hand websites, have a look at Google Scholar and Google Books. You can often find whole articles and chapters without dipping into your loan to buy the whole book, potentially saving you a couple of hundred quid a year. Get pally with your librarian, too – if anyone (except us, obviously) knows how to save money by accessing free and underused resources, they do.

  5. Free extra tuition This isn't a replacement for the degree you're already paying for, but with access to course content, book discussions, leading academics and further reading, free courses from the world's top universities are worth a nosy. The edX website lists hundreds of courses from the likes of Harvard, Princeton and MIT, and there are also tons to choose from at The Open University. Or, if you're looking for something a little more practical, have a look at this list of free online courses with qualifications – from HTML to social media strategy, you can learn it all.

  6. Go abroad for postgraduate study Norway, Germany and Iceland are just a few of the countries offering free or low-cost study, even for international students (and yes, even post-Brexit), which could save you thousands each year. On the downside, living costs can be pricey, and you may need to know the local language to get a place (or a job). Start saving, look for funding and learn the lingo ahead of time.

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