Bargainous: Money Saving Tips
TOM KEANE on how to save money when the going gets tough.
While we are all sick to death of the words ‘credit crunch’ and ‘recessionista’, no one can deny that preventing the reddening of bank accounts while here at Cambridge is prudent student policy. So, although 2010 has failed to witness the onset of economic Armageddon and the accompanying disintegration of modern society and even morality itself, here are The Tab’s top tips for student solvency.
· Sign up to StudentBeans.com
For a round-up and links to all of Cambridge’s best money-saving offers, from 2-for-1 vouchers at Giraffe and Pizza Express, and free coffee at Pret A Manger, to 12 issues of the Economist for £12 and a free USB stick. There are even suggestions of how to make money that won’t trespass the university’s enforced unemployment.
· No need to HOBB(S)le along with Sports Direct.
While Hobbs Sports on Sidney Street may be the only place to go for those Blues and wannabe sports pros out there, the rest of us should get our slightly wobbly behinds to Sports Direct in Lion’s Yard for some tight-budget beating: with most of their stock at a miraculous and (dare I say, dubious), ‘Up to 70% off’, this sports warehouse is proof that student poverty need not be coupled with obesity.
· £1 Cadbury’s Easter eggs at Sainsbury’s = m-egg-a savings.
Instead of buying chocolate in its normal forms, forget the festive connotations and take full and hard-headed advantage of Easter bargains. A case in point is the Cadbury’s Creme Egg Easter egg; at 48 pence a pop when sold separately, the two included in this veritable Easter basket amount to a sizable Easter Egg thrown in for a mere 4p!
· Forget Sainsbury’s and start Co-Operating
Yes, Sainsbury’s is the most convenient for the majority of Cambridge students and no doubt you are well aware that it is not exactly the cheapest option. But, With 6 Co-ops scattered around Cambridge, one being just on the way to the station at 52 Hills Road, and another by Jesus Green at 64 Chesterton Road, there really is no excuse. Plus, the Co Op also sells some of the best pastries in town. No joke.
· Take advantage of free pens at Barclays
Forget just taking one like you’re supposed to. Go wild, take seven. Go into double figures if you dare. All it takes is a little guts, just move your hand oh-so-slowly towards the pile, take ‘em quick and then away you scurry. This way you’re literally forced to visit the bank too and so it becomes a lot more difficult to avoid the diaster area that is your bank account.
· Become a mystery shopper
Fancy a free meal? Apply now for your chance to get free stuff, all for the cost of a bitch about the staff afterwards. Play nice though yeah? Click below if you’re keen:
· Download music for free (and legally)
Don’t risk viruses and hefty police fines. Instead become even more obscure in your music taste, decide you adore artists without a record label and download their music for zero pennies. Free downloads available at http://www.last.fm/music/+free-music-downloads . ( NB Editor’s Note: Extra special mention goes to Laura Hocking. You can download her album from this website and she’s great. I think so anyway).
Ok hear this one out. It sounds disgusting but apparently if you have a rummage around the bins in Market Square when the market closes you can pick up what they haven’t sold that day. Now I’m not suggesting you pick up mouldy veg, but things like bread which come in bags and/or aren’t next to anything gross can make it worth the digging. However The Tab takes no responsibility for any diseases caught should you do this (but I'm sure it'll be fine).
· Become a club rep
Don’t just get into clubs for free, but actually get paid for selling advance tickets to your friends. Commission based system, free club entry and more excuses to go out. WIN.
· Choose Charity Shops for philanthropic fashion.
Ditch the high-street and take a trip into the nether regions of the city for a chance to bag quality perennial wear at 1/10th of its original price: and no, this doesn’t have to be a case of ‘beggars can’t be choosers’, as fortuitous finds can range from current season trends, to geek-chic woolly treasures. Ignore the ‘Varsity’ hype of Mill Road and take to the streets near the Grafton Centre which seems to have more charity shops than people.
· Get a Boyfriend and exploit the lingering benefits of patriarchy.
Find yourself a fella and get him to pay for everything. Yes, you have legal equality, the vote, equal education and employment opportunities, but why should this stop you ladies out there from applying pressure on even the most liberal of males for a free drink. It’s the done thing. Plus, the Cambridge Tripos is clearly rigged in favour of men. It must be true; it said so in ‘Varsity’.
· Terminate your social life (and experience added bonus of achieving a First).
Don’t just stop going to the pub, stop drinking: who need that hedonistic strain on their weekly budget? Bops, ents, Cindies? I think not. Such pastimes are noisy, smelly, crowded, and most importantly a drain on funds. Having fun at university is a) overrated, and, b) necessarily sidelined when faced with fiscal realities. Come to think of it, those blasted tuition and maintenance fees are also a bit much…