Five money-saving tips for King’s students that you probably didn’t know
Tip number one: Don’t live in London
According to a recent survey by UCL, the cost of living crisis is hitting London’s students so hard that almost a third are being forced to live off of only £50 a month. Rents are already extortionate and continuing to rise, and it’s a miracle any of us are able to make it to classes after multiple increases in transport fares within the last two years.
There are an abundance of tips out there to help students in London make the most of their money (here’s your reminder to link your Oyster with your railcard for a 34 per cent discount off-peak!). But we’ve compiled some more unconventional ones you might not have heard—and if you’re a student at King’s, there’s even more available for you to take advantage of.
Diet Coke as a mixer
It’s no secret that students love to get drunk. Unfortunately for us, alcohol can be pricey—and if you’re a heavyweight that loves to go out, your bank account is probably suffering. Some of the most popular mixers are sodas like lemonade and coke, but if your goal is to get drunk, switching the regular version for diet might be a smart move.
Basically, the sugar in regular sodas is said to slow down absorption of alcohol. Just like how it’s easier to get drunk on an empty stomach (not advised), using diet sodas in your drinks works the same way, meaning your litre bottle of Smirnoff could last you three days instead of two. You could even argue it’s healthier, as you’re consuming less alcohol. Yet another win for the Diet Coke enthusiasts!
King’s Move app
Apps that promise you money for doing nothing are often a scam, but Kings’ own Moves+ app actually delivers. Available on both Apple and Android, all you need to do is sync the app to whatever technology you use to count your steps (e.g. Apple Health, Fitbit, Google Fit). From there, Moves+ will award you one point for every 100 steps taken, or 45 points for every mile you run. That works out to about 700 points a week if you walk 10,000 steps a day.
All of these points aren’t just there for you brag about your daily steps, though: Once you’ve reached 1,500 points you can cash them in for a King’s Food hot drink, while 2,000 points can get you a sweet treat. If all that walking wasn’t enough, you can even redeem your points as a day pass for any of the KCL campus gyms.
And speaking of apps: It’s also worth checking out legitimate cashback apps like Airtime Rewards, which gives you a percentage back from every purchase you make. Earning money for buying stuff—now this is the world I want to live in.
Fresh produce in Holborn
Guac fans you’re in luck, because what if I told you you could get three avocados for only £1? If you’ve ever walked down from Holborn station to Strand Campus, you will have passed a large stall packed with fruits and vegetables and offering some pretty good prices.
As well as the three for £1 avocados (make sure to feel around for the firmest ones, as many are overripe), you can also pick up peppers, bananas, and all kinds of berries for significantly cheaper than in the supermarkets. And just in case you felt like celebrating your money-saving venture, the stall is right next door to the Shakespeare’s Head Wetherspoon! Bargains all round.
KCLSU hygiene products
If there’s one thing KCLSU has ever done right, it’s providing free sanitary products for students that have periods.
In partnership with Hey Girls, KCLSU’s bathroom facilities across campuses offer a variety of pads and tampons available for anyone in need—and for every box of products purchased by King’s, Hey Girls donate a box to those suffering from period poverty. The stations are generally kept well-stocked, so zero guilt in taking a few home if you’re sick of opening your wallet for unavoidable necessities.
Free drinks from (non-creepy) people
This one’s up to you whether it’s a joke or not. Should you ever accept a drink from someone random when you haven’t seen where it’s been? No, absolutely never. Am I going to say no if someone offers to buy me a drink (and I can watch it be made)? Also no—it’s free!
Always remember to stay vigilant, and don’t entertain someone that makes you feel uncomfortable just for the sake of a double vodka orange. But if you do feel safe, and are sure your drink hasn’t been tampered with, go ahead and enjoy the fruits of your money-saving labour.
If you’re a KCL student struggling financially, get in touch with Kings’ Money and Housing Advice service.