Savvy shopping 101: How to get the most out of your time at uni


The scenario is familiar to any avid shop-goer: you’ve selected your items, tried them on, grimaced at the price tag, grimaced once more at the total when the clothes are rung up and then the cashier asks “do you have a *insert store* loyalty card?”

Next is the inevitable fumble for the applicable piece of plastic in a purse crammed full of loyalty to conflicting brands, receipts and the gum you were looking for after lunch.

Here are the discounts and savings cards that should survive a purse purge.

The UNiDAYS account

A goldmine of discounts

Another asylum of discount promises is the inbox. Emails from UNiDAYS should never be consigned to the junk folder.

The site is free to join and specifically for students; once signed-up you can access discounts which in the past have included 20% off ASOS and 30% off Warehouse clothes-prepare for hours spent browsing.

Also without the presence of a physical card, it certainly has space saving appeal.

The NUS Extra Card

This card was the staple of every teen’s wallet, the free McFlurrys they offer were the subject of much excitement.

The benefits of the NUS extra card have a lot of crossover with a UNiDAYS account and can be used in Jack Wills, Superdrug as well as an impressive selection of eateries.

The card is £12 per year, so an investment, but is a widely accredited form of student ID for when you’re outside of Oxford.

The Boots Advantage Card

The Boots card: an essential of every purse

You scan the card at the checkout, for every £1 you spend in store you receive four points. These points speedily accumulate leaving you with a hefty sum that can be spent on Boots goodies, where 500 points equals £5 to spend.

Plus you can use the funky machines in store to print off weekly vouchers, which is thrilling, though perhaps counter productive in your purse-lightening efforts. Aside from the strenuous shopping maths, the ‘treat yourself’ factor makes the card a must.

The Costa Coffee Club Card

This and more with your Costa Club Card

The Costa Christmas range makes the perfect Instagram accessory and this card lets you enjoy the singular satisfaction of a ‘free’ coffee after an essay crisis.

Just like the Boots card you rack up points for every £1 you spend in store, which can be used to buy a caffeinated indulgence.

The App for the card is also a good tool to pass the time, check your points to prevent awkward eye contact when waiting for your coffee.

The stamped card

Coffee addict

Itsu, G&Ds and other local cafes offer a stamp based loyalty scheme that offers a free rice pot or coffee once you have bought a certain number.

These are the worst culprits of the over flowing purse saga, yet when you have a regular haunt the little smiley face stamp can save a chunk of change.

Word for the wise…

There is a distinct difference between student discount or loyalty schemes and the store cards offered by some retailers.

The latter work as a credit card and whilst they do include discounts, they can also charge hefty interest rates.

Happy shopping!