A guide to being a Sussex fresher on a student budget

Get more bang for your buck

At first glance, Brighton may not seem like the most economically friendly city for a student. Some things, like sky high rents, are unavoidable, but we've compiled a handy guide to stretch your loan out as much as you can.

Use the Brighton and Hove bus app

Not only does using the app cost less than buying tickets from the driver, you have the option of buying week or term long bus passes.

If you are travelling on the buses regularly, seven day and 90 day network saver passes costs the equivalent of £1.96 and £1.36 per day respectively whereas a one day pass costs £3.30.

Do not rely on the campus co-op

I'll say it again for the people at the back: DO NOT rely on the campus co-op.

It's undeniably useful for when you've run out of the essentials (bread, milk, beer), or when you need to grab lunch on campus, but doing your shopping there week in week out will cost you a small fortune because prices are higher than in your standard co-op.

Tesco and Asda both deliver to campus and offer a wider range of products at far more reasonable prices. If online shopping isn't your style, the 25 and 23 buses both run from campus and town to the big Sainsbury's on Lewes Road.

Discounted co-op food

If you pop into the co-op from around 6-7 in the evening, you may be able to pick up dinner from the reduced section, which is much cheaper than getting a takeaway.

Collaborate with your housemates on food shopping

Your flat of six does not need six loaves of bread, six bottles of milk and six tubs of Lurpack. Take it in turn to buy the essentials to share as a flat. That way, you won’t be throwing out your milk because it’s gone sour quicker than you can drink it.

Get an NUS card

For 99% of retailers that do student discount, your Sussex ID will do the trick. Unfortunately, the campus co-op falls in the 1% that needs NUS.

If you see yourself doing significant amounts of shopping at the co-op, an NUS card costs £12 and will get you 10% off every time you buy.

Get to know where the best drink deals are for each night

Between all the bars and clubs in Brighton, every night is student night.

Monday and Thursday quids night at Pav Tav, Tuesday drinks deals at the Font and 5 j-bombs for £5 at Boutique are some favourites among students.

Check out our rundown of the best deals at the best watering holes.

Participate in psychology experiments to make easy cash

The psychology department are always on the look out for research participants. Taking part in a study can earn you about £15 a go.

For more information click here.

Don't buy club wristbands until you know what you like

During fresher's week, promoters will try and sell you every wristband for every events company in Brighton.

It's worth waiting until you've sampled the nights before spending £20 on a wristband that you end up using once because you realised you hate the club night.

Wristbands also only tend to work for free entry until 11pm, so take that in to account whilst buying as well.

Take advantage of freebies

The university free shop will be running in Falmer House during on arrival weekend where new students are able to help themselves to donated by students living in halls last year. Items include kitchenware, books, stationery, creative materials, homewares, bedding.

Not only does the free shop help students save their money, but it reduces the amount of waste the university sends to landfill.

Cheap eats

Much like drinking haunts, as you get to know Brighton, you'll get to know the cheap spots for both drunk and sober food.

Yummies and Pizza Plus both deliver extremely reasonably priced pizza to campus and beyond with extra deals on Tuesdays.

Buddies on the seafront and Grubbs on Lewes Road will always be there to cater to your late night burger needs.

If you fancy something a bit more generic, download the Burger King app for some killer deals for the walk back from Pryzm.

Gym membership

The on campus gyms offer cheaper rates for the year during the first few weeks of the year. The gold gym membership costs £170 (£150 before October 15th) and allows unlimited access of both gyms on campus (one near the station, and by the sports pitches) and of classes.

Take advantage of free trials

If your course requires specialist software (e.g Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator), you can often find free trials online, which is especially useful if you’re only going to need it for one term.

All computers on campus also carry this software so you don’t need to splash out for it at all, but if you want to, make sure you look at student deals.

Course books

Not all “mandatory” books are mandatory. Try and talk to students who have already done the year to see if you can buy second hand book or if you even need the books at all.

The library also has an immense range of books which you can borrow.

If you’re going into second or third year and want to sell your books from last year, join some Sussex Freshers’ Facebook pages and advertise them on there.

Ride a bike

If you don't mind the hills, Brighton is a very bike-friendly town. Dusting off your old bike and bringing it to uni will cost nothing, you fit and help the environment.

Check the dates on food

When you go shopping, look for products at the back of the shelf with the longer dates. Nothing is more wasteful than throwing those sad wrinkled looking pack of peppers in the bin because the best before date was one day after you bought them.

If you spot something in your fridge that’s about to go out of date, check whether you can freeze it to keep it longer.

Put your name on club guest lists

It’s literally as simple as putting your name on a Facebook wall and turning up before midnight and the easiest way of saving a few quid.

If you’re planning on going to a specific event, buy your tickets early on the first tier price rather than waiting until the day of the event and paying an extra £10. Even if you don’t end up going, you can usually sell the tickets on with relative ease.

Avoid going out on the weekend

The concept of staying in at the weekend and getting your clubbing fix during the week may seem foreign but it’s a real penny saver. Brighton clubs can sometimes charge up to £20 entry on a Saturday night and have no drinks deals which can lead to a very expensive night.

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University of Sussex