How to Survive on a Student Budget

Save money on buying food

Your food bill is going to be one of your biggest living expenses so it’s worth learning a few hacks on how to get free food.

Supermarkets and restaurants are conscious about food wastage which you can use to your advantage by signing up to apps like Olio, which lets you know when local businesses have surplus food to give away for free.


Get clothes and furniture for free

Save money on buying clothes and furniture by using websites such as Freecycle and the freebie section of Gumtree. And if you are moving into student accommodation, find out if current residents are giving away clothing and furniture, which they often are.  

You should also keep an eye on the social media pages set-up by your university, society or accommodation provider as current students use them to either sell or give away stuff they don’t need.


Sign-up for free trials

You could keep yourself entertained for most of the academic year by signing up to free trials with Netflix, Youtube, Hulu, Apple TV and Amazon Video – that go beyond the 30 day trial period and offer students a free trial for six month.

If you’re not great at remembering to cancel trial subscriptions there are plenty of companies that you can sign-up to Snagfilms, Crackle and Popcornflix to watch free films.


Sign-up to sampling companies

You can get free food and personal hygiene samples by signing up to websites such as and because companies that launches a new shampoo or a new flavour of crisps need to create a buzz around the product so they produce millions of samples and you can sign-up to get these samples.


Get free software

One of the things you will need when you start university is a laptop and along with that software which can be expensive. One way to avoid paying for software is to take advantage of your student status, and sign-up for a free version of Microsoft Office 365, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Microsoft Teams, plus additional classroom tools.


You will need to use your university email address to register to download the software for free.