It’s that time in the academic year when you get that eagerly anticipated text from Student Finance: ‘Your money will arrive in your bank account within three working days’. Those are the three most soul-destroying days of your life. You sit in your chilly hovel of a flat eating cold pot noodles, waiting for the day when you can afford to power the microwave.
When pay day finally arrives, you are excited by your temporary fortune, until the reality of adulthood and bills hits and you realise that you have 50 quid to last you until the end of the month. With that in mind, here are seven apps to help you stretch (what’s left of) your student loan:
Do you feel like updating your wardrobe but are worried about loosening the purse strings? Student Beans have got it covered. You can get great discounts on high street stores including 10% student discount on Topshop, 10% off Jack Wills, 15% off at Phase Eight and many other clothing brands. Log in to the app using the Kingston University portal, or get a verification email sent straight to your KU email, and you’re all good to go. There are plenty of other categories for you to choose from, such as food and drink, health and beauty, technology and mobile and entertainment.
Too Good to Go (TGTG) is a fantastic money-saving tool when it comes to buying food. The TGTG app has partnered up with restaurants in Kingston such as Giuliano’s, YO! Sushi and Glutopia Bakery to raise awareness of food waste. App users can grab a TGTG magic box of food for a discounted price, saving the store’s surplus food from going to waste. Can’t be bothered to cook? Not a problem! Just order a delicious snack or meal from the TGTG app and swing by and collect it on your way home from uni. Giuliano’s offer a variety of homemade pasta dishes, such as spaghetti, ravioli and lasagna in a tasty magic box, costing only £2.95. Glutopia Bakery have got dessert covered with a selection of sweet treats such as red velvet and salted caramel cupcakes, gooey chocolate brownies and fruity muffins offered at just £3.50.
Print photos quickly, easily and for free with FreePrints. Order up to 45 free 6×4 photo prints per month, for just the price of delivery (approximately £3.99). Spruce up the blank walls of your university bedroom with a photo wall for just a few quid. The best thing about FreePrints is that you don’t need to subscribe, you can just take advantage of the free photos.
Make sure you are getting the most competitive prices on your food shopping: create your shopping list using the mySupermarket app. You can compare the prices of weekly essentials from a range of supermarkets. Use your phone to scan the product barcode in-store and the app will tell you if you can pick it up cheaper elsewhere. One pint of semi skimmed milk can be purchased for 58p at Asda, as opposed to 60p at Sainsbury’s. A 650g pack of chicken breast fillets at Asda costs £3.80 but only £3.25 at Aldi. A bottle of Gallo Pinot Grigio can be picked up for £5.98 at Asda, but Sainsbury’s offer it for £5.75. The app also highlights if you can benefit from 2-for-1 deals on any products.
Don’t miss out on restaurant deals, shopping vouchers and day-out discounts. Vouchercloud is ideal for browsing through featured deals to find the best offers. Use the ‘near me’ function to find bargains in the Kingston area. Download the app to receive 20% off the total bill at Fuller’s Kingston, 50% off main courses at Strada, and 40% off food at O’ Neill’s Pub & Grill. If you are looking to go slightly further afield for something to do, Vouchercloud can help you save money on days out too. You can get 25% off of holidays at Haven in 2018, 50% off attraction tickets at Madame Tussauds London and 2 for 1 tickets with Meerkat Movies at Vue cinemas.
Use the Citymapper app to find the quickest and cheapest ways to travel around London. Living in Kingston, we are close to central London but travelling regularly by train and tube can put a dent your bank account. Have you thought about travelling to central London by bus? Get from Kingston to Oxford Circus for £1.50. Hop on the 85 bus to Putney Bridge from Cromwell Road Bus Station. Change at Putney Bridge and catch the number 22 bus to Oxford Circus. If you are lucky, you can be there in just over an hour as opposed to half an hour on the train and save £6.30 per journey.
Log in to the app using your NUS card details. Browse through a load of university essential deals, international discounts and travel reductions (if you feel like treating yourself to a cheap getaway in a UK city to catch up with mates). Get 10% off online with Megabus.com and travel from London to other major cities like Birmingham and Manchester for as little as £9.