Biomedical Science BSc (Hons) student Amy Forsythe gives you tips on money saving and sustainable apps for students.
It’s completely natural to want to treat yourself when your student loan comes in. However, once that initial excitement for those new clothes you brought or that expensive night out you went on dies down, you can end up with very little to live on. I’ve definitely found myself in this position, especially at the start of first year; but I have some great tips for saving money while still treating yourself that I’ve learnt along the way so that you don’t get yourself stuck financially:
I am certainly someone that likes to update their wardrobe regularly and overtime I have found inexpensive alternatives to the generic clothes haul from large retailers. I used to be someone that frowned on shopping in charity shops as I naively believed that they were just full of ‘old peoples clothing’ or out-dated fashion and I could never find anything I liked. It was not until I saw American ‘thrift shopping’ videos that I decided to give charity shops another chance. Once I decided to properly search through the rails, I found so many items that I loved and have managed to put my own twist on some of my finds.
I found this cute ‘ralph lauren’ purple t-shirt for £4 and decided to use a tie dye technique with bleach to create this effect.
Charity shops always sift through all of their donated clothes and only put the best on the rails, I’ve found loads of items that are brand new (still with the tag on) for a fraction of the price!
While charity shops can be hit or miss, they do contain some amazing items (including big brand names). It may take a bit more effort to go out and find them but I think it is much more rewarding and obviously much cheaper! Not to mention the fact that it promotes eco-friendly and sustainable fashion (especially with the endless up-cycle opportunities) and your money is going to a good cause!
Another sustainable fashion option is using an app called ‘Depop.’
Depop is an app where you can buy and sell clothing (as well as other products) similar to ebay (which itself is a great alternative to buying from big retailers that mass produce). It is basically an online second hand shop (however, all proceeds go directly to the seller rather than to charity) where you can search for items you are interested in using key words. A negative to Depop is that not all sellers are trustworthy (but you can view their ratings to check before buying) and lots of people inflate the prices of items because they’re ‘rare’ so in actual fact may not save you much money in the long run. In my opinion, while Depop is a great idea (and I have brought and sold clothes on the app successfully before), I would still choose a charity shop over Depop.
I’m sure you’ve heard of Unidays, but if you haven’t, it is a free subscription app with discounts from hundreds of retailers in food, fashion, technology, beauty, health/fitness sectors just to name a few. It is completely free and super easy to sign up for! So if you do choose to shop from larger retailers such as PLT, ASOS, TOPSHOP etc then I would highly recommend this app! Usually it can get you a discount of around 20% off which is amazing, and I personally never miss an opportunity to use a discount as most brands have an in-store and online code available!
1.9 million tonnes of food is wasted in the UK each year, but the ‘Toogoodtogo’ app aims to reduce this number. Restaurants such as ‘Yo sushi’ are able to make sure as little of their food is wasted at the end of everyday by displaying special deals on the app. They simply indicate that there are items available at a majorly discounted price and you just purchase it on the app (usually around £3 for a whole meal), you’re then given a pickup time slot to get to the destination . You can’t always guarantee what you get but in my experience you get a lot more than you pay for as not many people are aware of the app so they just offload as much of their leftover food on you as possible so it doesn’t go in the bin ! It’s such an amazing idea to get good quality food and I think it will greatly benefit uni students to know about it!
Supermarkets do a similar thing. At the end of the day (usually around 5-8pm dependant on their closing time) ; they will start reducing the prices on their food due to go out of date/ not to be displayed after that day so while the reductions vary, they can be as much as 75% to 80%!
I really hope this blog has encouraged you to consider taking a step inside a charity shop to see what you’re missing out on (especially as charity shops are so abundant in Worcester) as well as downloading some of the apps I’ve mentioned to save yourself some money!