Let’s face it, college life can be expensive, and every penny counts, especially when you’re spending money while not making any. Whether you’re taking all your dirty laundry back home when you visit your parents or joining clubs just for free food, here are five student discounts that will help you win at adulting in college.
What do you do when you’re sick of eating a cup of ramen noodles? You seek outside food. While this is a good way to mix up your diet and diversify your taste palate, your wallet tends to take a hit.
Instead, use your student ID to get 10% off food and coffee at Waffle House, get a free drink at many Chipotle locations, take advantage of student meals at your local Subway, or enjoy 15% off your next FroYo at most TCBY’s nationwide.
Pro Tip: Your student government may have scored you some additional discounts at local restaurants, and coffee shops. So be sure to look for your school logo for potential student discounts as well.
Looking to get a new jacket for the winter? Want new shoes to wear around campus? While waiting for a sale is always your best bet, it can be even sweeter when you combine extra student discounts. Flash your student ID at the register to get 10-15% off at trendy retailers like J. Crew, Banana Republic, Club Monaco, Top Shop, and Urban Outfitters.
Pro Tip: Your student discount is good as long as your student ID is valid, so feel free to use your discount after graduation. Maybe get a new suit or outfit for that important job interview?
Stop paying for minutes and texts you don’t use and don’t need. Instead, try switching to a carrier like US Mobile that allows you to pay for what you use. They have a slick dashboard that lets you easily keep track of your usage, you can snooze service when you’re on vacation, and there is no contract, so you’re not locked into anything.
74% of Students who use US Mobile have 1GB of data or less and pay on average $9 per month. Why is this? They’ve realized that they’re on WiFi most of the time, either on campus or at home, and rarely use cellphone data. Furthermore, the days of calling your friends and talking for hours on end are behind us, so there’s no point in paying for an unlimited talk plan you barely use.
Use your .edu email on their student discount page to get a free SIM card and check out plans that start at $9 per month.
Pro tip: Check out this blog post to cut your plan even further by doing things like turning off background app refresh.
While not so much a student discount, this is a neat trick to save some extra bucks. Many restaurants charge you $20 and up for a bottle of wine to pair with your dinner. Skip the extra cost by looking for BYOB (bring your own bottle) restaurants that let you bring your own bottle (like a Trader Joe’s Two Buck Chuck). While some may charge a cork fee (typically under $10), you still get more drink for your buck, especially when going with a friend or two. Even if a restaurant isn’t listed as BYOB, it never hurts to ask.
Pro Tip: Make your next brunch more affordable by sticking to BYOB places. Bring a bottle of champagne or prosecco and order some orange juice and make your own DIY mimosas.
Heading home for the holidays? Taking the bus or train? Well, you’re in luck because both Greyhound and Amtrak offer student discounts on tickets. Amtrak offers 15% on travel all year long when booking 3 days in advance. At the same time, Greyhound offers 20% off travel via the Student Advantage card.
Pro Tip: When you take Amtrak and Greyhound you don’t have to worry about weight restrictions. Which translates to more dirty laundry you can have your mom wash, and more holiday food you can bring back.
Taking advantage of these student discounts will help you cut down on your expenses. It also frees funds up for important things like coffee. For more tips, check out this resource library by The Simple Dollar, including dozens of student discounts in categories such as retail, technology, entertainment, and travel.