Living on a prayer (and some saved money)

Most student's wallets currently look like this. Our writer hopes to change that and help you save some money. (William Ross/Flickr Creative Commons)

Life as a student has become synonymous with being broke. If that does not sound familiar to you, you’re one of the lucky ones. These tips and tricks, however, apply to all, whether you’re struggling to buy that daily cup of coffee, or you’re that person who can still buy drinks after Nickel ends.

Saving money truly is an underperformed art form.

As a particularly broke graduate student, I’ve dedicated plenty of time to finding ways of saving money, especially when it comes to eating, shopping and traveling. Here are some of my favorite apps, tips and tricks:

Shopping

My mother always told me to never go shopping before knowing what’s already in my closet, which usually leads to finding that one dress, shirt, pair of shoes, you wore once and never thought of again. First step to saving money should be to make money on all those things you never use.

Selling

Facebook has an option for “Buy and Sell Groups Near You” which allows you to search for local groups and list everything you need to pay for that next grocery trip (or that one thing you’ve been eyeing for weeks). Ebay also falls in this category, especially when it comes to non-clothing items.

Apps such as ThredUp, Vinted and Poshmark, focus on clothing and shoes only, but allow you to sell directly and safely to anyone with an account. The first one does not take commission, the last two do, up to 25 percent.

If you are more inclined to get out there and deposit your clothes, Bliss, the secondhand clothing store is conveniently located right in the middle of the Oaks. Goodwill, although it does not pay you directly, provides tax-deductible forms, which can also turn into savings over time.

Buying

For this neat little trick, you must use Chrome and you will need to download my two favorite add-ons: Honey and Wikibuy.

Honey expediently tries every possible combination of promo codes every time you shop online, on any website, saving you money with a simply click.

Wikibuy works specifically with Amazon and instantly compares the prices showed on the website with cheaper options available online.

Eating

Groupon, outside of its promises of cheaper Spring Break options (not always accurate), and discounted massages, also hides the key to affordable gourmet dining. Who knew?

So whether you’re visiting a new city, or simply looking for a cheap place to eat nearby, check Groupon deals for discounts on restaurants that you probably would never consider otherwise. Always check the reviews on Yelp or TripAdvisor before buying the coupon, but you may just stumble upon a bargain culinary gem.

Grubhub, if used within the app, offers $10 off your first order and currently delivers for Wooster St. Pizza, Ted’s, Little Aladdin, Kathmandu, Wing Express, Red Rock Café and Phoenix Chinese Restaurant.  

EatStreet, available both online and in their app, regularly offers coupons and deals not available anywhere else, such as buy-one, get-one-free large pizza.


Margaux Ancel is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at margaux.ancel@uconn.edu.