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How to Reduce Cost of Living?
The image of a penny-pinching student scraping to get by is an eye-roller but, sadly, it’s still real life. The cost of living is constantly rising so it is only going to get worse and we all need a break to get through the tough times.
Here’s a novel idea: why not open an email account just for junk?
You don’t want your important emails and social updates full of spam, so open up a separate account for it. Sign up to alerts for the brands you love with this email address to keep on top of offers without getting swamped.
Companies run promotions and special offers to get you through their doors. They rely on people with voucher codes to judge whether their marketing ads are paying off, so don’t feel awkward about showing up with a discount code or coupon. You’re doing them a favour!
Some of the main players in online discounts are now available as apps too, so you can check for bargains on the go:
Lots of clothing retailers, department stores and small boutiques have a mailing list for loyal customers and store card holders. Signing up will get you an invite to special events, openings for new season’s collections and possibly drinks too, all with a friendly discount. They also alert you to upcoming sales. Places like Debenhams have regular rotation of sales across their departments and concessions whereas, a store like the Gap offer 30% sales seasonally, but you have to go to their website and print off a voucher.
Shop online to save yourself hassle. Online stores like Ocado, Tesco and Sainsbury’s sound expensive but because they have a brand price match, you can compare quickly and you won’t get distracted buying things you didn’t go in for. Excellent if your house shares shopping duties; save your favourite items so you don’t have to search each time, easily find online offers and let someone else bring it to you. No more lugging heavy tins, bottles and toilet roll home! Points cards are good for when you’re a bit strapped for cash.
Boots is amazing for customer points because you can spend them like real money. Doing your toiletry shopping at Boots can earn you much more in the long run, especially if you look out for double and treble points promotions and actually use those discount receipts you get at the checkout. When you need to urgently pop out and get some dry shampoo, razors or deodorant, it’s good to know you can use points instead of beer money. Superdrug has a similar scheme, but you need a lot more points to get freebies.
Some eateries like Pizza Express have regular deals on a set menu. Every now and then the £10 meal for two vouchers come around again, so watch out and print them out. They are usually unlimited per person. When using coupons and vouchers for eating out, remember to check that the branch you’re going to will honour them. If the deal is for a set menu, glance over it in advance for any vegetarian or dietary problems, as they don’t tend to substitute.
Bar and Clubs
The gateway to an amazing night is the mailing list. If you have a favourite bar or club, you’d be nuts not to get on the mailing list: imagine missing out on tickets to an awesome gig, secret last minute event or discounts on drinks. It’s a student’s duty to excel at partying.
Hair styling is generally expensive and you don’t want style to become a luxury you can’t afford. Many hairdressers offer incentives and referral deals and some give you a discount if you book your next cut in advance. Discount sites like Groupon and Wowcher usually have at least one hairdressing bargain on - even though it might not be at your preferred place, it could save you a packet. Or if you’re feeling brave you could book a place at a Model Nights event near you. Major salon brands and training schools need willing models to practice on and hold regular weekly sessions. Search for Model Nights in your local area. They are fully supervised by a professional and are either free or very cheap.
Ceri Jones – Strike Jobs Journalist – 22/10/2013
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