Always keep your student card with you

No matter whether you’re heading to campus for a day of study or into town for a big night out, you should always carry your student card (the ID card issued to you by your university) on you. Not only is your student card useful for getting you access the library, but it will also give you access to some big bargains.

These cards are widely accepted by most shops and restaurants and bars offering student discounts. Unfortunately, not all local companies will offer these deals, but you will often find that larger stores (particularly those on the high street) offer some form of student discount. By keeping your student card on you at all times you will never miss an opportunity to save some cash.

Consider upgrading to a student discount card

If you haven’t already got your student discount card then order one now, because that card opens up even more bargains than your university ID. TOTUM Digital is the National Union of Students discount card which all university students are eligible for.

For a small annual cost (just £14.99 per year) you will get access to a whole load of discounts – on everything from high street fashion to groceries, from days out to dining in. You can even keep your membership details always to hand by downloading their app. However, you’re only eligible for one for a limited amount of years – so make the most of it and order yours asap!

Actually use your discount

In order to make the most of your student discount, you need to use it. Our minds boggle when we hear about the number of students who forget to use their card regularly. There’s no point in carrying a card with you if it’s crammed in the back of your purse or wallet; it needs to be kept in the same section or close to your debit card, so you’re prompted to use it whenever you can.

If you’re using the TOTUM student discount card app, then you should always have it on hand, but get into the habit of opening it up while you’re in the queue so it’s ready to go. There are no limits on the amount of times you can use your discount card – so milk it.

Always ask if a shop does student discount

Sometimes businesses advertise that they offer student discounts and sometimes they don’t. The only sure way to know is to ask. This is, unfortunately, where some students fail: they don’t ask and then they don’t get. We’ve always been surprised by the fact that some students report feeling nervous to ask about student discounts.

No one is going to think less of you because you ask if you can use your student discount- make the most of it whilst you’re a student. The student discount is a nationwide initiative to help students to save a little and to keep spending, and there’s nothing embarrassing about it. Remember: you’re not being cheap, you’re being savvy (and contributing to the upkeep of the economy at the same time).

Get student discount on top of deals

Although some businesses have a one discount only rule, never assume that this is the case everywhere. Even if there is a deal on in a shop, restaurant, or bar, don’t miss out by failing to ask about your student discount too. In student-friendly stores like Co-op, you can use your student discount card to buy lunch at 10% off and then still use your loyalty card too to rack up even more savings.

If, however, you’re not able to use your student discount on top of another deal somewhere, then make sure you calculate which will leave you with the biggest saving. There’s no point accidentally getting only 10% off with a student discount when you could get 15% off with a new customer voucher.

Use your student discount online

Online is where having a TOTUM card really comes in handy, as few sites will recognise your university ID code details (they’re just not set up for it). Student sites like Student Beans and UNiDays help with this by acting as intermediaries – giving students access to discount codes once they register – but the TOTUM card is accepted on many sites too.

This applies when you’re sorting out utility bills for your Uni house too – many suppliers offer student discount promotions, so you should always inquire if it’s not obvious. This sort of thing could end up saving you a considerable amount in the long-run.

Use your student discount abroad

While you may not have considered taking your student card on holiday with you before, we’re pretty sure you will after reading this. Shops, restaurant chains and many more will usually accept student cards from any country in the world.

Don’t let student discounts dictate where you shop

Although this might seem like contradictory advice at first, it does make sense (we promise). Our point here is that you can’t just assume that the discounts you’re offered are necessarily going to save you money – if the product or service can be found cheaper elsewhere then it would be a false economy to buy something just because you can use your discount. For this reason, we recommend that you still shop around, even when you get to know the places that offer you discounts.

It’s also important not to fall into the trap of making unnecessary purchases just because they’re discounted. 10% of something you didn’t really need is still 90% a waste of money, if you get our drift.

Use your student discount in independent stores

While it will be only the big brand names that you see promoted on UNiDAYS or Student Beans or as TOTUM partners, we want to remind you that many small online sellers or local independent businesses are also willing to offer student discounts too. Particularly near your campus or near the student digs areas, you will probably find that most small businesses will be offering a discount in an effort to attract your custom. Supporting smaller, independent businesses is really important right now, and we can all do our bit.

Look for student discount promotions

Sometimes, and these are times to look forward to, big brands with a large student customer demographic will run additional promotions for students. Companies like ASOS and Pizza Hut will often double the student discount and companies like Apple and Dominoes will offer freebies (like free headphones if you buy a new laptop or a free pizza in fresher’s week).

These bigger promotions are all run for a limited time only and are designed to get you spending fast, but – hey, if it works for you too then it’s a win-win.

Get free Amazon Student Prime

The six months free Amazon Prime for students is a student discount which many have been gladly taking advantage of. A Student Prime account means that you get free next day delivery for six months, but – unfortunately – you don’t get access to the free Kindle library (which is annoying, because this would be really useful for students).

Once the six months has elapsed, you are entitled to a half-price membership for the duration that you are a student if you want to. If you don’t want to pay to continue your membership, you can set a reminder in your phone and cancel the account just before it renews at the end of the free period. If you do decide to use an Amazon Prime account, just remember to try and use it only for when you need a rapid home delivery so that you can get out and support your local economy with your student card instead.