Saving Money as a Student

Sarah Frank
Published on
July 18, 2023

If you're like me, college is expensive enough-- saving a few extra dollars here and there really does add up. Why pay $10 for something when you can pay $6 and get $2 back? Always look and ask for student discounts, loyalty programs, sales, discounts, and clearance-- it's worth it!

One of the best budgeting tips I've ever gotten is to always go into a store knowing three things: what you need to get, what you will allow yourself to get, and what discounts or deals you can take advantage of. Lots of stores have sales, clearance, student discounts, loyalty points, rewards, etc-- it can be overwhelming, but it's worth it to save money, especially in college. Having your own loyalty accounts is a step towards financial independence! Loyalty accounts are generally free to make and/or they pay for themselves, so creating your own sooner rather than later allows you to rack up and use your points for upcoming purchases.

When it comes to making purchases, I always have two lists: needs and permitted purchases. Needs are the things that I really should be leaving the store with, and permitted purchases are things that if I can get on sale or discounted, I should. This helps make sure I get what I need and am not buying things I don't.

CVS Pharmacy

I use both ExtraCare and CarePass, which really stretches by dollar at CVS. I go through the CVS app and look at all the available rewards/discounts I can send to my card for use. When I'm in the store, I try to match those discounts to the yellow tags hung around the store. Matching discounts means I get the most bang for my buck. For me, the deals section of the app is where it's at. Every week there are new discounts that I can use and sometimes stack. While this isn't specifically available for students (it's for anyone), CVS is commonly found by college campuses!

Hollister + American Eagle/Aerie

Both of these stores have student discounts! You can usually ask at checkout or you can use the Unidays app.

Francesca's + Madewell

At checkout, show your student ID and get 10% off!


If you're a student, you can get 6 months free of Prime Student then pay for Prime at a discounted rate. Sign up here!

Best Buy

Check Best Buy's website or ask an associate for what student discounts there are!

Dunkin' Donuts + McDonald's

At some locations, being a student can get you 10% off Dunkin' or Mickey D's!


Levi's offers 15% off for college students.

New York Times

A lot of colleges will offer susbcriptions to students for free, but if not, you can get the NY Times for $1 per week/$52 per year when using your school email.


Audible has a student discount through Prime Student! Sign up here.

Find more free resources here!


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