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Young, Gifted and Broke? Money Saving Tips For College Students If you're a student, chances are that you could do with a bit of spare money. Rather than taking on another part-time job, or begging your parents for extra cash, try some of these easy ways of saving money on what you buy. The old proverb a penny saved is a penny earned really is true. Always ask for a discount The top money-saving tip for every student is to always, always ask for a discount. Many shops offer 10% off for students, but they don't always advertise this - you need to ask. Some restaurants will also give discounts: have a hunt for student-specific online vouchers. And don't forget the cinema and theatre; you can usually get tickets at the concession rate by showing a student card. Many theme parks and other attractions will also offer a discount. Buy second-hand books Most students spend a good percentage of their budget on textbooks. Before you buy another book, make sure you check Amazon first to see if it's available second-hand. Used text books are often in great condition (since many students barely open them during their studies), and will save you a good percentage of the cover price. If you're looking for cheap fiction, try local library sales and charity shops. Buy new or second-hand clothes cheaply Clothes are another area where you can save a lot of money by not shopping on the high street. Ebay should be your first port of call for any garment - if you're iffy about buying something that's been worn by someone else, look for "BNWT" (Brand New With Tags) and "BNWOT" (Brand New WithOut Tags). You can pick up some amazing bargains. Thrift stores or charity shops are also good sources of cheap clothes, though your choice will be more limited. Carry limited cash with you If you can never quite figure out where all the money goes, and if you put everything on plastic when you shop or go out, try spending cash instead. This is a great way to make sure you stick to a spending limit, and it really helps you to avoid buying things on impulse. Charging everything to a credit card can make you feel like the money isn't real - until you get the bill. Shop for groceries at the end of the day If you're buying fresh food, go shopping in the early evening. Any items with today's "sell by" or "best before" date will be considerably reduced. Foods which can be frozen are particularly good bargains here - look out for cheap chicken, sausages or mince. Vegetables are also often well reduced, but you'll need to use them within a day or two. If necessary, cook double or triple portions that evening, then put the rest in the fridge or freezer for tomorrow. Ali Hale is a postgraduate student of Creative & Life Writing, and runs the blog Alpha Student ("Helping you make the most of your time at Uni"). Ali works as a freelance writer and website creator, and is on the staff of several large blogs. If you're looking for a writer or a website, you can hire her via Aliventures.