Best student discounts

One of the best things about being a student is all the discounts that stores through at you to try and part you from your loan. Here are a few of our favourite money-off offers.

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The Independent Online

For many of us, three sweet years is all we have to take advantage of retail discounts and cheaper fast food. That glorious moment when you present your NUJ card and shop assistants have no other option but to knock down the price tag, just for being you - and better yet, when you get a free McFlurry as well.

Even though its usually only 10 per cent off, things always seem so much more affordable with the perk of student discount, especially when you’re splurging on goods over a tenner and you get your whopping £1 off. Heck, that’s a free drink (at the SU). Similarly, there’s been more than one occasion wherein 'but I’ll get student discount' has been the justification for spending more than I should or for buying something I definitely didn’t need, as I’m aware that my 10 per cent treat won’t last forever.

I do have a habit of exploiting my student discount somewhat, or perhaps more accurately, my mother does. She insists on me accompanying her to the till and it's always on savvy shopping trips such as these that I see how enthusiastic she is about my staying in education. That’s not so wrong though, is it? Life is an economic struggle and, as Tesco taught us, every little helps. I have no doubt that it works in the stores’ favour too: we students are far more likely to buy stationary from Paperchase over WH Smith as we get to save 10 per cent, and we’ll always say yes to, say, Mexican food because Barburrito treats us to discounts.  

There’s a medley of sites online keeping you up to date with student deals, often involving the commitment of an email address and yet another password, but nevertheless they’re good for the savvier shoppers.

Studentbeans does a good job of rounding everything up in one place. Listing cinema discounts, to mobile phone deals, to discounted magazine subscriptions: they’re on it. It’s also a good place to check for sneaky 2-4-1 dining offers when it’s not an Orange Wednesday and you’ve exhausted all your other penny-pinching options.

Then you’ve got UNiDAYS, which likes to consider itself the official source of student discounts online, but fair dos when it seems to have the monopoly and offers the likes of 20 per cent off at Asos and Urban Outfitters.

Whether its freebies or discounts, use it while you can kids, ‘cos student discount won’t be yours for long.  

A selection of student discounts we particularly like

  • Software 4 Students - deals and discounts on all sorts of Windows and Mac software
  • 25 per cent discount at Yo! Sushi (sign up to the Yo! Student Club online)
  • 15 per cent off at French Connection (through UNiDAYS)
  • 25 per cent off food at Giraffe
  • i paper student subscription, £10 for a term (or £30/ year, saving 1/3 off a full-priced subscription)
  • 40 per cent off at Gourmet Burger Kitchen (present your student ID and receive a student discount card)
  • Free hamburger, cheeseburger or McFlurry at McDonalds (when you buy a meal)
  • 16-25 railcard - not limited to students but all young people, save yourself 1/3 off overpriced rail travel
  • Apple Education Store don’t even think about splurging on expensive Apple goods without checking the Education store for educational discounts. Apple offer up to 14 per cent off Macs
  • 10 per cent off at Barburrito (plus, sign up to get freebies and birthday burritos!)
  • 10 per cent off at Paperchase
  • 20 per cent off at Burton (limited time only, check online for details)

Alice Tate is a student brand ambassador for i. She blogs about fashion here, and you can follow her on Twitter here.