Vouch for your financial future by clipping some coupons

Take advantage of the many codes available for online discounts to keep your finances in check

Collecting vouchers and cutting out coupons may once have been associated with prudent housewives and penniless pensioners, but it's becoming increasingly popular with a generation of savvy students. Struggling to make their money last the duration of their courses, many are turning to internet vouchers to help stretch out their student loan. The proliferation of online vouchers for everything from theme park tickets to free cookies means there's no excuse for three years of baked beans and pints down the pub.

"I use voucher websites a lot," says Lawrence Eagling, 20, a second-year student at the University of Southampton. "It means I can go out more often, because things that are usually expensive, like going to the cinema or eating out, become more affordable."

Like many of his friends, Eagling rarely goes out for a meal without downloading a voucher first. "It's well worth taking the time to look for one if it cuts your bill in half," he says.

One of the most popular places for student vouchers is studentbeans.com. More than 500,000 students have registered since it was founded by graduates Michael and James Eder in 2005. "Students can save a huge amount of money looking online or offline," says James. "We are committed to finding the best deals for students, so whether that is going out and negotiating deals on behalf of students, or bringing together some of the best deals on the web, we try to make sure we do the searching so students don't have to.

"Make a rule to only buy with a discount voucher, code or similar. You'll be hard-pressed to find an online shop that doesn't offer some student or new customer discount."

Popular voucher downloads include two-for-one cinema tickets and meal deals at restaurant chains, but it also promotes cheap gym memberships, insurance deals and discounted newspaper subscriptions.

James advises students to buy items online rather than in shops. "As a rule, nearly everything is cheaper online, and students get extra benefits on top of standard online prices. Laptops, textbooks, meals, gigs – you can save on essentials and treats."

The National Union of Students gives its cardholders cheap deals online, as well as offering discounts on the high street. Their website, nus.org.uk, has links to offers ranging from books at Amazon to burgers at McDonald's.

Students can also take advantage of a variety of voucher websites which, although not specifically targeted at the student market, offer worthwhile discounts and savings. As a rule, it is better to use reputable, well-known sites as some smaller sites host broken links or out-of-date vouchers that are not accepted in stores.

A good source for vouchers is moneysavingexpert.com/vouchers. Dan Plant, from moneysavingexpert.com, says: "Retailers regularly release vouchers online now, which can either be printed off and taken into stores, or used as a discount code on shopping websites. Gap, H&M, American Apparel and loads more often have these – we collect all the legitimate ones."

The vouchercloud.com website is also useful. You can search for items and services within a specified radius of your location and, if you own a smart phone, you can download a mobile discount app from vouchercloud.com/download to check for discounts on the go. It's the first app of its kind in the UK.

Following these websites on Facebook or Twitter is an easy way of staying up to date with the latest offers. Social networking websites themselves often advertise offers and deals aimed at students, but Plant advises: "Do your research to make sure you're getting a genuinely good deal. This can be looking at other sites, or going out into the real world to compare prices."

Shopping for discounts on the internet isn't all about vouchers, however. Comparison websites are a helpful tool for students to find the best deals, which is especially important when it comes to buying more expensive items, such as laptops.

"If you're shopping for a particular item, 'shopping robot' websites such as foundem.co.uk and pricerunner.co.uk search multiple online shops for you in one click to find the cheapest price for CDs, gadgets, clothes and more," says Plant. "We've built a special free tool, at megashopbot.com, that combines all the best robots to get the biggest range of shops in one click."

Music fans who want to buy songs and albums cheaply online should go to tunechecker.com, which allows you to search for an artist or song title and then compares the results from different online retailers. Better still, music can be listened to for free on spotify.com, which is becoming increasingly popular thanks to its huge range of genres and artists – providing you don't mind listening to adverts.

Another website great for getting you free stuff is freecycle.org. It enables members to give away unwanted items, allowing you to pick up a washing machine, barbecue, or anything else that you might want but cannot afford absolutely free. You also gain environmental brownie points, as it helps the environment by reducing the amount thrown into landfill.

Students can also save themselves some money by getting cash back from their online purchases through websites such as topcashback.co.uk and quidco.com. These give you a small percentage of your money back whenever you make purchases with an online retailer that you have reached through their website.

If you're still struggling to balance your finances, there are some free websites that can help you to manage your money. A quick and easy way to balance your income with your spending, ensuring that you don't lose track, is offered by www.studentcalculator.org.uk.

Shopping around and planning ahead are two of the main ways that students can save money by going online, and the widespread use of vouchers among students means that there is no stigma attached to them, assures Eagling. "No one thinks you're cheap, it's just the normal thing to do," he says. "I'm a student – I'm not going to pay full price when I don't have to."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister

Met Police confirm it was a 'minor disturbance' and no-one was arrested

News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Concerns raised phenomenon is threatening resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

News
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Shia LaBeouf plays a World War II soldier in forthcoming drama Fury
films

Eccentric Fury star, 28, reveals he is 'not a really confident actor'

Life and Style
Time and Oak have developed a product that allows drinkers to customise the flavour and improve the quality of cheaper whiskey
food + drink

Sport
football

Peter Biaksangzuala died from his injuries in hospital on Sunday

Life and Style
The final 12 acts will be facing Simon Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Mel B and Louis Walsh tonight
fashion

The X Factor's judges colourful outfit was mocked by Simon Cowell

News
news

Footage shot by a passerby shows moment an ill man was carried out of his burning home

News
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Year 5 Teacher

£80 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Year 5 Teacher KS2 teaching job...

Teacher

£80 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: KS1 & 2 Supply teachers ur...

Year 4 Teachers needed for day to day and long term

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Pr...

PPA Cover Teacher

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Pr...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past