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."

Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Lewis Hamilton walks back to the pit lane with his Mercedes burning in the background
Formula 1
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con
comic-con 2014
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
A rub on the tummy sprang Casey back to life
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Tovey says of homeless charity the Pillion Trust : 'If it weren't for them and the park attendant I wouldn't be here today.'
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Learning Support Assistant

£50 per day: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Experienced Learning Sup...


£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you a flexible inspira...

Graduate Accountant - Banking - Bristol - £140pd

£100 - £140 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Graduate Accountant - Banking - Bri...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little