How to Save Money in College

As a shopaholic, I know how hard it can be to save money in college. Especially around the holidays when all the sales keep popping up nonstop! So today I rounded up some of the ways I save money throughout the school year!

How to Save Money in College: tips from a student shopaholic | College with Caitlyn

Always ask for student discount!

Nine times out of the ten, the sales associate will probably say they don’t offer it, but you won’t regret asking when you find out they do have it! One time I didn’t ask because I knew they would say no, and then as I was walking out the store I saw they did offer it! I was so upset. So learn from my mistake and always ask!

Here’s a list of stores that always offer student discount! And another list of 107 places where you can get a discount in-store or online.

While speaking of student discount, I’m just going to throw these two things out there: both Spotify and Apple Music offer a 50% off student rate and you get a six month free trial of Amazon Prime!

The only thing about the Amazon Prime trial, is they won’t tell you when your six months are up, so I woke up one day with a charge from them without knowing why. I quickly contacted them to undo the subscription and they had my money back in my account within 24 hours. It wasn’t that big a deal, but still something to take note of.

Save on Textbooks

I’m going to be doing a whole post on this soon (watch out for that!), so I won’t go too into detail here.

You should basically never be buying books, and never be buying them from your campus bookstore. Instead, opt for renting and use sites like to find the best deal on the books you need.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Getting the Cheapest Textbooks

If you do end up buying your books, be sure to sell them at the end of the semester! I’ve used to sell books before, and I would highly recommend it!

Use Coupons and Rewards at the Grocery!

When I say coupons, I mean both paper coupons and couponing apps.

My favorite couponing app is Ibotta. It’s super simple to use and has more than just grocery coupons. It has coupons for pharmacy stores like Walgreens and CVS, and clothing stores like H&M and Charlotte Russe.

apps to save money in college Ibotta

Basically, you redeem an offer in the app by purchasing an item listed, and then scanning the product and taking a picture of your receipt and submitting it through the app.

The savings of the coupons are .25 cents off to a couple dollars off. It all depends on the item.

app to save money on food Ibotta

As soon as you rack up $20 in savings, you can withdraw the money into a PayPal account, a Venmo account, or have it put on a gift card. The gift card options are for places like Target, Amazon, Sam’s Club, Starbucks, Walmart and even clothing stores like Gap.

Now $20 may seem like it would take a long time to save up, but I earned that much in less than one semester. Plus, you can earn it even faster if you do the bonuses or work with a team. And you can get over halfway there right now if you sign up with the code “dcasjki.” By entering this code when signing up, you earn an extra $10 immediately after redeeming your first rebate!

Another app that offers great deals on groceries, is Walmart’s Savings Catcher. I’ve personally never used it because I’m not a fan of Walmart, but I’ve heard great things about it from other bloggers. Basically, every time after you make a purchase at Walmart, you take a picture of your receipt on the app, and Walmart checks if you got the best price on all the items you purchased. So, if another store offered the items you bought for cheaper, you get the difference back on a Walmart gift card!

Also, if your local grocery store offers a rewards program, you should be using it! You may only save a couple dollars each time you go, but those few dollars add up over the course of the school year. Plus, some also have gas rewards, which is always a nice bonus.

Saving at the Mall

My favorite type of saving.

I have two apps and one website to share that I always use when I shop both in-store and online.

My personal favorite is Shopular.

app to save money on clothes Shopular

Shopular compiles coupons, promotions and weekly ads for over 200 stores. Every time I go out, I check the app for in-store promotions I can use, and I always find at least one. The app also has online coupons, but I hardly ever remember to check it when I shop online because I’m usually looking at

Other real cool things about Shopular is it will let you save coupons you like for easy access later, and it tells you when the coupons end so you don’t try to use an expired one. (So humiliating!)

shopular coupons for clothing

Plus, they always have those $3.50 off Ulta coupons and 40% off Michael’s coupons. Score!

The other app I wanted to touch on is called Unidays.

app to save money online shopping Unidays

Basically, it’s a company that gets big name stores to offer student discounts, but usually only for a limited time. Since these are student discounts, when you sign up you have to use your email associated with your college. You can sign up by downloading the app, or do it online here!

They usually have discounts for my favorite online stores: Modcloth and Boohoo. The latter of which is perfect for college students because everything is even cheaper than Forever 21, and their sweaters are amazing!

And those are all of the tricks I use to save money during the school year! I hope you picked up a new app or website from this post to help you out!

What do you do to save money during the school year? Have you heard of any of the apps or websites I shared? Let me know in the comments below!

P.S. While proofreading this I realized that it kind of sounds sponsored. This is just a heads up that it’s not! However, if you do you the code I gave for Ibotta, or sign up for Unidays using the link I gave, I will get a $5 credit to my account.

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