Tips to Save Money While You're a College Student - Quicken Loans Zing BlogYou’ve gone away to college, and you may or may not be able to squeeze a job into your rigorous schedule. Just because you’re operating on a shoestring budget doesn’t mean you have to eat Ramen every night though.

The key to making the most of your limited resources might reside in a source you didn’t expect – your university ID (or, for some of these, your university email address).

That’s right. You shouldn’t throw away that piece of plastic you’re embarrassed by because the photographer caught you blinking or it was a bad hair day. It can earn you deals at a variety of hotspots in your college town and beyond.

Sporting Events

If you’re a fan of sports (or even if you’re not), it will be worth your while to check and see if the following deals are available in your area. Not only does getting behind your team bring the campus together, it also might actually earn you a meal.

Colleges often offer free or discounted tickets to campus sporting events, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. At my alma mater, Oakland University (go Golden Grizzlies!), students could get discounts depending on the outcome of the basketball games. If the basketball team eclipsed a certain number of points or hit a certain number of three-pointers, we could get a free item. It’s possible similar offers may be available around your campus.

Professional and college sports teams also often have at least one student and/or alumni night, offering discounts or a special ticket package with a free t-shirt, for example. It might be worth checking out the teams in your area to see what they offer for students!


You have an hour between Lifespan Psychology and Intro to Western Civilization. You’ve got a grand total of $20 in your pocket, and you’re hungry. In a pinch, here’s where you can get some cheap grub.

This list features, among other discounts, a variety of restaurants that will give you a discount, usually in the neighborhood of 10% to 15%. As a bonus tip, I will add that certain restaurants will give you a freebie item on your birthday. For the budget conscious among us, free is an excellent word.

Entertainment and Arts

If you’re into movies, you can go to AMC on Thursdays for student discount day. If Thursday is not your thing, you can get good deals by going to early-morning and matinee shows at most any theater. They are often trying to fill seats at this time.

Beyond the silver screen, students may be able to get discounts on admission to museums, orchestra concerts and plays. Lower matinee pricing often applies here as well. Check with your local venues.


My favorite deal in this area is probably Amazon Student. You get free two-day shipping for six months followed by 50% off the full Amazon Prime membership (which also includes the company’s streaming video and music services), for the remainder of your time at school. A word of caution: I know from experience that you can get addicted to the convenience of two-day shipping. There’s a good chance you will end up paying them full price for this when you graduate.

If you need to buy a computer or software for the new school year (depending on your school or program, there are sometimes very specific requirements), check to see if your school has a discount portal you can use. There’s also a good chance you can find a student deal by looking across the websites of different manufacturers.

Have your own money saving tip for starving college students? Share them with us in the comments.

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