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What Are The Best UK Student Discount Sites?


What are the top student discount sites; which ones are best, and five student money saving tips

What are the top student discount sites; which ones are best, and five student money-saving tips

With students returning to universities this month, many may find it tricky to manage university finances during the ongoing cost of living crisis. To enjoy uni life while keeping to a student budget, it is reported that 87% of students will turn to money-saving websites to avoid paying full price.


With this in mind, Coupon Snake investigated which discount websites are the most popular and cost-effective among students. To do this, they collected Google monthly search volumes and the average discount of each website, revealing the most popular money-saving websites for students in 2023!


Key Findings:

  • Unidays is the most popular student discount website, with 133,000 monthly searches on average.

  • Unidays also ranks as the most cost-effective website, with over 21% off on average.

  • Although Student Beans ranks second, it has the largest number of deals for students.


Unidays is the most popular student discount website in the UK, with 133,000 monthly search volumes on average. With a global market across 115 regions, it has an average of nearly 700,000 global Google searches. Offering discounts for both current university students and alumni, Unidays has a good number of exclusive and limited-time deals for students worldwide to save on everything!

Ranking second is Student Beans, with 109,000 average monthly searches. As the world's leading student loyalty network, it offers exclusive discounts to students across various categories, including fashion, beauty, travel, health, tech and food. It currently has connected 175 million students worldwide, helping Gen Z to save money on popular brands.

Coming in third place is VoucherCodes, which has 52,000 Google monthly searches on average. Unlike the above, VoucherCodes is a discount website finding the best deals for everyone, but it also has a dedicated page for verified students in the UK.



Unidays is the most cost-effective student discount website when it comes to three main shopping categories: Food and drink, Fashion and Technology. It offers more than 300 student discounts among the three categories with an average discount amount of 21.6%, higher than all other discount websites reviewed. It also has the best discount for technology (23.6%), making it the perfect site/app to browse if you need university supplements such as laptop, tablets or mobile plans.

Student Beans comes in second, saving students slightly more than 20% in all these three categories. Student Beans also has the largest number of discounts in the three categories reviewed, including over 600 deals for fashion brands and sites. It offers an average student discount of 20.4% for fashion brands, higher than other websites’ fashion offers.

TOTUM ranks third, with an average discount of 18.9% for the three categories. Previously known as NUS extra, TOTUM discounts and memberships are available to any students age 16 or over in a UK school, college, sixth form or university. With an average discount of 27.9% for food and restaurants, it has the best savings on food for students.


According to a Save the Student Survey, the average student's monthly living costs have increased by 17%. Coupon Snake spoke to an ex-student from the University of Kent who struggled with budgeting:

“I struggled to keep on top of all the costs at University, from tuition fees and course textbooks, to managing rent, bills and food costs. Student discount apps were a big help to me at this time, with the discounts enabling me to keep to my budget plan whilst still enjoying the leisure activities I wanted to do, whether that was shopping, eating out, or having a gym membership. It also proved helpful when travelling to and from Uni, with various discounts on travel costs! I don’t think I would have managed as well as I did without the discount apps I had access to”


Money-saving tips for students:

1. Money-saving student discounts: University is an expensive time between social activities, meals and work supplements. As a student, don’t forget to take advantage of all those discounts exclusively for you. Before buying a laptop, going out for a meal or looking for shoes for your course ball, check if there are any deals on student discount websites or apps which can help you save as much money as possible. Some of those websites offer in-store discounts, too, so it is important to always have your Student ID on you - securing your discount wherever possible!

2. Budgeting app: Students should use a budgeting app to record all their expenses. This helps you understand where your money goes and where to cut costs. Some banking apps have this built-in and allows a user to see what genre of retailer they are spending at. Consider apps such as Snoop, Hyperjar, Moneyhub (not free), Money Dashboard and banking services such as Monzo, Starling bank, Revoult and Chase.

3. Second-hand items: Whether it’s for textbooks, clothes, or small household appliances, buying second-hand items is a great way to have bargains and a more sustainable lifestyle. You can either seek those in nearby charity shops or find your university’s secondhand group chats or Facebook groups where students share their used items before moving out of uni accommodations or graduation.


4. Shopping savvy: It's no secret that cashback apps and supermarket cashback apps can save a user a lot of money over a year, and this is no different for students. Students have a reputation for being a frugal bunch, apart from their alcohol expenses, and so this frugality can be extended by making sure that any purchases made are made using a cashback service. No matter if buying textbooks, food and, of course the odd cocktail, there is likely to be a cashback option. Students need to make sure they have enrolled in all the top cashback services to increase the likelihood of being able to earn cashback, and they should look at every purchase as potentially there being a potential for cashback to be earned. They will be chuffed to hear that many pub chains offer gift cards, and sites such as JamDoughnut sell these gift cards and offer cashback on the purchase, which can be a good day to make a saving on a night out. They also now offer 1% cashback on Amazon purchases which is handy for text books etc, cashback. Also students get half price Amazon Prime membership, which includes movies and gaming as well as the free delivery options.


Most supermarkets also sell gift cards, so if buying instore (and online for most retailers), so there is a saving opportunity there on food and drink purchases, plus for supermarket delivery, many supermarkets have cashback via TopCashback, plus most supermarkets offer discounts for first-time users as well, so that can be a decent saving.


In regards to supermarket shopping, use our previous blog post, which talks about the secrets of the supermarket, which gives useful hints and tips on what to buy, where to look for cheaper items and the best times to grab yellow sticker bargains, which can save a shopper an absolute fortune!


Don't forget about the Olio app; this offers excess local food for absolutely free and can be a fantastic way to eat cheaply; I've even heard of some students who totally rely on Olio for their food and will adapt their eating to whatever food theyve been able to get, and this resulted in a food spend of zero for the whole year! That's somewhat extreme and unlikely to work for everyone, but even a few items a week can be a significant saving! 5. Team up: In regards to online shopping, if there are a few of you looking to place an order, supermarkets being a good example, team up with your fellow students and place a joint order as this may well minimise your delivery costs, even remove them, plus the increased cost of the order will earn you more cashback as well, so it's a win-win!


Teaming up is also useful for purchasing textbooks as the shipping costs can be horrendous, and talking of textbooks, many now come in a digital format, so rather than buying physical books, you might look at buying a digital copy, which is less bulky as it's just a file on a laptop, phone or tablet, with an instant download and so removing delivery charges, plus can be easier to search when looking for a particular phrase or piece of text.


Students are savvier these days, and the cost of living crisis has really hit home to many that the days of frivolous student spending are over and that they need to be totally under control in regards to their spending, as most likely the good old bank of mum and dad, may well have had to close their local branch, as the parents struggle to keep up with the increased financial burden of everyday life, and so the extra 'I'm skint, please send money' requests will likely be denied and its important that students shy away from using their credit cards as this will likely only cause further financial issues/misery later on in life.


Students, and anyone else with a cash flow issue, should take a look at our side hustle guide for ways to earn a little extra money on the side, and this can make a genuine difference to one's bank account...


 

Methodology

1. Coupon Snake investigated which student discounts website is the most popular and cost-effective.

2. Firstly, they collabed a seed list of ten popular student discount websites. Six of them are exclusive for students, while the other three have a dedicated student discounts page apart from general deals.

3. They then utilised the tool ahrefs to search the monthly Google search volume of each website and noted down the average number.

4. To determine which site is the most cost-effective, they looked at discount amounts in the three most popular categories: Food and drink, technology and fashion. The discount percentage of each offer was collected.

5. They then calculated the average discount percentage from each site and ranked them accordingly.

Bundles or freebies offers were excluded from the study.

6. If there are multiple discounts from the same store, only the two highest ones were noted in the study.

7. Data was collected on 18/09/2023 and is correct as of then.


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