Here are ten unique ways to get super cool free stuff, find good sales, save money, all while living your best life!
1. Download the Pocket Points app.
Chances are, you've already heard of this app. But if you haven't, here is the rundown: Pocket Points is an app geared toward college students. If you open the app, tap the button to earn points, and stay off your phone while in class on campus, while driving, or while studying off campus, you earn points for each minute you spend NOT using your cellphone. In college towns, such as Oxford, Mississippi, businesses accept Pocket Points that can get you discounts and occasionally free stuff. At a local gym, Pocket Points users can use the tanning beds for almost free! At participating restaurants, you can get a free appetizer or dessert.
2. STUDENT DISCOUNTS!
Just about every chain store has some form of a student discount. At Best Buy, you can get a discount on laptops needed for school. At NastyGal, you can get almost 50% off your order! How awesome is that? There are SO many student discounts that we are not taking advantage of. Most stores, restaurants, and even clothing boutiques offer one form of discount whether it is 10 or 15% off, saving is saving.
3. Take advantage of the free stuff your college offers!
We spend thousands to attend these higher learning institutions. It is time for us to take advantage of the free services they so graciously offer. From free state-of-the-art gym access to downloading Microsoft Office for free, my university has so much to offer its students. Last semester, I paid $50 per month to go to a gym 10 minutes away from campus. This semester? I'm walking to the gym on campus (extra exercise!) and spending that $50 on something I really want- like frappucinos and cute shoes.
4. Participate in social media giveaways.
Yeah, I know it gets annoying constantly getting tagged in local boutique giveaways. Do I care? No. I'm getting free stuff, and you're just getting bothered. Once, I won a $150 gift certificate to a high end hair salon. Local stores do giveaways to get more interaction and more impressions on their social media pages, and they give away some awesome stuff, from jewelry to Yeti Coolers. Start tagging all your followers, and I guarantee you'll win something before too long.
5. Fill out surveys.
One of my favorites! Chickfila offers a survey on their receipts that you can fill out and get a free chicken sandwich. Free food is the best food, am I right? Lots of restaurants offer a similar deal, where you can go online, evaluate their service, and receive something for free.
6. Order from food apps.
Instead of calling ahead or ordering in store, download restaurant apps and order online! Often, restaurants would prefer customers to order online to prevent miscommunications. Restaurants offer really good deals when you order through their apps. Just last week, my family ordered pizza through the Pizza Hut app and got half-off all medium pizzas! College students spend so much on eating out, so let's start being conscious of the awesome deals that places offer.
7. Take advantage of other discount apps, also.
Target has an app, formerly called Cartwheel, that allowed customers to scan the barcode of each product they were purchasing and then scan at the checkout, and it also had app-exclusive sales. Another good discount app is Ibotta. Ibotta allows consumers to upload pictures of their grocery store receipts to get cash back for certain items purchased. There are also a multitude of coupon apps that creates a quick and easy way for users to find discounted items and good sales from their favorite stores.
8. Avoid buying textbooks from campus bookstores.
Usually, the official campus bookstore's prices are ridiculously inflated. If you're already a bargain shopper, then this will be easy for you. Use websites like Amazon and Chegg to search the ISBN number of the book you need and then rent or buy it in any condition at a price so much cheaper than what your bookstore offers. Always research your product before paying full price!
9. Get organized.
Create a budget for yourself each month and schedule your spending. You are less likely to buy unnecessary items if you have an allotted amount of money you are allowing yourself to spend. Instead of buying items on a whim, create a saving schedule, and purchase the item when you have enough money to buy it twice. The Save Twice, Buy Once is a great rule of thumb to go by when you're on a budget so that you don't drain your bank account on a spontaneous purchase.
10. Become a brand ambassador!
You probably haven't seen this in any other articles or websites about saving money- but it is an awesome and fun way to do so. You can almost always find a brand or company looking for people with decent Instagram followings to rep their items on your Insta page! Instagrammers who are in college are very appealing to upcoming brands because of our networkability and resources. We are tech savvy and have access to thousands of potential customers because of our age and the fact that we attend college. Usually, brand ambassadors represent a company's merchandise in exchange for free items or discounted items. This is a great way to get a free wardrobe!