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 was intrigued to determine which discount websites are the most popular and cost-effective among students. To do this, they collected Google monthly search volumes of each website and their average discount, revealing the most popular money-saving websites for students in 2023.
Coupon Snake can reveal that Unidays is crowned 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 current university students and alumni, Unidays has many 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 has connected 175 million students worldwide, helping Gen Z save money on popular brands.
VoucherCodes has 52,000 Google monthly searches on average, coming in third place. 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.
Coupon Snake can reveal that Unidays is the most cost-effective student discount website for 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 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 laptops, tablets or mobile plans.
Student Beans comes in second, saving students slightly more than 20% in all these three categories. Student Beans has the largest discounts in the three categories, 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 students aged 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 student food savings.
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 up with 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 while still enjoying the leisure activities I wanted, whether 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.”
Craig Anderson, on behalf of Coupon Snake, shares top money-saving tips for students.
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 for any deals on student discount websites or apps that 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.
Budget app. We also recommend students to have a budgeting app to record all your expenses. This helps you understand where your money goes and where to cut costs. It will be helpful, especially if you plan to go out many nights where spending can be unpredictable.
Second-hand items. 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 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.