6 money saving tips for Hallam students

Published on behalf of Laura Burden.


All students will understand the thought behind this particular post. Money is tight when you’re a student! Therefore, saving money where possible is essential – freebies, offers, coupons, cheap drinks, free events, discount cards, things that allow students to keep living and doing what they love to do, without having to stress about money. Okay, without having to stress as much about money. Because of course, every penny counts!

 1. 16-25 Railcard

Whether you’re commuting or living away from home, a Railcard can make things so much easier. It might be £30 in one go but it’ll save you a huge amount of money later on. You might live at home and use the train to commute to classes, meaning you’ll save money even if you’ve got a dreaded 9am lecture. Or you might be living in student digs and simply use the train to travel home and visit family every once in a while. Either way, a 16-25 Railcard means you’ll save 1/3 off ALL train fares. To put that into perspective, it’s usually £11.40 from Sheffield to Derby, but with a Railcard, it’s down to £7.40. This might not seem like much but with a couple of trips you’ll pay off the initial cost in no time! Also, remember that booking tickets before midnight the day before you travel means you can get advanced seats – making your journey even cheaper!

Applying for a Railcard is quick and easy, it can be done either at the ticket office or online. You just fill in a quick form, upload a photo and you’re done. The Railcard people will then verify your age and get it printed and sent out to you quick as a flash. For a 1-year card it’s £30, or you can go the whole hog and get a 3-year card for £70. Even if you turn 26, if you have a Railcard that hasn’t yet expired you can keep using it – meaning it’s a good idea to buy a 3-year card just before you’re 26! What’s more you can even buy a Railcard with Tesco Clubcard boost points. The only thing you need to remember is to carry it at all times – just stash it with your rail tickets, stick it in your wallet or purse and you’ll never forget it.

2. Wilkos is your best friend

It might seem easier, when shopping for essentials, to get everything you need from one place however, this can work out more expensive than shopping around. It’s a case of balancing the cost with the time you have available. You won’t always have the time to head to different stores for different products but, when you do have the opportunity, make the most of it.

Wilko has been a popular high-street chain for many years and has become increasingly popular with students over the last decade or so. They always have a specific section with student items – this is especially common during the summer months towards September, meaning everything a student might need can be found in one area or aisle in the store. There’s always offers and deals available on branded items, with Wilko products being consistently cheap as well. It’s possible to go into your local Wilko store and buy an extension lead, a toilet brush, deodorant and a new plate for less than a fiver. Plus, with an 18 pack of soft toilet paper for £3 you can’t go wrong!

3. Shop around

As I mentioned above, it’s tempting to buy everything in one place and save time but, sometimes shopping around can save you lots. As well as going to Wilko for homeware items and toiletries, explore your local area and the town centre for small businesses such as butchers and grocers. A lot of the time, local shops will have cheaper produce and smaller portions – meaning no wasted food and better value for money for us students!

Local businesses like this in Sheffield can be found both in the Moor Market – here you can buy fish, cheese, bread, vegetables, meat and more – as well as in the city centre, for example, Simmonite on Division Street, which sells a wide variety of produce including meat and fish at very reasonable prices.

4. Go cashless with your SHUcard
Your SHUcard is an essential part of your student life at Hallam. It allows you access to printing, student services, your halls of residence and even exams. It’s also one of the easiest and cheapest ways to purchase things on campus. Your SHUcard is not only your ID during your tenure at Hallam, it also acts as a payment card as well as Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union and NUS card, giving you access to discounts across the UK.

It’s the most convenient and rewarding way to pay for goods across campus, giving users loyalty points and rewards for topping up and spending money with their card. There’s exclusive offers available at the Students’ Union and Print Shop as well as catering offers for cheap eats! Your SHUcard can be topped up on the SHU website or at one of the top up points which can be found across the SHU campus. Since it’s also an NUS card, you can get discounts on purchases all over the country, with student discounts in places like New Look.

5. Traveling around Sheffield

With excellent transport links, Sheffield is one of the easiest places ever to travel around. It’s cheap too! Stagecoach manage the buses and Supertram network in Sheffield and offer student megarider tickets starting at £7 for a 7-day ticket. That’s £1 a day for your bus fares! If you’re living further out from the University and find that some of the time (or all of the time), it’s easier and time-saving to take public transport, these tickets can save you a lot of money over the course of the week.

6. Free costs nothing!

Sheffield Botanical Gardens 🙂 #sheffield #beautiful #rubberduck

A photo posted by Laura Burden (@laura.burden) on


There’s always something to do in Sheffield and if it’s not incredibly cheap, it’s completely free! For starters, almost a third of Sheffield is within the boundaries of the Peak District National Park, the wide open spaces of the Peaks can be reached on foot within minutes. Aside from that there are over 300 park areas in Sheffield, including Norfolk Park, Endcliffe Park, Crookes Valley Park, Sheffield Botanical Gardens and many more. They are all stunningly pretty, delightful areas for walking, running, relaxing etc. What’s more, they’re near either City or Collegiate Campus.

As well as outdoor spaces, there’s plenty to do inside in Sheffield as well. Places like Weston Park Museum offer a unique look at the history of Sheffield, based on the stories of those who have lived and worked in the city. It’s also worth noting the cultural freebies on offer in Sheffield. The city boasts a range of art galleries – including the Millennium Art Gallery, which is completely free and has some amazing exhibits throughout the year. If that’s not enough there are hundreds of regular events in Sheffield such as the World Snooker Championship and Doc/Fest with free activities – there’s snooker in the Winter Gardens and documentary screenings galore!