I’m a really cheery person, and I have fond memories of pretty much all eras of my life, but if I was pressed, I might have to admit that my absolute favorite era was my college years. From the friends in the dorms to the stimulating classes to the late nights walking home after long hours studying in the library—I love, love, loved it all!
I even loved being a broke college student, as the stereotype goes. While I know there’s nothing fun about being broke, it did force me to find creative ways to make the most out of the part-time job I worked on campus! I think about those days a lot—about all the times I ate ramen for lunch or went shopping for something that I had a coupon for. The thing I think about most, though, is that these days there are so many glorious money saving apps!
Pretty much everyone in college these days has a smartphone, but what they might be missing out on between Snapchats and WhatsApp is the fact that that very smartphone could actually help them save money. All they need to do is download certain apps. So, that’s what I’d like to talk about today: the top 5 money saving apps for college students!
Money Saving Apps for College Students #1: The University Network (TUN)
I may not be a college student myself, but I talk about shopping rewards apps so much that I’ve gained a reputation for wanting to hear about all the latest money saving apps my friends and colleagues are into. I think this is why the interns in my office always like to share info about their favorite apps with me!
Anyway, the first on my list is one the young people turned me on to recently, TUN, which stands for The University Network. What it does is connect the intrepid college students who download it with discounts exclusively for local students, textbook savings, and rewards that are available on purchases around town. Oh, and because everyone knows that college is all about studying, it also points users toward free activities, like concerts and sporting events, in their area, too.
Money Saving Apps for College Students #2: UConnection
Speaking of how college can’t just be all about the studying, the next app on my list today, UConnection, works a bit like TUN in that it connects users to local opportunities for savings. This app, however, has a bit more of a local feel to it.
UConnection ranks as number one in food and drinks apps for college students because it offers exclusive deals at local hot spots and also allows users to network with one another. Nightlife is a big part of college, after all. It’s literally where the phrase “beer money,” comes from. This app gets that, pointing students toward the best ways to save money on the nightlife activities they engage in.
Money Saving Apps for College Students #3: College Foodz
This app is specifically tailored for college students—folks who are looking to take a break from their dorm cafeteria and go out to eat. We talked about it recently when we talked about the best smartphone coupon apps for fast food connoisseurs, and it’s still a great choice for users who want to save money on fast food.
Students can use College Foodz to find new dining spots near their school and to discover exciting local food deals. Plus, if they indicate their favorite dining spots, they can get notifications about deals as they are being offered or earn rewards that come in the form of coupons whenever they rate their dining experiences within the app.
Money Saving Apps for College Students #4: Epicurious
So, yes, while some of the apps on this list are great ways to save money while going out to eat, this one takes a different approach to food-based savings. Epicurious makes it easier for everyone and anyone—from a busy mom to a business exec to a coed—to save money by preparing meals at home.
With Epicurious, users can search more than 28,000 recipes, basing their searches off of customizable fields including what’s already in the kitchen, recipe difficulty, and more. I’ve actually used this one at my house and I can honestly say that it’s a great way to save money and to broaden your cooking repertoire.
Money Saving Apps for College Students #5: Shopkick
I’ve saved my favorite app for last! It’s called Shopkick and it helps you save on all the shopping you do already, whether you’re in college or many, many (ahem, many) years removed. Basically, how it works is that it gives you points for various aspects of shopping, all of which are things you do whenever you go out to store, anyway. These include walking into the store, scanning barcodes on certain products to get more info, and, of course, making purchases.
I should also point out it’s a game-like app you can share with your friends, too! Think of it as a scavenger hunt for savings and points.
You can then trade these points in for gift cards to a ton of stores. I personally like to use this app to get gift cards for groceries and other household items in order to bolster my budget, but I can definitely see college students using it to get gift cards they can save for late night Starbucks runs during finals! That’s another benefit of this app: the number of places you can get gift cards for means that with Shopkick you always have a ton of options! Oh, and since I know college students like to have fun, I should also point out it’s a game-like app you can share with your friends, too! Think of it as a scavenger hunt for savings and points.
I wish I’d had Shopkick in college. Who can say for sure, but my guess is it would have meant fewer dinners of ramen and soda. I mean, I wouldn’t trade the memories of those nights for anything, but I also wouldn’t want to have to do them again!
So, there you have it. All five of these apps are great options for college students looking to save money, and some of them—especially Shopkick—are also wonderful ways to save money as an adult, too. I highly recommend checking out Shopkick, no matter what stage of life you’re in.
Get in on one of the best money saving apps for students—and for tons of other shoppers, too. Download Shopkick’s free app today and join a community of loyal Shopkickers who’ve already discovered how much you can earn with the help of a free shopping sidekick.
Image courtesy SeventyFour