10 easy swaps to make your life less expensive

These swaps are easy to make, and once they become habit, you'll be spending less without even having to try.


The main thing we noticed when we got to uni and finally had to fend for ourselves in the real world is how expensive everything is. Like really expensive. And not even just things that you expect to be expensive, it's literally EVERYTHING. From toilet roll to chicken breasts we had no idea what was in store for us when we braved the aisles of Asda for the first time.

Luckily the studentbeans.com team are here to help and we've put together 10 easy swaps that you can make in your life which will help you save some of that precious cash.

Drink ale instead of beer

With lager crossing the £4 mark far too often these days, you have a great opportunity to get into drinking ale. Not only is it often up to a pound cheaper than lager, it's also a great drink to start enjoying - there are loads of flavours for you to try out, and enjoying it opens up a wonderful world of of country ale festivals and general homespun Englishness.

Buy non-branded pain killers

Buying non-branded pain killers is one of the easiest ways to save cash as a student. All that money we spend on aspirins to try and solve our hangovers could be cut back significantly. Instead of buying products such as Nurofen and Anadin (which costs £1.69 a box) just buy the supermarket's own brand versions which on average will only cost you about 30p and are by law chemically identical!

Swap from lattes and cappuccinos to filter coffees

For those of you that can't get out of bed in the morning without your coffee fix, the amount of money spent on lattes and cappuccinos could be a cause for serious concern. You can still get your caffeine hit whilst saving on average 50p a pop if you just swap from fancier coffees to regular filter.

Once you get into it, the milky alternatives can seem a bit 'heavy' - and that's another advantage. All the calories and protein in the others aren't too great for our waistline either.

Swap high end make up for cheaper alternatives

Make up is a fundamental part to many girls' lives, and the twenty pounds we have to dish out here and there when our favourite items run out is heartbreaking. Luckily there are loads of alternatives to expensive make up that you can buy at affordable prices. Have a look at totalbeauty.com, who did a run down of the best cost-saving make-up swaps.

Eat frozen food instead of fresh food

Much to contrary belief, there's not actually as much vitamin loss in frozen food as people think - and that includes the vegetables. So, not only are you benefiting from a decent amount of nutrients you're saving cash on the cost AND on waste - because it doesn't go off.

Buy music somewhere other than iTunes

£1 for a song seems steep at the best of times, let alone when we're nearing the bottom of our second overdraft. Luckily we've found some alternatives to iTunes where you can download music legally for less money. www.emusic.com charges just 42p for songs, a significant mark down from iTunes' price, and amazon is also found to be cheaper when buying albums.

Start rolling cigarettes

Let's be honest, no student can afford to be splashing out on £8.40 packets of Marlboro Lights. 12.5g of Amberleaf baccy costs just £3.92, comes with risla and filters and will last longer.

Even cheaper than that are E-Lites, which cost just £7.99 for the equivalent of 4 packs of cigarettes and are a step in the direction of the cheapest (not to mention HEALTHIEST) option we can think of - quitting altogether. You can order a smokefree kit from the NHS if you're planning to give up smoking and need some help.

Drink cheap vodka instead of Smirnoff

It might not taste as nice, but if you're just mixing it with lemonade or coke you can't really taste the difference anyway. A 700ml bottle of Smirnoff vodka will cost you a steep £15.00 at Tesco, whereas Tesco's own Imperial Vodka costs just £11.60.

Swap chicken breasts for chicken on the bone

Not only is it SO much cheaper (550g of Tesco everyday value chicken breast fillets cost £4.95 and the same amount of chicken drumsticks costs just £1.33) it's also SO much nicer. Really! SO much nicer. Make the swap now!

Swap your relationship for a Netflix subscription

If your boyfriend / girlfriend is starting to get on your nerves and you've realised that you're spending more than £5 a month on them, it's time to cash them in for a Netflix subscription. Trust us, you won't regret it... We think.