How to save money in college

Tori Bedsole
Features Editor

From student discounts to money-saving apps, there are a multitude of ways for college students to reduce everyday costs and increase their savings.

Students generally struggle financially during college, especially with ever-increasing tuition costs.

According to The Student Loan Report, the average college graduate walks across the stage to receive a bachelor’s degree with almost $28,000 in debt.

With this in mind, there are a few ways that students can begin saving now to reduce costs later.

There are different apps that can be downloaded on smartphones, which allows the user to determine the best app for him or her.

Some of the most popular apps include the Walmart Savings Catcher app, which allows the user to scan receipts and receive money back if the app finds a lower price;

ShopKick, which can be used with or without making purchases; and Receipt Hog, which also allows the user to upload receipts from any retailer.

The ones listed above are the most popular and user friendly; there are plenty more to choose from, such as Ibotta, Retailmenot, Mint, SnipSnap, Campus Special and Target Cartwheel.

Some fast food restaurants also have apps that allow the user to accumulate points, which can be traded in for free menu items or other incentives. Local restaurants like Chick-fil-A, Chicken Salad Chick and McDonald’s all have these features.

In the Troy community, there are also several businesses that offer student discounts.

Village Coffee, a coffee and pastry shop located in the shopping center on Elba Highway across from Walgreens, offers a 30 percent discount for students from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays.

Hardee’s, Flo’s Kitchen and Momma Goldberg’s offer 10 percent student discounts. Zaxby’s also offers a 10 percent student discount with a Student Alumni Association discount card.

B. Graves, located downtown on the square, has recently added a “buy one entree, get one free” discount for students on Wednesdays.

Some restaurants and retail locations also provide customer satisfaction surveys on the bottoms of their receipts.

Popeyes offers a free two-piece chicken and a biscuit, with purchase of a large drink, for taking its survey. Chick-fil-A gives coupons on some of its receipts for a free chicken sandwich for filling out its survey.

Other restaurants offer free items for signing up for reward programs. At Arby’s, customers can receive a free roast beef classic with any purchase when they sign up for Arby’s Deals. For joining the Zax Club, customers can receive a free meal deal at Zaxby’s.

This list is not extensive nor limited to the locations listed above. If you are unsure whether
a location offers a discount, just ask.

To save money on gas, students can download Gas Buddy, which shows the lowest gas prices based on the ZIP code the user enters.

Couponing is also a great way to save money. is a free site that lists updated manufacturer coupons that can be printed out. Publix, Piggly Wiggly and CVS all have store coupons that can be used for college student needs.

Newspaper inserts are an easy way to find these coupons and store inserts with specific sales.

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