As a student, it’s common to feel strapped for cash, especially as the cost of living rises. We’ve put together our top tips and student-specific hacks that will help you to keep costs down and make your money go further when you’re out and about in Manchester or beyond – without making big changes to your lifestyle.

Sign up for student discounts

Having a student discount card or app can save you more money than you may think. Student discounts can range from 5% to 40%, so there are some big savings to be made. Most shops will accept your Salford ID card as proof, however, for online shopping and access to other exclusive discounts, you can sign up for an online account using your uni email.

To save money on food and drinks, beauty products, the latest tech and much more, sign up to TOTUM, UNiDAYS and Student Beans. Don’t be afraid to sign up to all three – there’s no limit! It’s also worth checking if your existing subscriptions (if you absolutely need to keep them) have the option for student membership options such as Prime Student (Amazon), Spotify and Apple Music.

Pick up loyalty cards

Similar to student discounts, loyalty cards can be your best friend when it comes to saving money on the go. By signing up for a loyalty card with a retailer, you have access to a world of discounts, freebies or exclusive deals. You also earn points as you spend and while it may seem small at first, the savings can accumulate over time. Plus, if you do sign up to retailer’s loyalty schemes, you may also be treated to birthday freebies on your special day. However, it’s important that you stay savvy and don’t change your shopping habits just to earn points and rewards.

Check out Save the Student’s blog to find the best loyalty card schemes, based on their value for money.

A student eating outside at a restaurant in Manchester

Shop second-hand

Another way to make your money go further is to purchase pre-loved items. There are so many benefits to shopping second-hand: you’ll decrease your impact on the environment, find unique one-off items and support local businesses or good causes. We’re incredibly lucky in Salford to be right on the doorstep of Manchester, one of the best cities in the UK for thrift shops and independently run second hand stores. Don’t know where to start looking for a wardrobe refresh or book haul? Watch our TikTok to find some inspiration (and some steals!) or visit our top three shops next time you’re in the city centre:

  • Blue Rinse (Oldham Street, Manchester)
  • Oxfam (Oldham Street, Manchester)
  • Manchester Thrift Shop (Parker Street, Manchester)

Not on campus? Don’t worry, shopping second-hand wherever you are has never been easier. With online marketplaces such as Vinted and Depop, you can buy and sell items at the touch of your fingertips. Remember, shopping second-hand doesn’t just mean clothing, you can also find furniture, books, technology and more.

Save on travel

Whether you commute to uni every day or are planning a trip this weekend, there are lots of ways to get around Manchester and Salford thanks to our well-connected transport links – but the price can mount up if you’re not careful. Our Made in Salford blog shares all the affordable ways to get from A to B without breaking the bank, whether that’s by bus, bike or tram. Check it out for information about Railcards that could save you 25% on train journeys, free bus routes around the city and much more.

Two students browsing a shop in Manchester

Plan cheap (or even free!) days out in the city


You won’t be a Salford student forever, so it’s well worth making use of your student status while you have it – especially on days out. Some of our favourite discounted passes and activities include:

  • Student Art Pass – With the Student Art Pass, you get access to museums, art galleries and historic houses for just £10 for the whole year.
  • The Lowry – As a student, you don’t have to miss out on the world of theatre. The Lowry offer heavily discounted tickets at selected shows for those aged 18-30 or for Salford residents. The show must go on!
  • National Football Museum – Get a kick out of discounted entry into England’s national museum of football for just £11 (online).


Planning a free day out in a big cities like Salford and Manchester may feel overambitious, but that isn’t the case. Trust us. We’ve even written a blog about it.

Check out our guide to help you explore Manchester and Salford for free, if you’ve got a spare hour, morning or full day. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re a culture vulture looking for art galleries or music concerts, want to get outside to explore your local green spaces and much more.

We hope these practical tips help you to manage your money and keep costs down – while still making the most of student life at Salford. Want more money saving tips? Check out our blogs for advice on how to save money on your household bills, food shop and more.