free stuff in college

Be smart. Don’t wait until after college to figure out how to be frugal. This mega list of 131 ways to get free stuff in college will help you figure out how to budget, save money, make money, and get free stuff just because you’re in college. This includes everything I know and everything I could find, as well as existing resources on Free Mania for getting free stuff in college.

1. Get smart about buying groceries

2. Stack coupons to get free stuff

3. Request free samples


4. Setup a graduation registry

Need a bunch of stuff for your dorm? There’s no other way you can get a 15% discount at just about everything at Target than to create a registry. Plus, you can also create a wish list and send to to your parents. Maybe your family can help you out too?!

college newspaper freebies

5. Use college newspaper coupons

At my college, I picked up the printed newspaper most days, not because I gave a damn about school news, but rather for free or cheap appetizers, happy hours, BOGO at my favorite restaurants and more. This is legitimately where you can find some of the best local deals on food.

6. Always ask for student discount

Most local spots will give you a free drink or 10% off, if you mention your a student. Even mom and pop retails store do this in college towns, so keep your student ID on you and always ask if there’s a discount for students.

7. Apply for lessor known scholarships

8. Use Redbox coupons for free movie rentals

9. Watch free movie premieres in theatres

10. Get a free 6 month Amazon Prime membership

11. Request Birthday Gift from Sephora

12. Free stuff with coupon at CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid

13. Share your textbooks

14. Resell & buy recycled clothes

15. Use printable mall coupons

16. Join your campus gym

17. Listen to Free Music on Pandora, Spotify & Soundcloud

burrito 2x the size

18. Get 2x Burrito at Chipolte

Did you know how many crazy menu hack there are when you’re ordering at Chipotle? For one, skip the rice and ask for double beans (more protein), ask for two types of meat, make sure you ask for veggies, get all of the toppings, etc. Plus, did you know that if you order a bowl, you can also ask for two flour tortillas or taco shells on the side, free of charge? Also, at most Chipotle’s, if you tell them you’re a student, they’ll give you a free drink.

hack your ramen
19. Hack Your Ramen

I know that eating Ramen when you’re in college is something I’m not going to talk you out of. However, there are a few ways to make your noodles more delicious and nutritious, whilst being super cheap. You can crack an egg in your ramen for protein and flavor, for example. Toss some scallions in for some pizazz. Eat it with salad. With tofu… the options are really limitless!

20. Share meal & food expenses with roommates

21. Work job that gives you free food

That’s right. Many fast food joints will give you free food, but there are other perks too – like free airfare, tuition reimbursement, health care, and more for part-time jobs from big companies.

22. Attend free food events

This isn’t exactly like it sounds. By free food events, I mean on campus events, like open club meetings, housing meetings, meetups, talks, and more where free food is on offer, on campus. These are literally happening every minute of the day on college campuses, especially at lunch and for meeting events, as this is a popular way to attract interest.

24. Shop at dollar stores

Dollar stores have a lot of stuff you’ll need for your kitchen, in particular. There is no sense in paying big box store prices when you can pay 75% less!

25. Take campus surveys / user studies for cash

26. Swagbucks for giftcards

If you search Google and write emails, Swagbucks is great! You’ll earn gift cards for Amazon and Target, doing nothing more than what you already do. And if you don’t want gift cards, you can always exchange them for cash at Coinstar machines. I just love getting free stuff in college!free coffee cups

27. Make your own coffee & get cup(s)

Coffee is too expensive to even think about getting when you’re on a budget in college. If you’re buying a daily Starbucks, you can easily kick that habit and save time. Grab some cheap, nice cups and a good coffee maker and you’ll save $30 a week, or around $1400 a year! Hollar has some cheap cups, so grab ’em.

28. Get creative with oatmeal

With a food cost of 5-10 cents per serving, you can definitely get creative with oatmeal and still have a super cheap meal. Add fruits, granola, eggs, cheese, all kinds of combos that will keep you happy with your oatmeal and entertained. Plus, you can impress your friends.

29. Buy a high quality water bottle

30. Find creative ways to plan dates

31. Request student discount when buying any software or tech

32. Buy renters insurance

33. Watch TV shows on 123 Movies

34. Buy cheap or get free furniture of Craiglist

35. Get free goods on FreeCycle

37. Learn how to shop at Costco without a Costco Card

38. Ride your bike!

39. Rideshare on long road trips

40. Use data only cell phone plans

41. Go to local beauty college

42. Donate your blood / sperm / eggs

43. Make sure you properly fill out your FAFSA (tips)

44. Attend community college and then transfer to a university

45. Create a spending budget using 

46. Join a bank that offers free checking & ATM fees

47. Sell your essays on Amazon

48. Trade giftcards for cash using Coinstar

49. Use Elance, Odesk, Craigslist to get paid to Tutor

50. Design a $5 skill on Fiverr

51. Visit home for some free meals

52. Graduate in 4 years or heck, 3 years

53. Seek experiences, not things

54. Make sure you track expenses (subscriptions & fraud, in particular)

55. Get an internship

56. Move out of your dorm

57. Use apps to save money

58. Become an Uber Driver

59. Share your extra space on Airbnb

60. Get free Starbucks 

61. Brew your own beer

62. If it’s not a 10, don’t buy it

63. Test out of classes

64. If you can’t find a class you need at your college, look for class online

65. Be an RA to get free room and board

66. Volunteer during your spring break

67. Use bill pay so you’re never late on bills

68. Check your credit & improve score while you’re in college

69. Use AP credits to graduate sooner

70. Keep a stack of cash for emergencies

71. Check school library for required textbooks

72. Download Kindle software on Desktop or phone, free

73. Use public transit & carpools

74. El Monterey burritos!

75. Attend a clothing swap

76. Flex your student status for retail discounts

78. Use Living Social & Groupon

79. Mentally calculate as you spend

80. Take as many hotel goodies as you can

81. Pack snacks so you don’t buy food

82. Use Ebates, if you shop online

83. Flea markets are fun!

84. Go to church events

85. Ask your friends to share Netflix & HBO logins

86. Have game nights at your house instead of going out

87. Pre-drink

88. Win at trivia night at a local bar

89. House or pet sit for money & free housing

90. Listen to Redditors

91. Know the makeup of your grade

92. Skip the meal plan

93. Get rid of your car or leave it at home

94. Sells ads for local or school newspaper

95. Sell your notes for classes

96. Embrace minimalism

97. Get free condoms from college health center & Planned Parenthood

98. Check out college AV equipment for your party

99. Try the envelope cash budget method

100. Haggle your monthly bills, especially internet/cable

101. Turn a hike into a geo cache adventure

102. Set price alerts on Amazon & Kayak

103. Use VITA for help on your taxes

104. Request tax refunds for university textbooks

105. Listen to money maven podcasts

106. Do free work for great experience

107. Use DIY college tricks to save money

108. Get a Target Red Card

109. See if you qualify for a tuition waiver

110. Get free resume help from career services

111. Consolidate student loans

112. Use gas buddy to find cheapest gas

113. Become a campus ambassador to get money & free stuff

114. Don’t buy shots

115. Locate inexpensive happy hours

116. Find free events with FunCheap

117. Request free cosmetics 

118. Make a list of daily specials

119. Use Subway SMS coupons

120. Review websites for cash

121. Sell your old textbooks

122. Learn to sew buttons

123. Couchsurf when you travel

124. Share stuff on Omni Storage

125. Use TaskRabbit for moving in / tutoring

126. Find free local spaces you can use for events & parties

127. Use a cash flow statement

128. Go to college at a public, in-state university

129. Check out list of 20 free things for college students

130. Get free flu shots, birth control, STI tests, doctors visits at health center

131. Read 53,000 free ebooks, before buying another book

132. Find free & heavily discounted software

133. Free digital subscription for Washington Post

134. See a nutritionist for free at your college