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.
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?!
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
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.
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
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!
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.
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.