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Student discounts and deals: how to save on everything from a pizza to travel

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Whether it’s your weekly shop, a takeaway meal, a textbook or new clothes, there are plenty of ways to save money on the essentials of student life (and the not-so-essentials).

A huge variety of discounts and deals are on offer, although to take advantage of some of them you will need to be signed up to a student discount scheme.

Three of the main ones are Totum (the new name for the NUS extra card), UNiDAYS and Student Beans.

Totum says it has more than 350 offers and discounts available across its platform. It has a free digital version but the membership that comes with a card, which you will often need for a deal, costs £14.99 for a year or – at the time of writing – £24.99 for three years.

UNiDAYS and Student Beans are free to join.

View image in fullscreenThere are ways for students to save money on takeaway food. Photograph: PinPep/Rex/Shutterstock

However, with some retailers, all you need to do is flash your university card.

Keep a close eye on websites such as because they feature regularly updated lists of the top student deals.

Here are a few of the best deals on offer at the moment:

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  • 10% off groceries when shopping at the Co-op. This offer is for Totum cardholders – they have to show their card at the till. Be aware that some Co-operative Societies are not taking part.

  • 35% off at the pizza chain Domino’s. Totum, UNiDAYS and Student Beans were all offering this deal at the time of writing, although the terms varied: for example, Totum’s was for online orders of more than £40, while with Student Beans you needed to spend £25 online.

  • The fashion retailer Asos normally offers a 10% student discount, although for a limited period it has been upped to 15%. You need a discount code, which must be obtained through the Asos student validation form that you can complete online, or via Totum, UNiDAYS or Student Beans. Asos’s website gives an end date of 27 September 2021, although some of the student discount sites carry an end date of midnight on 12 September.

  • 25% off university textbooks courtesy of the Oxford University Press website. Simply enter the code WEBXSTU92 at the checkout. It means a book costing, say, £32.99 can be picked up for £24.74. You should probably try other websites and secondhand bookshops first, in case the book you need can be found cheaper elsewhere.

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View image in fullscreenA National Express coach. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

  • Amazon is offering a free six-month trial of its Prime Student service. After that you pay £3.99 a month (50% off the standard price).

  • Apple has special pricing for students at, or heading off to, university. One of the promotions gives you a free pair of Apple AirPods when you buy an iPad or Mac. This promotion is due to end on 11 October. You verify your eligibility via Apple or UNiDAYS.

  • 15% off coach travel when you book online with National Express. Available via Totum, UNiDAYS and Student Beans. You typically need to book at least three days in advance.

  • The Empire and Cineworld cinema chains are among those offering discounts to students (you will usually have to show valid student ID). Prices vary but at the Empire it might mean paying £6.50 instead of an adult price of £8.99, while at Cineworld it is often a £2 saving. The Odeon chain used to offer discounted tickets for students but no longer does.