1. Get free stuff
Whenever you need something, your first stop should be the University of Ottawa’s . Who can say no to free stuff? This is your go-to place for free clothes, office supplies, kitchenware and many other items.
Pro tip: Pick up a quirky birthday gift for a loved one. It’s the thought that counts, right?
2. Exercise — get what you’ve paid for
3. Get creative on dates
Instead of shelling out for a movie or a dinner, get creative by taking your special someone to a free event in between classes. For example, check out an amazing , attend a lecture at the library or go to events and activities on campus. Learn how to recycle old clothes at or check out some startup ideas at the . You won’t look like a cheapskate — you’ll spark a great conversation. The best things in life are free!
4. Show your student card to get discounts
Pro tip: Admission to the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian Museum of History, the Canadian War Museum and the Canadian Museum of Nature is free on Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
5. Use those Flex dollars every month
6. Track your spending with a budget
7. Shop smart
Time to lose that old cliché of surviving on instant Ramen noodles. Here are a few resources:
- Price matching: Use the to compare prices and find the best deals at Superstore, No Frills, Giant Tiger and Freshco. A little research can save you a big chunk on your weekly grocery haul.
- PC Optimum: Accumulate on your purchases, which can be redeemed for free products. It’s like getting paid to go grocery shopping.
- Scene+ points: Love movies? Accumulate Scene+ points on purchases for free movie tickets.
- : Snag products nearing their expiry date at a discount of 50% to 75%. A real boon for savvy students.
- Too Good To Go: Join the anti-waste movement with the , offering surprise baskets from retailers at small prices.
- and : Don’t underestimate the power of flyers. They’re available online and can help you plan your shopping around promotions.
Pro tip: Never shop when you’re hungry!
8. Use public transportation and your U-Pass for getting around.
Resist the temptation to call that Uber or borrow the car, and save money on gas and parking.
9. Ride a bicycle
Admittedly, this isn’t for the faint of heart this time of year but, depending on the weather, you might squeeze in a few more days of cycling. Rolling up on your bicycle is not just practical — it’s a life-changing decision. Cycling is one of the best ways to commute to and from the University of Ottawa, and with nifty bike parking spots sprinkled all around, you can be sure you’ll never miss that sunrise lecture. For your convenience, here’s a to help you plan your journey (even if it is next spring).
There you have it! With these tricks up your sleeve, you’re ready to face the adulting world with a well-managed wallet. After all, every penny saved is a step closer to that coveted financial freedom. And remember, the key is to be ingenious and stay on the lookout for good deals!