Studying overseas can be expensive, especially during the first couple of months away from home when you’re getting used to your new surroundings.
Here are some tips for saving money:
- Prepare you own Food. Eating out all the time is expensive. Each of the student residences provides self catering facilities and preparing your own food is a great way to save money. When you do want to eat out at a restaurant, keep your eyes open for Early Bird Menus which offer better value for money e.g. Vina Mara, Middle St, Galway; Krusoes Restaurant in the Harbour Hotel, the Harbour; Kirbys Restaurant, Cross St, Cookes Restaurant, Upper Abbeygate St, KC Blakes, Quay St.
- Shop at Discount Stores. Discount stores provide great bargains for the discerning shopper. Products including household goods, gifts, stationery, toiletries and bric-a-brac can usually be picked up much cheaper at shops such as Poundscene, Galway Shopping Centre (Headford Rd) and the Two Euro Stores on Eglinton St and Mainguard St in the city centre.
- Secondhand Stores. Secondhand and Charity Shops also offer great bargains for household items and clothing – Simon Shop, Sea Road, St Vincent de Paul Curiosity Shop, Merchants Rd., Age Action, Upper Abbeygate Street, Galway.
- Coupons. For money saving grocery coupons see www.pigsback.com and www.couponmaster.ie and www.shopgalway.com. Other websites which promote value for money offers are http://www.saveafewbob.ie/ and www.valueireland.com.
- B.Y.O.B. Under the Waste Management (Environment Levy) retailers impose a charge of 22c for plastic bags. Help the environment and your wallet by remembering to bring your own shopping bags when you go shopping for food.
- Keep an eye out for Special Offers. Find out about the latest special offers in supermarkets like Supervalu in the Galway Advertiser newspaper (free) each week. The supermarkets Lidl and Aldi also have special offers every week based on different themes e.g. hiking equipment, ski wear, office furniture, DIY equipment as well as groceries.
- Try “Ligging”- getting into places to enjoy free hospitality. Read the Galway Advertiser and Galway Independent weekly for news of book/cd/festival launches and go along. Free food and drink is normally served.
- Save money on travel. Lots of international students like to travel to other parts of Ireland and Europe while studying in Galway. The key to saving money when travelling is planning ahead. The earlier you book flights, hostels, etc., the cheaper usually it will be, so try to plan your trips at the beginning of term.
- Buy secondhand books. Textbooks can be expensive so try to get books from the university library or a secondhand bookstore such as Charlie Byrnes or the Students Union before buying a new copy.
- Mobile phones. Mobile Phone (cell phone) companies such as O2, Vodafone and Meteor and 3 Mobile often offer special deals for students, so make sure you shop around for the best deals when you arrive in Ireland. Pay-As-You-Go deals are usually the best value option for international students, especially visiting students here for a semester or a year. Also, try to get your mobile phone from home unblocked before leaving for Ireland. That way you may just need to purchase a SIM card.