Back to School: Saving Money

Hello reader!

So back to school season also means spending lots of your money. Whether it's on tuition or books, school is expensive especially if you're in university like us! We understand the stress that this may cause particularly for new students who are entering the semester. No need to worry though, we have a few tips and tricks for you that can help you save your money and relieve your worries! Keep reading to find out how!

Tip 1: Buy Used Textbooks/Sell Textbooks Buying brand new textbooks at the bookstore can become really pricey! Not to mention, a bit overpriced too! Each textbook can cost you between $100-$300, which can stack up quickly, depending on how many courses you have and which program you are enrolled in. So what is the solution to saving your money on books? Well, we have several options for you!

A) Ask for the used textbooks at the bookstore. Most English Cegeps and universities offer students to bring back the textbooks that they have purchased in the past. By doing so, they get some money back and they give future students the opportunity to buy these used textbooks which are listed at a cheaper price. However, there are a very limited amount offered and sometimes there are no second hand books available at the bookstore for that course. In that case, move forward to option B.

B) Search online for used textbooks. A great option for finding second hand books is by lurking through the Internet. is a valuable source for finding new and used books for a low price. There are also other websites where you can buy or sell your textbooks such as and However, waiting several weeks for a book can be inconvenient because you can fall behind with the course material. Therefore, option C would be your last resort.

C) Find your books on your school portal, or on a Facebook group. When attending Cegep, you have the opportunity to find used textbooks at the click of your school portal. If you are enrolled at Vanier, check your Omnivox and click the Second Hand Books option (under the Services section) to search for your books. There, you can communicate with other Vanier students who are selling their books at a much cheaper price. Are you attending Dawson College? Join the Dawson Book Exchange or Sell Facebook page to easily find the material you need for your courses.

If you are a University student, often times there are Facebook groups which students will sell their used textbooks at a discounted price. For Concordia University, follow the Facebook page: Concordia Book Trading. There you can find and sell your books! Also, if you are a McGill student, check out the Facebook page: McGill University Book Exchange.

Take advantage of these multiple opportunities to save yourself a little or actually a lot of cash.

Tip 2: Use Student ID card/ SPC Card for discounts

Usually around your school campus, there are many restaurants and coffee shops that give discounts to students. For instance, if you are a Concordia student, you can get 10% off at Starbucks and at Dairy Queen. What a treat! So make sure to always carry around your student ID to be granted with the rebate.

Or, purchase an SPC card! If you're a student, you can purchase an SPC card online (here) or in certain stores and with it, you will receive discounts at participating restaurants and retail stores! Shop with your SPC card at Aldo, Adidas, Guess, Garage and more stores! Click the link to the SPC website (here) to learn more and find out where else you can get discounts.

Tip 3: Pack a Lunch

Packing a lunch is an excellent way to save some money. Seeing that many of our universities and Cegeps in Montreal are located within the downtown area, it's tempting to stop by a local cafe or restaurant during your break for a quick lunch or supper. However, constant trips for food costs money. So pack a lunch or bring multiple snacks to keep you munching throughout the day. It'll allow you to stay full during a long, busy school day and you'll be able to save money as well. Check out our Pinterest page (here) to give you some ideas of what you can bring for lunch!

Tip 4: Bring a reusable water bottle or insulated bottle for your coffee

Many of us like to sip on coffee throughout the day in order to keep ourselves awake during a long day at school. The Starbucks around the corner of your school is tempting but spending $5 a day on coffee can rack up even after a week. So, make some coffee before you head out of the house and bring it with you in an insulated bottle for you to sip on during your day or on your way to school.

If you aren't really a coffee drinker, fill up a reusable bottle with water before you leave the house to bring with you for your day. Add some peaches, cucumber or lemon and that will surely give you the right amount of energy for class.

We hope these tips were helpful! If you have any other suggestions for how to save money when going back to school, make sure to leave your comments down below. We would love to hear from you guys!

Stay tuned for more as always!

All our love,

Casandra & Kristin

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