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MAKING SENSE OF YOUR CENTS: 9 Ways to Effectively Save Money

Queen’s University students are well underway in this new school year. However, the costs of tuition, supplies, and more have quickly added up and may be causing a dent in your wallet. In this article, the Financial Literacy team, part of Peer Health Educator Program, have compiled a list of ways to save money throughout the year so that you can be on your A-game when it comes to finances.

1) opt-out season

Tuition is already as costly as it can be, but did you know that you get charged student activity fees and health and dental insurance in the beginning of the school year? That’s great and all but those optional fees add up and you may not need health and dental insurance if you have it through your parents or workplace. That’s why it’s important to take advantage of the AMS Opt-Out Period, where you can save up to $400! Visit for more information on how you can opt out of student activity fees and/or health and dental insurance.

2) cut down the costs

For additional financial aid, Queen’s University offers certain bursaries – a non-repayable award that is based on financial need. These are intended to help certain individuals supplement other means of funding their education. On SOLUS, you can find applications for the Admissions Bursary, the Queen’s General Bursary, and the Queen’s Summer General Bursary. There are set application deadlines for many of these opportunities, so it is important to check back consistently. Make sure to check the Queen’s University General Bursary Program for current and future deadlines. All students may apply though consideration may be limited to students in a degree program.

3) how to be book-smart

Textbooks can be pricey! Students on average spend around $500 – 1000 on course material a year. Luckily, most students on campus can relate to the slight pain of spending hundreds of dollars on textbooks and have banned together to “cheat the system”.

Facebook Marketplace and groups like the “Used Textbooks for Sale (Queen’s)” and “Textbook Exchange” have students from a variety of faculties selling their used textbooks (and sometimes study notes) for low prices.

Another great on-campus resource is the Tricolour Outlet, where they buy and sell used textbooks throughout the year and have en massed a large collection located in the JDUC. The Campus Bookstore also buys and sells used textbooks. If you are looking to sell some textbooks check out their new MobileBuyBack app, which scans textbook bar codes and provides you with a buy-back price.

4) shop strategically

Each grocery store in Kington offers excellent perks but also important drawbacks. Make sure you shop at the grocery store that fits your needs best. Your needs might be low-cost, being close by, the quality of goods, the selection of goods, etc. If you are looking to save money, we recommend making a trip to Costco, Walmart, or even just the Food Basics down Princess (1255 Princess St.) Princess instead of the more expensive one Downtown (331 Barrack St.). However, they aren’t as close to campus. Campus One Stop is right on campus, but the prices on Campus One Stop are often higher. Make sure you think about what you need out of a grocery trip and shop strategically.

Another way to shop strategically is to take advantage of student discount days!

  • Every Tuesday, students can get 10% off their groceries at the Food Basics on 33 Barrack St.

  • Every Tuesday and Thursday, students can get 10% off their groceries at the Food Basics on 310 Barrie St.

5) get that bread

Literally. What is better than FREE bread? Nothing. Go get a free package of pita bread at Campus One Stop with the purchase of any hummus or dip!

6) did someone say free stuff?

Have you scrolled through Facebook and noticed all the free events that various student clubs organize? Well, it’s time to start taking advantage of them because they can be great sources for free items! For example, many events on-campus will provide food to their attendees and sometimes, there will be extra food for you to take home! These events may be organized by department student councils, faculties, and/or clubs on-campus. Many of these events (especially during orientation week) also give out free stationary, so if you’re in need of a new pen or two, there may be opportunities on-campus to get some for free!

7) a trip around town

Whether you are hoping to go to a fun market or go for a long stroll on some beautiful paths, there are many free activities that you can take part in within the Kingston community. Listed below are some of the possible events that you can take part in:

  • MUSIC IN THE SQUARE: local live musical performances are happening almost daily in springer market square. You can check out the schedule at the love Kingston marketplace website

  • MEMORIAL CENTRE FARMERS MARKET: this market is full of fresh food and is a great atmosphere to walk around in. It is open every Sunday from 9-2

  • LEMOINE POINT CONSERVATION AREA: take a study break and go get some fresh air at this beautiful trail at 1440 Coverdale Dr.

  • FORT HENRY: go explore one of the oldest military forts in Canada with beautiful views of the water and even better sunsets

  • WOLFE ISLAND: take a fun little trip on the free ferry to Wolfe Island and explore the beautiful little town on the water

  • KINGSTON PARKS: Visit one of the many parks in Kingston and go for a walk on beautiful nature trails or go with some friends and play at one of the free tennis, basketball, baseball, and/or soccer fields!

If you would like to continuously stay updated on fun Kingston events, you can check out the Kingston event calendar at

8) more points = more rewards

Do you always say no when a sales associate asks if you would like to join their rewards program? Well, it may be time to reconsider because you are missing out on some awesome deals! How the points system works is that you get awarded for points for each purchase you make, and those points can be redeemed for monetary value on future purchase. A great example of this is PC Optimum, where you earn points for each dollar spent! What’s also cool is that some programs will give you personalized points deals depending on your shopping habits.


And that’s it for this article on how to save money as a Queen’s student! We at the Financial Literacy team hoped that these tips were helpful and keep you on track with your finances!


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