The student news site of Naperville North High School

The North Star

The student news site of Naperville North High School

The North Star

The student news site of Naperville North High School

The North Star

Column: The best ways to save on holiday shopping as a student

Photo by Claire Tanza

In December, gift-giving reaches its yearly all-time high, but buying presents for multiple people on a student budget can be tricky. Holiday shopping without breaking the bank is important; according to McKinsey & Company, the amount of consumers who rank better prices and promotions as their top consideration for holiday shopping has gone from 59% to 66% compared to last year.

As a student who enjoys looking for the best deals, whether I’m shopping for others or myself, I’ve learned a few methods that help me save the most when online shopping. Here’s how to get the best online discounts that apply to shopping all-year-round, but are especially useful for last-minute holiday shopping.

First of all, many students are under the impression that student discounts only apply to those in university. In actuality, there are many companies giving out student discounts to high schoolers. Personally, the websites I use the most are Student Beans and UNiDAYS. These websites require you to verify your student status by providing your student email address. In return, you receive discounts year-round in popular stores like H&M, Nike, Hollister and more. The District 203 provided student email addresses qualifies at both Student Beans and UNiDAYS. These companies’ offerings combined are sure to have discounts for at least one store that you might enjoy shopping at. Another suggestion that I have for finding discounts on Student Beans and UNiDAYS is that one website may offer a better discount than the other, so it’s best to always check both before making a purchase.

If searching for deals on Student Beans and UNiDAYS sounds like too much of a hassle, I recommend checking out websites like Rakuten and Honey which have Chrome/Safari extensions for an easier experience. Although these companies don’t give a specialty discount to students, their services apply to many shops that are popular among students. Rakuten gives rebates (a partial refund on your purchase) at a wide range of stores through PayPal or check, and Honey scans the internet for coupon codes before you check out to help make sure you’re getting the best deal. When used through a Chrome/Safari extension, it’s easy to click on them before you pay for your online purchases to save some extra money.

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For online shopping, the best place to look for sales isn’t hard to find: the sale section of a company’s website. But for students, there’s a more coveted section that’s often hidden until you scroll down to the bottom of the page: a student discount section. Many times, these student discount pages will embed either Student Beans or UNiDAYS to verify your student status, and give you a discount code or access to a student collection on their website. 

A lot of the time, student discounts can be stacked on top of regular promotions. For maximum holiday savings, looking up any holiday sales that stores may be having and then looking up student discounts at that store is one of the best ways to save money while gift shopping. An example is that Aerie has many discounts this holiday season, currently including up to 50% off many tees, sweatshirts and sweaters for women and men. While this is an enticing deal on its own, UNiDAYS also offers a stackable 20% off discount running through December that applies to any order on Aerie’s website. Plus with Rakuten’s 2% cashback (tip: the percentage fluctuates on a daily basis), you would be able to save a considerable amount more with these discounts.

Another tip I have for students looking to save money is to look for gift or value sets because they offer a great way to try out new products while still saving money. Oftentimes these sets include full-size or popular products. These products grouped together are often already marked at a discount, and after applying a holiday promotion combined with a student discount, you can enjoy gifts for yourself or your friends knowing that you were a smart spender.

The bottom line is that discounts for students are all around; you just have to put a little more effort into looking for them. Let these tips help you enjoy gift-giving and treating yourself this holiday season without breaking the bank – after all, nothing lights up the holidays quite like the satisfaction of a savvy student discount.

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About the Contributor
Claire Tanza
Claire Tanza, Editor-in-Chief
Claire Tanza is a senior at Naperville North and is so excited to be taking on the role of Editor-in-Chief this year. In her second year of writing for The North Star, she can’t wait to support the staff in developing their journalistic skills and continue working on her own journalistic pursuits. Outside of the newsroom, you can find Claire playing on North’s varsity tennis team, involved in theater, being the co-president of GEMS and a part of Senior Board.

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