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Published September 5, 2023
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5 Ways University Students Can Save on Books, Tech and More

From student loyalty programs to shopping second-hand, these strategies could save you hundreds on books, tech and more.

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As children, school supplies meant colourful binders, pencils and crayons. As university and college students, school supplies have gotten more sophisticated and significantly more expensive. 

On top of tuition fees, university students also have to worry about things like laptops and up-to-date textbooks, which often cost a couple hundred dollars apiece. 

If you’re headed to university or college this fall (or your child is), here are some ways to save money on tech, supplies and more:

1. Shop the Apple Store for Educational Individuals

Apple isn’t known for running many promotions or discounts on their products. However, it seems to make an exception for students. 

The Apple Store for Educational Individuals offers special discount pricing on select Apple products. Eligible faculty, staff, students and parents can take advantage of discounts through this online store. 

Students who are currently enrolled in a postsecondary education program or have been accepted into a postsecondary institution in Canada are eligible to purchase from the Apple Store for Education Individuals. Additionally, parents who are purchasing on behalf of a child who is a student at or has been accepted into a postsecondary institution within Canada may take advantage of the student discounts. 

All you need to do to get discounted pricing is show a valid student ID from a postsecondary institution within Canada.

2. Get Prime Student from Amazon Canada

We’ve all heard of Amazon Prime, but did you know that Amazon offers a Prime Student program specifically for university, college and CEGEP students? 

Prime Student members can take advantage of free two-day delivery, as well as access to Prime Video, ad-free music streaming, free unlimited photo storage and Twitch Prime. They can also get early access to Amazon lightning deals. 

Keep in mind that Prime Student is a membership program. There is a free six-month trial, but after that, you’ll have to pay a membership fee of $4.99 per month. Depending on your interests, the monthly fee may or may not be worth it. However, by signing up for the free trial, you’ll be able to see how much you use it. 

To be eligible for Amazon Prime Student, you need to meet the following requirements:

  1. You must have a valid account.
  2. You must be a university, college or CEGEP student that is actively enrolled and currently taking a minimum of one course at a postsecondary institution in Canada.
  3. You must have proof of enrollment that you can provide upon request.
  4. You must have a valid university, college or CEGEP email address.

Unfortunately, residents of Quebec are not eligible for the free six-month Prime Student trial.

3. Sign up for other student loyalty programs

A great way to save on the expenses of student life is to sign up for loyalty programs. These days, there are loyalty programs for pretty much everything, so think of where you shop the most and join. Some popular ones to consider include:

PC Optimum

This program is great for grocery shopping at stores such as Loblaws, Your Independent Grocer and Shoppers Drug Mart. You can earn points on all purchases and cash them in on purchases as well. Points are even personalized towards your shopping habits to help you earn more points faster.


Popular among movie lovers, the free Scene+ program allows you to collect points mainly at Cineplex theatres and You can also earn them from eating out at CARA restaurants, which include Swiss Chalet, Milestones, East Side Mario’s, Montana’s, Kelsey’s and more. If you are a Scotiabank member, you can earn Scene+ rewards even faster through the Scotiabank Scene+ debit account or a Scene+ Visa card. Points can then be used for a variety of things from movies to eating out to groceries and even travel. 

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For students studying away from home or students who hope to travel, consider signing up for an Aeroplan membership. Aeroplan is linked to Air Canada, so it can come in handy when flying home for the holidays. You can earn Aeroplan points at a variety of stores in-person with even more online shopping partners. You can also consider getting an Aeroplan-branded credit card to earn points faster. 

4. Join student-only memberships

Loyalty programs are great for everyone, but Canada also has a couple of student-only membership programs that are worth looking into for some great discounts on things like food, fashion, travel and tech. Consider signing up for programs like:


Canada’s Student Price Card (SPC) can come in very handy for postsecondary students. The annual fee costs $11.99 per year but comes with discounts of up to 25% off at more than 450 brands across the country. Some of the most popular partners include H&M, Samsung, Hello Fresh and


UNiDAYS is an online student membership program where students can get special discounts for popular brands and retailers when shopping online or via the app. You can get discounts from places like Chef’s Plate, Puma, Contiki and Microsoft.

5. Shop Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji and more

Finally, don’t forget that a lot of what you need for your university or college life — houseware, clothing, etc. — can be purchased second-hand. This is especially true for textbooks. Buying used copies can save you hundreds of dollars each semester. 

Some great places to look for second-hand items include:

  • Facebook Marketplace for your local area.
  • Websites like Poshmark. 
  • Thrift shops such as Value Village.
  • Kijiji Buy and Sell.
  • Used bookstores. 

Nerdy Tip

Often, bookstores that sell university textbooks will have a used section. Just make sure to get there early, as the used ones tend to sell quickly! Note, too, you can sell your textbooks back to these bookstores once you’re done with them.


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