This blog post was written by Campus Ambassador, Laura Straub.
You landed an internship, with the company of your dreams, in the city of your dreams, doing exactly what you want to be doing. The only problem? It’s unpaid. While unpaid internships can be an amazing opportunity to get real world experience and network, they can also be hard for students, especially when they must relocate to another city to work. Luckily there are many ways for unpaid interns to stretch the money further, without becoming an extreme couponer.
1. Don’t throw out that receipt!
Many fast food restaurants, grocery stores and clothing stores offer the chance for a free item, or a discount off a future purchase on the bottom of their receipts. Often times all you need to do is fill out a short survey online and fill in the validation code on the bottom of the receipt. On your next visit simply present your receipt and start raking in the swag. In the past I’ve gotten free slices of pizza from Sabarro, free cookies from Subway and discounts at retailer from Giant Eagle, CVS, Bath and Body Works, Express and Victoria’s Secret. Also be sure to follow your most visited retailers on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. Stores feature special deals on those outlets and connecting with them can add reward points to their frequent buyer systems.
2. Flash that I.D.
Many businesses offer special discounts to students. Although these deals aren’t usually heavily advertised retailer will give them to you if you ask! These are the top 35 student discounts as listed by Carrington College, but there’s always a chance a store not listed here will give you one too, it can never hurt to ask!
• Academic Superstore: this site provides student discounts on electronics another necessary things for college.
• Amazon Student: Amazon student members get exclusive discounts on a variety of products and categories, six months of free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime, and email alerts for discounts and promotions.
• AMC Theatres: discounted tickets every Thursday.
• Amtrak: Buy one full-fare ticket for high school juniors and seniors who want to visit a campus.
• Ann Taylor LOFT: 15% off in-store.
• Ann Taylor: 20% off in-store.
• Apple: 8% off (online and in-store).
• Banana Republic: 15% off in-store.
• Blockbuster: various discounts for student. Present your card at your local store to find out.
• Broadway in Chicago: Students get discounted tickets for as low as $14.50 for selected performances.
• Burger King: 10% off in-store with a valid student ID.
• Charlotte Russe: 10% off in-store with a valid student ID.
• Club Monaco: 20% off regular-priced items
• Dairy Queen: 10% off in-store with a valid student ID.
• Dell University: Savings differ by college.
• Dominos Pizza: Discounts based on location. Ask your local store representative before you order.
• The GM College Discount: Gives discounts on Chevrolet, Buick and GMC vehicles.
• Harkins Movie Theatre: Discount depends on location, times and dates.
• HP Academy Store: offers exclusive student discounts on laptops and desktop computers. Sign up online.
• J. Crew: 15% off selected items.
• JourneyEd: Save up to 85% on computers, electronics, software and other necessities.
• Kroger: 5% off at limited locations.
• The Limited : 15% off in-store with a valid student ID.
• McDonald’s: 10% off at select locations with a valid student ID.
• Metropolitan Museum of Art: Discounts vary. Check the website for details.
• Papa John’s: Student discounts vary by location.
• Pizza Hut: Discount depends on location.
• Qdoba: Discounts vary depending on the day.
• Ralph Lauren Rugby: 15% off in-store.
• Regal Theaters: $1.50 off Sunday-Thursday evenings.
• Sam’s Club: Depending on location, students can be eligible to receive a Collegiate Annual Membership for $40 plus FREE $15 Sam’s Club gift card.
• Subway: 10% off in-store.
• Topshop: 10% off online.
• Urban Outfitters: Save 10% on select dates only.
• Waffle House: 10% off.
3. Save as a team
Websites like groupon.com are a great way to personalized deals near you. Deals can be on anything from food to entertainment to health services. Groupon works by negotiating a deal with a company. Once a set amount of people commit to buy the deal it goes live, and then is open to an additional set number of people. If the preset number of people do not agree to purchase the deal it doesn’t go live and no money is spent, that way the company still makes a minimum profit on the deal. The deals are usually discounted up to 50% and are used to draw in new customers. You can personalize your Groupon account by adding your preferences and having the deals sent straight to your email.
So when you secure that dream internship and realize it is unpaid, take a second and relax because it is becoming easier to stretch your dollar further.