cheap shopping apps

Top 8 Cheap Shopping Apps For Students (And Everyone Else)

New research from the National Union of Students (NUS) student experience report shows that one in four first-year university students can’t make their first student loan instalments last more than one month, so cheap shopping apps can come in handy.

Even worse, half all university students permanently live within their bank account overdraft.

That’s not great news.

So, as a student how can you make sure you are making your budget last?

There are so many apps out there to help you with lecture recordings, curriculum revision, exam preparations, schedule organising, and school report citations. So surely there are some cheap shopping apps to help students with their budgets as well!

Well, you’re in luck because thankfully there are heaps.

Read on to read our list of cheap shopping apps that will make university life cheaper, safer, and more enjoyable.

Student Savings And Student Shopping Apps

Our philosophy here at Emma is to ensure that anybody can live within their budget, including university students. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive list of free and easily downloadable apps for you to make the most of your student budget.

Let’s take a look.

1. Fatbrain

Platform: Android and iOS

Fatbrain is an app to help you sell your old textbooks or buy second-hand books to help you save money.

This app is super handy as you don’t have to manually enter ISBNs or barcodes like similar apps require you to do. You just scan the book you are wanting to buy or sell, upload or search whatever it is you’re hunting for, and before you know it you have a cheap second-hand textbook for the coming semester or you’ve earnt a little money back on your paperbacked investment.

Fatbrain also offers free postage, so you’ll save even more cash to spend on other pressing necessities.


Platform: Android and iOS

This little beauty is great for students that are wanting to sell second-hand DVDs, Blu-rays, CDs, video games, or books.

Ziffit uses a similar concept as Fatbrain, simply scan the barcode on the product you wish to sell and the app will do all the hard work. It will give you a price of what the item is worth and load it up for buyers to take a look at.

All you have to do is take the product to a designated pick up point and you’re good to go!

3. BigOven

Platform: Android and iOS

This is a recipe app with a unique twist, the app lists the ingredients for a chosen recipe and adds the ingredients to your shopping list so you aren’t tempted to buy any unnecessary items that may hurt your budget.

Another great function the app possesses is its ability to nominate items that you have leftover in the fridge or cupboard, BigOven then generates recipes that you can cook. 

Saving you both another trip to the grocery store and from spending more money unnecessarily.

4. Circle

Platform: Android and iOS

Circle is similar to WhatsApp or Messenger but with the additional money transfer functions. It allows people to send and receive money within an instant without sacrificing security. The app blends messaging, emojis, GIFs, and money transfers all in one easy application.

Circle can also be used to split restaurant, share house utilities, and allows users to make payments in a variety of different currencies for free. Fantastic for international students.

5. AliExpress

Platform: Android and iOS

If you’re wanting to do a little shopping AliExpress is a great option to find cheap and reliable products straight from wholesalers. AliExpress connects you with sellers from all around the world, making for a super-easy way to find any goods from electronics to kitchenware on a budget.

AliExpress offers competitive international shipping rates, is a secure platform so you can shop with confidence, and most items come with warranties so you can rest assured if something goes wrong you are covered.


If it’s fashion items, you are searching for then look no further than ASOS. ASOS is a well-known UK based fashion and lifestyle website that is popular around the world. This platform offers 80,000 high-quality products, selling everything from men’s and women’s footwear, jewellery, accessories, and a large range of beauty products.

And the best part is they ship worldwide with fast and reliable shipping.

7. Prezzybox

Christmas, birthdays, and other events that require you to buy presents on a student budget can be stressful. You want to show your loved ones you care but you also don’t want to blow your budget.

Prezzybox may well be the solution. Prezzybox is a great place to source personalised gifts and gadgets in the UK. They do all the hard work for you and come up with incredible gift ideas for those special people in your life, which makes it one the greatest cheap shopping apps out there.

8. Pouch

Platform: Browser extension

Although Pouch is an extension and not an app, it is an incredibly handy tool that we just couldn’t leave out of this list. Simply download the Pouch plugin and allow this great tool to do its magic. 

Pouch will display all the valid discount codes for any websites you may happen to be browsing. It completely eliminates the tiresome need to chase down voucher and coupon codes through those annoying ad riddled third party sites. 

And Pouch has been designed to work with over 3,000 of the most popular UK online shopping websites. So you know you are sure to find a bargain somewhere.

The Wrap Up

Being a student is awesome most of the time. You get to hang out with your friends, you’re learning about concepts that are finally interesting (not like high school), and you’re not required to work a full-time job. 


However, the problem with this is that university life can make for a super tight budget. And that can be stressful at times, there’s no doubting that.

Therefore, it’s important to save money wherever you can, and these cheap shopping apps are doing just that. There is one last app we’d recommend you download to make your student budget that much easier.

The app we are talking about is Emma. Emma is a money management app that will help student budgeting easier than it has ever been before.

Emma will help you avoid expensive banking fees, help you budget for the month on your student wage, and make sure you aren’t worrying about how you’re going to pay rent on top of all the others stresses you have as a student.

Emma is available for download on both the App Store and Google Play Store.