Students share everyday ways we can spend less and live better

14 December, 2022 9:41 am

At Harrogate College, we are committed to living our values all year round, and there are plenty of ways you can practise good self-care whilst also being sustainable. 

Not only is this good for the planet, but learning how to reduce waste and shop smartly can also save you money.

So to help you celebrate sustainability, we asked our students for their tips on how to spend less and live better.

Here’s what they had to say:

When it comes to beauty, waste not, want not

We all like to look our best, but it’s easy to overspend on products you don’t really need. Often, this happens because you’re not getting the most out of the stuff you already have.

Our hair and beauty therapy students have discovered that when it comes to makeup, a lot of people will throw away containers that actually have a lot of product left in them. 

We’ve probably all cut the base off the toothpaste to get the most out of it, but what about using a lip brush to get the last out of your lipstick? And, if you regularly open your mascara to find it’s gone dry, you can also try using a saline solution to resurrect it.

The same can also be said for a lot of beauty accessories. Think twice before throwing away a used makeup bag or brush as, often after a quick clean, they’ll be as good as new. 

Lastly, you need not spend your cash on expensive cleaning products. For many cosmetic products, soap and water will suffice.

Become a savvy shopper

Food is an essential that we all need to think about. But with so much variety on the market, it can be tricky to know how to get the most from your money. 

Our catering and hospitality students believe that the key to sustainable grocery shopping is planning ahead, and this starts with looking at your calendar.

When buying fresh produce, it’s important to think seasonally. Certain foods, such as fruits and vegetables, will be cheaper when they are ‘in season’. 

For example, brussels sprouts, carrots and parsnips are typically grown through the winter, whereas tomatoes and strawberries are easier to find in summer. If you want access to food when it’s out of season, why not try stocking up when it is in season and freezing it for later?

Not only will it be cheaper, but shopping seasonally reduces your carbon footprint, as you will be relying less on imported food.

There are also ways to save on food that is pre-prepared. Many shops and services now offer a ‘too good to go’ service that’s designed to reduce waste at the end of the day –  meaning you can receive top-quality produce at a fraction of the price. 

Make the most of your wellbeing on a budget

It doesn’t have to be a lot, but sometimes a small pick-me-up can really boost your mood. 

Pastoral Manager, Kerry Walker, has shared with us her top tip for treating yourself on a budget. She said, “If I’ve learnt one thing in my role, it is that a little chocolate is always good for your wellbeing! 

“My tip is to buy large bars of chocolate as opposed to the tubs of mixed chocolates, as it’s better value for money and has less plastic packaging.”

There are also ways that you can de-stress and relax without spending a penny or leaving the house! There are lots of step-by-step guided meditations and yoga videos on Youtube, which can offer a sense of calm, peace and balance that is beneficial for your emotional wellbeing.

A final tip from Danny Wild…

When we asked Principal Danny Wild what his top tip was, he said, “If you’re looking for money-saving and financial advice, it’s best to ask the experts.

“There are lots of online blogs, Twitter accounts and finance gurus such as Martin Lewis who publish online content with the aim of helping you save money.”

If you are a student at Harrogate College and are struggling financially, you may qualify for support with travel, meals, childcare and the cost of equipment, kit, residential and educational visits.

For more information, please visit