13 budget hacks that will save you money

How savvy students seek savings

The start of a new semester is like a discovery period. If it’s your first year at NAIT, there’s an entire campus to navigate, classes to sort out, budgets to set and a sea of new faces to meet.

Thanks to student services and events like orientation, it doesn’t take long to feel settled. But discovering the perks of being a NAIT student and finding the bargains on campus takes experience. We’re here to reduce your legwork and uncover some of the best deals that’ll stretch your dollar this year.

1.Take advantage of discounts

Students automatically receive perks and discounts through the NAIT Students’ Association. From cheap movies to savings at West Edmonton Mall attractions, discounts make the most of your entertainment dollars. (Off campus, lots of stores offer student discounts, from clothing shops to cellphone companies. It never hurts to ask.)

2. Show your Ook pride

It’s hard to beat a free night out, which is exactly what you get when attending Ooks home games. Not only can you enjoy quality hockey, basketball, soccer, volleyball, badminton and curling at the Canadian collegiate level, it’s a great way to show your Ook pride. Get tickets.


3. Take transit

NAIT students automatically receive the U-Pass when paying tuition and fees, giving you unlimited access to LRT and bus service in the Edmonton region during the school year. Not only does this add up to savings on gas and parking, it eliminates the stress of driving during rush hour. Use the time to study, sleep or catch up on a podcast.

4. Get rolling

Riding a bike to school is another way to save on gas and parking – and get in a workout. NAIT has two secure bike lockup areas and new storage units, along with several tune-up stations to keep your ride running smoothly.

cycling to NAIT

5. Meat cute

If you’re a meat eater and hungry for quality protein, check out the Retail Meat Shop in the Common Market on Main Campus. You can save on beef, chicken, pork, cheese and various smoked meats. Plus, your dollars help support your fellow students in the Professional Meat Cutting and Merchandising program.

6. Baked bonanza

While you’re in Common Market, check out the sweet and savoury baked goods – fresh bread, cookies, muffins, cakes and biscotti – on sale courtesy the Baking and Pastry Arts students.

fresh baked bread

7. Load up on tech (and books!) at the library

Making a movie or virtual reality video game? Library Services has an assortment of technology available for loan, from VR headsets to digital cameras, GoPros and voice recorders. They even have a 3D printer, one of many cool pieces of technology in the makerspace. And don’t forget, there’s books aplenty for your reading pleasure!

8. Get sweaty

Students and staff receive free access to the fitness centre, which includes a weight room, squash and racquetball courts, swimming pool and gymnasium. There’s  also drop-in skating and hockey in the arena. NAIT also offers a host of fitness classes, including Fitness Unlimited – free classes available all semester for students and staff.

NAIT fitness centre

9. Counselling Centre services

OK, let’s get serious here. Mental health is a key ingredient to student success and the Counselling Centre offers free, confidential services to all NAIT students coping with issues such as anxiety, depression, relationships and even exam anxiety. Help is available.

10. Lunch buffet at Ernest’s

Eating at a fine-dining restaurant might seem out of place on a list of budget hacks, but hear us out. If you have the means or reason to celebrate, the Friday student showcase at Ernest’s is a lunchtime buffet not to be missed. There’s no questioning the quality or value of this weekly lunch, with dishes prepared by Culinary Arts students.

Ernests buffet

11. Sell your books (but read them first)

Put a little extra jingle in your pocket by selling back your textbooks to Shop AT NAIT – after you’ve absorbed all the knowledge from the pages, of course. There are typically two buy-back periods at the end of fall and winter semesters.

12. Watch for pop-up sales

Take advantage of the various pop-up sales held in buildings across our campuses. You can get a computer for a song (not literally, guys) at the upcoming technology sale. There are plenty of bargains to be had.

13. Get a job

This isn’t a parental lecture and, no, technically this isn’t a money saver. But if your budget needs a boost, NAIT offers job search tools and career postings. Everything you need is at Jobs and Career Services.

career fair

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