In the last couple of weeks, I’ve had a free Krispy Kreme doughnut, free Millie’s Cookies, a free hot chocolate from Cafe Nero, a half-price breakfast at Carluccio’s and free prosecco and doughsticks at Zizzi.
I also narrowly missed out on free mini eggs at WH Smith and free miso soup from YO!Sushi (which I don’t like anyway, but it’s still free!), as well as a whole host of other free or discounted things which weren’t as appealing as doughnuts or booze.
As students with no money and huge loans to pay off, it’s important that we take advantage of any deals we can get, which is one of the reasons I’m with O2. Their Priority Moments app (which provided me with all of the free/discounted things I’ve just mentioned) locates O2 customer-only deals in your area and alerts you to any new freebies you’re entitled to. If you’re already on O2, it’s as simple as going into the app store and hitting download. However, if you’re not on O2 don’t despair! Here is my run-down of the top deals available on some of the UK’s biggest mobile phone networks:
Orange – if you don’t know about Orange Wednesdays by now then you’ve clearly been living under a rock. If you’re an Orange customer, just text Film to 241 on a Wednesday to receive a code for two-for-one cinema tickets. And if you’re feeling hungry afterwards, show the same code at Pizza Express and you can get two-for-one on pizzas and dough balls. I’ve even known film-loving but budget-conscious students to get an Orange SIM card just for the purpose of Orange Wednesdays (Orange SIM cards are free here, but don’t forget that you’ll need some credit to receive the text code).
Vodafone – despite having a truly dreadful name, Vodafone’s Freebee Rewardz is actually quite good. Pay As You Go customers collect Pointz for topping up and can decide how they spend them. Customers have the option of an instant ‘grab’ reward or a bigger ‘grow’ reward which you have to save up for. ‘Grab’ rewards include extra texts or minutes, free music downloads and free chocolate, while ‘Grow’ rewards can net you shopping vouchers, a free phone or even a television (if you ever save up enough Pointz).
Virgin mobile – Perhaps not as instantly gratifying as the others, Virgin customers will be happy to hear that they can earn money off a new phone just by topping up. Pay As You Go customers earn £10 off a new phone for every £100 they top up – and you can build this up until you reach £100 off your next phone. Since you’ll be topping up anyway, this deal doesn’t require any extra from you – which is great.
O2 – my favourite of all the network deals, O2’s Priority Moments offers discounts on loads of different things: from eating out to joining the local gym. It’s particularly good around major holidays when big companies offer free samples through O2 to draw more customers into their stores.This year, I’ve already managed a budget-conscious Valentine’s Day by giving my girlfriend free Hotel Chocolat chocolates and for Easter I’ll be getting up early tomorrow and walking to WH Smith in the hope that I’ll still be able to pick up some free mini eggs.