Dublin is expensive. You’re a student. That’s pretty unfortunate. On one hand, it is pretty great to spend a semester or even a year in the coolest city in Europe. On the other hand, being broke while you are here is not much fun (although I heard Ireland is pretty great for hitchhiking if you want to explore the country on a budget)!
Don’t cry, not yet anyway. Help is at hand. The following tips and local wisdom will help you become an omniscient money-saving ninja, so you’ll waste less time worrying about expenditure and more time enjoying your time in Dublin to the fullest.
Special deals are everywhere
You can navigate the offers, deals and discounts of Dublin keeping in mind a few things. If you pass by a place you might visit in the future (around your residential neighbourhood or college), take a note (not only mentally, but pin it on your maps) of the special offers they do, e.g. “Coffee and pastry €4”, or “Thursday’s Cocktail night – 2 for 1”. You will be surprised how many venues in Dublin offer breakfast, lunch or midnight munchies deals, and it’s incredibly satisfying to become one of their regulars.
Now, if you’re going to go into the place and spend money because you’re famished, lost or hungover and don’t care about the deals right now, just remember to ask them: “Do you have a loyalty card?”
Start collecting these suckers from everywhere – nearly all cafés have them and some pubs do as well. I keep all my regular ones in my back pocket (your wallet will bulge to bursting point if you stuff it with these cards). And if you go to a place and realise you don’t have your loyalty card, simply get another one. Add them together. If you’ve got only 1 or 2 coffees to buy on the loyalty and time is running out in Dublin (so soon!), take out a friend or a date for coffee. They’ll think you’re extremely generous buying them coffee. Little do they know you’re only very generous. You didn’t pay for all of those coffees, you thief!
Second-hand and charity stores
When it comes to clothes shopping, Penny’s and Dunnes Stores is where you buy clothes and shoes for close to nothing, any time of the year. It is like it’s always Christmas sale over there, but quality might be quite disappointing. Moreover, consider checking out local second-hand and charity shops, flea markets and such: Monto in Parnell’s square, Oxfam shops, etc. People sometimes sell used stuff when they are moving out on www.gumtree.ie, which at times might be as dodgy as craigslist, or, on the contrary, full of nice surprises.
That’s the general behaviour to adopt. And of course, walk and bike, walk and bike, we are all about healthy living!