Good Food For a Good Price

How You Can Enjoy Your Favorite Foods Without Breaking the Bank


Nicole Willis, Staff Writer

Life’s necessities can be some of the most expensive things we buy; food, water and personal care items seem to cost more and more every time we check out. Fortunately, there are some ways that college students can access life’s necessities for a fraction of the price.

There are ways that you can save on groceries besides crazy couponing. Many online and in-person grocery stores are now offering membership programs to allow people to access cheaper groceries and receive other benefits. Though these memberships can seem daunting and expensive, students can often get them at a discounted rate, or better yet, free! Here are several cost-effective grocery membership options for students.

BJ’s Wholesale Club

Through UNiDAYS, students can receive $30 off the “Inner Circle” membership at BJ’s Wholesale Club. This student discount brings the membership cost down to $25 per year, with the membership costing non-student customers $55 per year. The Inner Circle membership allows members to shop at BJ’s Wholesale Club and receive coupons. BJ’s Wholesale Club is a great place for college students to shop for items in bulk, making them more affordable. The Inner Circle membership can be a great option for those who have roommates, as the membership also provides a complimentary membership for someone in the member’s household. There is a convenient BJ’s Wholesale Club location on North Davis Highway, less than a 4-mile drive from the UWF campus. To get the membership discount, click here.

Thrive Market

Thrive Market is an online membership-based store that offers healthy and natural foods and lifestyle products. Students can easily apply to receive a free Thrive Market membership with just their student email address. Thrive Market memberships allow members to browse their large selection of natural food, beverage and personal care products that are oftentimes cheaper than the MSRP of the products. Thrive Market is a great place to shop if you are health-conscious, follow a special diet (vegan, paleo, gluten-free, etc.) or have an allergy. Sometimes specialty foods can be so expensive at a health food store, or even inaccessible; Thrive Market eliminates this issue by providing a great way to easily access specialty products. To apply for a free year membership to Thrive Market, click here.

If you’re not much of a chef and prefer to get delivery, there are still ways to do so on a college-friendly budget. Ordering delivery can be expensive. If you’re an avid delivery service user, you likely know the feeling of picking out your perfect meal, opening check out, and boom! The delivery fees and service fees cost more than your meal. Thankfully, food delivery services offer discount codes and reduced membership costs for students.

DashPass for Students

DoorDash has created a membership-based program called DashPass that provides members with many perks that are not available to those using a free DoorDash account. There is now a student discount that makes DashPass more affordable for college students. DashPass for Students brings all of the benefits of a standard DashPass membership, but at a reduced rate. A DashPass for Students membership costs $4.99 per month, or $48 per year. Standard DashPass memberships are $9.99 per month or $96 per year, so students have the opportunity to save quite a bit. Why pay for DashPass when anyone can create a free DoorDash account? Well, DashPass comes with many perks that are not available to standard DoorDash users. DashPass members receive free delivery and reduced service fees on eligible food orders of $12 or more, free delivery and reduced service fees on eligible grocery orders of $25, or more 5% back in credits on eligible pickup orders, and access to DashPass-exclusive items at select restaurants and stores. DashPass is a great option for college students who like to order out often, as free delivery and reduced fees can make quite a difference when it comes to the bank account. With high delivery and service fees, $4.99 per month can pay for itself fast. To sign up for DashPass for Students, click here.

Uber Eats

Uber Eats is a popular food and grocery delivery service that is available in Pensacola. With UNiDAYS, students can receive $20 off their first Uber Eats order. As an on-campus resident, I personally use Uber Eats more than any other food delivery app. I find that a great variety of restaurants and stores are available to order from on Uber Eats. I can order from my favorite fast-food spots, and I have also discovered some of my favorite local restaurant from ordering on Uber Eats. Uber Eats does not currently have a student membership program like DoorDash. Unfortunately, this single-use $20 discount is the only college student discount that Uber Eats offers. However, I have found that once you make an account, Uber Eats frequently sends out random coupon codes for percentages off of orders or free delivery fees. These promotions seem to be random and not guaranteed. I am not certain how or why they determine to send these out, but the potential for discounts can be worth the time it takes to set up a free account. Regardless, all students are eligible for the UNiDAYS discount. To access the $20 Uber Eats student discount code, click here.


Grubhub+ is Grubhub’s membership service that provides members with free delivery on orders of $12 or more from select restaurants. In addition, Grubhub+ members receive member-exclusive rewards and donation matches if they decide to donate at check out. Grubhub+ is not a student-specific membership, but there are ways that students can obtain a Grubhub+ membership cheaply. If you get a Grubhub+ membership through the Grubhub website, you will receive a 14-day free trial and be charged $9.99 per month after the trial ends. This is not the most cost-effective way to receive the membership. Amazon Prime members, including Amazon Prime Student members, have access to a free year of Grubhub+. College students can get an Amazon Prime Student subscription for just $7.49 a month and a 6-month free trial. Through this deal, Amazon Prime Student members receive all the benefits of an Amazon Prime Student subscription, including a year of Grubhub+ for $7.49 per month! To learn more about receiving a free Grubhub+ membership through an Amazon Prime Student account, click here.

As you can see, there are many ways for college students to save some extra cash. To find more student discounts on food and other necessities, I recommend all students make accounts on UNiDAYS and Student Beans. These are free-to-use websites and apps that compile thousands of student discounts all in one place. As previously mentioned, students will need to go through UNiDAYS to access the Uber Eats and BJ’s Wholesale Club student discounts. Student Beans is frequently updated with new deals from fast food restaurants like Wendy’s, Burger King and Pizza Hut, as well as online companies that sell food and similar goods. Both apps are easy to use, free and can save you a lot of money!

*Prices listed do not account for taxes or other applicable fees