- We’ve written about Yandex.Market and Ozon before – these are two of the most popular online marketplaces for almost everything under the sun. What you might not know is that both of them offer many food items that you can order in bulk (though not necessarily, one pack of Milka cookies is also a possibility). What’s more, you can compare prices from different sellers and choose the option with the best price/quantity ratio.
- NB: the typical delivery options are either to a pick-up point or to your door (which tends to be pricier). When choosing the option, make sure to check where the nearest pick-up point is located – chances are, it will be in your house or the one next door, so you can save delivery for extra-heavy orders.
- If you are getting your credit card at a Russian bank, ask if they have options with cashback: various banks produce special cards in partnership with supermarket chains like Lenta or Perekrestok. With these, you can get part of the money you spend on your groceries back as bonus points or cashback so you can save up on shopping later. Apart from such partnerships, there are also general cashback plans – you get back a small percentage from every purchase and you can spend it either at certain shops or anywhere you want.
- Edadeal, a popular app, is a combination of the above two points. The app lets you find all the discount deals at supermarkets around the city: you can search by category or product name, and you can also scan QR codes from every receipt to return a small percent of what you spend back to your Edadil account. It can later be transferred to your card or a digital payment system.
- Speaking of discounts at grocery stores, look out for announcements like “the festival of *food item*” or “days of *food item*” – this is code for discounts on certain types of foods on certain days of the week or over a period of time.
- Birthday discounts are a real thing – sometimes, you can get up to 20% off or enjoy a free meal, dessert, or drink on your special day of the year. Some places also have special discounts for students, so make sure to always have your student ID at hand. You can find a list of some places (not only restaurants) that offer student discounts here (in Russian).
- If you are craving a hearty meal on a weekday, don’t overlook the so-called business lunches (бизнес-ланчи) or lunch offers (обеды) – mid-day combo offers that typically include soup, a main meal, and a drink at a cheaper price. These are available at many cafes and restaurants in the city and will usually be in a special section in the menu.
- At most coffee shops, you will get up to 10-15% discount on coffee if you bring a reusable cup. Yet another reason to stay caffeinated and eco-friendly!
- When going to a new place, check if they have an app or some other kind of loyalty program you can join to reap its benefits on your first visit.
- Finally, don’t overlook a lunch at ITMO’s cafeteria when in a pinch – there is a variety of veggie-rich healthy options you can opt for and at a lower price than at a typical cafe.
St. Petersburg’s special perks
- If you tend to spend a lot of time commuting, get a student travel card, choose your monthly plan, and open almost unlimited public transport opportunities. You can also get a general travel card, Podorozhnik, and choose either a monthly plan or unlimited rides on every mode of transport for 24 hours, 3 or 5 days. Bonus tip: use a MIR payment system card to pay for your single rides to get a discount.
- When looking for rarities, clothes- or decor-wise, don’t hesitate to turn to St. Pete’s many and famed flea markets – find your treasures at the best possible deals.
- To expand your cultural horizons at a cheaper price, always take your student ID when visiting a museum – at most places you will get a discount and some might offer free entry. Importantly, most often than not, you can only get a student discount when purchasing the ticket onsite, so check this first before buying your tickets online.
- Additionally, many museums will have a free day once a month (for the Hermitage Museum, for instance, it’s the third Thursday). These tend to attract a lot of visitors, so come early.
- For concert halls and theaters, first look into seasonal tickets or абонементы. One such ticket will be your pass to several shows throughout the year, typically saving quite a lot of money and also allowing you to plan your cultural adventures way ahead. You can also subscribe to newsletters of these venues to get notified about any upcoming discounts.
- As a bonus tip, follow ITMO’s Intelligentsia student club for special deals to St. Pete’s famous and lesser-known theaters.
A few more tips
- If you don’t mind buying something second-hand or have something in good condition that you want to sell, turn to Avito. Scroll through dozens of ads and choose the items you want to see in person. Proceed with caution: check the seller’s ranking if available and don’t transfer the money before you actually see the item.
- Get on friendly terms with apps and techniques for tracking your expenses to always know where your money goes.