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Save money with student discounts

Every student would like to get discounts, especially on the high price of textbooks, but it is the hardest of all available discounts to come by.

The ASPSU book exchange, a discount resource of previous years, has disappeared. The exchange arranged for students to offer books for sale at a price higher than they could get from the PSU bookstore buyback. Other students could buy them at a price cheaper than the bookstore charges.

Mary Cunningham, student body president, called a temporary halt to the exchange. Cunningham said the exchange lost considerable money and suffered from management disarray. She is studying ways of reviving it.

Board members and student employees of the PSU bookstore in the Urban Center get the employee discount, which is 25 percent. “Basically, if you work at the store during rush, you get your books at cost,” said Ken Brown, bookstore general manager. “Not bad for a two or three week commitment.”

Other than textbooks, an outstanding source for saving cash is through membership at the bookstore. It costs $1 per calendar year and when you join you get a $1 off coupon. Every time you buy anything at the bookstore, you save your receipts. At the end of the fiscal year July 31 you turn in the receipts and in about November you get a rebate check.

Bookstore membership includes other savings which can be substantial. You get a 10 percent discount on trade books, which includes most general books.

There is Membership Appreciation night, where members get 40 percent off throughout the store, except in such categories as electronics, software, textbooks and a few others. This usually comes at the end of November or the beginning of December.

At the beginning of each term there is an art supply sale with 30 percent off most art supplies except those already discounted. The Ides of March sale offers 30 percent off trade books. There are periodic sales of CDs and computer books. There are children’s book week sales and some clothing sales throughout the year.

The parking office in the lobby floor of Neuberger Hall offers two attractive discounts. An all-zone monthly Tri-Met pass costs $32, about a 43 percent discount from the regular $56. A carpool parking permit costs $180, which figures out to about 14 percent to eight percent discount, depending on which type of parking permit is bought. Passes and permits also are offered at the transportation information office in the Urban Center.

Aramark food service, located in Smith Memorial Center, lists a variety of discounts. One is a declining balance card, which operates similar to a debit card. For $50 the student gets a card accepted at the food cash registers, carrying a 10 percent discount per purchase. The student gets $55 worth of food for $50.

Three Aramark specialties also offer discounts for repeated purchase. Both the coffee bar and the Freshens smoothies counter have cards, which can be punched for every purchase. Ten punches get you one identical item free. Subway has a sticker stamp system, one sticker per purchase. Eight stamps on a card plus purchase of a 21-ounce soft drink get you one free six-inch sandwich, wrap or salad. The Aramark phone number is 503-725-4554.

A very small discount is offered on locker rentals, which are handled through the Resource Hub on the first floor of Smith Memorial Center. Lockers are $12 a term but if you rent for the entire year, all four terms, you pay $47, a saving of $1. The Hub’s phone is 503-725-4402.

The Peter Stott Center has savings on basket-locker rentals for their locker rooms. The regular fee is $21 a term but if you commit to all four terms, fall through summer, it is $76, a saving of $8, or about nine and a half percent.

Secure, dry bicycle storage lockers are available on campus for rental at a sizable discount through the City of Portland Office of Transportation. The regular monthly rental is $10, but is discounted to $25 for three months and $45 for six months. The contact is Jeff Smith at 503-823-7083.