It’s almost time to return to school, which for some means having to make tough decisions such as eating healthy or saving that money for partying. We get it – Tuesday is $2 drinks night, and at that price, you’re practically saving money by going out.
Your resourcefulness will astound you. Your ability to stretch a dollar will make you feel like a magician. The fact that you’ve eaten pasta for 5 days straight and are still not sick of it further proves just how awesome pasta is.
But before you start your all-carb diet, here are 10 tips to help you save so you can have money for both beer AND the occasional salad:
1. Buy or rent used textbooks. Textbooks are like cars – they depreciate in value the minute you take them out of the bookstore, even if you only make it past the first chapter. Save yourself some extra cash and buy or rent used textbooks. You’ll want to make sure you get your books before your first class, because used books are a hot commodity on campus (and are in limited supply).
2. Buy food in bulk. You can save on all the essentials by shopping at bulk food stores. There are a few options in every city – not just Costco. No single person will ever need a 5L tub of mayonnaise.
3. Improve your cooking skills and eat in. Put all those fancy spices you bought at the bulk food store to good use and impress your roommates with your awesome cooking skills.
4. Take part in free campus events. There are usually free events happening on campus. Take advantage of what your campus has to offer and enjoy saving money while you mingle with new friends.
5. Walk everywhere. If a third of your meals are going to consist of pasta, you’ll want to start walking more to avoid joining the ‘Freshman 15’ club. Everything you need will most likely be within walking distance, so save yourself the cost of a cab or Uber and walk instead.
6. Get a basic Home Phone plan to save on Long Distance calls. There’s no getting out of calling home, so you might as well find the cheapest way to do so. Luckily, we know where you can get a Home Phone plan for as little as $6/month, with hundreds of free Long Distance minutes included.
7. BYOC – Bring Your Own Coffee. Instant coffee, home brewed, or cold brewed – there is no form of coffee you won’t learn to like. You’ll be drinking a lot of it, so if you want to save money, you should bring your own with you.
8. Use apps like Tradyo and Bunz and trade your unwanted stuff for extra money or someone else’s stuff. You never know what treasures you might find in exchange for that old band shirt you stopped wearing a year ago.
9. Take advantage of student discounts – from Internet plans to Chinese takeout, you can get a student discount on almost anything. Don’t be one of those people who are afraid to ask for the discount; it will be good practice for when you’re a senior.
10. Get unlimited Internet for hours of entertainment. We all know how much time can be spent once you get into the depths of the Internet. Hours of entertainment can be enjoyed during a night in streaming movies or watching your one hundredth cat video. There’s no limit to where the Internet will take you, so don’t get tied down to limited bandwidth or experience the shock of overage charges. Take advantage of awesome student offers like free unlimited bandwidth and enjoy all that the Internet has to offer.