1. BUY IN BULK. A lot of food will go a long way! Talk with your roommates about pitching in for a membership at your local grocery warehouse. By stocking up on industrial sized non-perishable foods, toiletries, and beverages you save money in the long-run. You may even get a college discount with your school ID.
2. STUDENT DISCOUNT. Use your student ID to receive discounts at grocery stores, restaurants, movie theaters, etc. It never hurts to ask surrounding businesses if they offer a student discount either – it may just not be advertised! You can also ask your campus center or student life department if they have a list of the participating places on and off campus where you can use your student discount. It may not be much – but 10 or 15% off can really add up after awhile! And since you have to have your student ID on you at all times anyways, it’s easy to have it readily available when you are making purchases. Either way, it’s a discount – so you might as well use it.
3. WATCH WHAT YOU DRINK. College students are always downing massive cups of coffee or sipping on bottles of water while studying or working out. Ditch your local coffee spot, and invest in a coffeemaker so you can brew your own coffee. Think about it – if you get a coffee a day, for approximately $4 a coffee – that’s $20 dollars a week you could be saving (or $80 a month!) While you are at it, get a water filter for your fridge and a reusable water bottle that you can wash and use over and over again. You will be saving money and also helping better the environment by not wasting hundreds of plastic water bottles each year!
4. HIDDEN GEM: THE DOLLAR STORE. The dollar store is full of toiletries, snacks, candles, stationary, cleaning supplies and other household products – for cheap! With each item only costing a dollar, you can stock up on items you use every day for not a lot of money at all! Buy stuff that doesn’t need to be name brand at the dollar store (like toilet paper, cleaning supplies, toothpaste, or soap) and avoid paying more at places like Target or CVS.
5. COUPONS. Keep a lookout for coupons from local grocery stores or pharmacies. Major department stores also do one-day shopping events and hold store-wide sales. Sign up for emails from stores to receive special offers or coupons to your favorite restaurants.
6. SAVE WITH YOUR ROOMIE. Figure out ways that your roommate and you can split costs for things around the dorm. For example, save money (and quarters!) and do your laundry together. Carpool when doing errands, and split cabs to parties. Share a printer or other appliances. While you may not live with this person forever, you can save some money by sharing things and splitting costs.
Students – comment & share ways you save money at college below!