Tag: saving money

Tips for Saving Money on a College Budget. Every Penny Counts!

College can be very financially straining especially if you’re getting little to no aid from anything or anyone else. College savings can be hard, let me help you! Scraping enough up for tuition, books, rent, and other bills are hard enough, not to mention eating. But worry not, currently going to college and successfully navigated the monetary perils it presents I can help save you from the ramen noodle plague that so many others have caught. Here are my top money saving ideas when eating on a college budget.

Little Caesars Pizza $5 Hot and Ready

Everyone eats enough pizza in college to be sick of it their entire life. Said no one ever. And when trying to find bargain deals this is one stand above the rest. A $5 Hot and Ready when spread out can easily feed someone for 3-4 meals. That’s like $1.25 a meal. That’s a bargain deal. The trick to microwaving the pizza after it’s been fridged is wetting a paper towel and covering the pizza in it before microwaving. This will leave it most and still very much delicious.

Any Chinese Kitchen

Asian food. That’s original right when talking about college food. Chinese Kitchen though is one of those places that load up on the fried rice or noodles with heaping helpings of your desired meat. It’s your prototypical Asian food: grease and delicious. On overage, you’ll get around 3 meals for this and usually runs you around $12. That averages out to be $4 a meal which isn’t too bad. To really maximize your dollar, make your meat one of the many types of chicken. Chicken is cheaper so normally you’ll get more.

Dollar Menus

We got there. The all mighty dollar menu. Once it started, every fast-food chain had to have one. This is great for the consumer, especially the hungry college student. If your hungry for burgers you’ve got McDonalds or Jack in the Box. If you’re craving Mexican food you’ve got Taco Bell. Got the munchies, need to save a buck, and be healthy, Wendy’s wraps are a great choice. Really the dollar menu is a college kids best friend.

Subway

The hardest thing to do while eating on a budget for fast food is eaten healthy. Healthy food is expensive. But even there’s even an option that in a sense, is healthy. Subway is that answer. Depending on how much TV you watched when you were younger you probably saw the Jarred commercials where gentlemen lost a large amount of weight substituting subway lower calorie sandwiches for a meal. Great for him right? Well, it’s great for the college kid too. Many subways have the $5 footlong for select sandwiches. Load one of these up with your favorite veggies, split it into two 6” and you get two meals for $2.50 each.

Easy to cook Noodles

Yeah. The college kid can never escape the all mighty ramen noodle. Well, maybe we can. There are several instant noodle mixes that average out to be about a dollar a piece that is delicious and have a hint of nutritional value. Go down to your local Asian market and pick up a couple different types from different countries. Figure out which ones you like and have a variety on hand for those late-night study times and midnight snacks.
Don’t let college be the years where you starved yourself of food to make ends meet. There are lots of ways to survive and still eat a decent variety of food. Of course, there’s always to option to cook at home but what college student has time for that?

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Saving money on a Trip!

I recently took a road trip up to see some friends that were nearly six hours away. It was a couple I had been meaning to visit for months but the distance was just too far for me to want to drive alone, finding the time when I could have someone watch my son and the money in just the trip itself. We all have friends that we would love to see. You talk here and there and always say, “I’ll come see you soon.” But different deterrence’s always delayed that road trip: time and money being the big two. Well, I can’t fix your time but here are some hints in bringing the cost of your road trip down.

First and foremost, the easiest way to get the cost down is by dividing it, so invited a friend along. We both had talked about seeing the couple and this provided the perfect opportunity. Not only did this reduce the cost of the trip but it also provided an extra driver so that I didn’t have to drive it alone. This means the time will pass by quicker and all prototypical bills like gas get divided by 2.

The next easiest thing is to bring your own snacks and drinks for the ride up there and back. Fast food places make huge margins for a reason. Buying soda, water, and road trip snacks will take a huge expenditure out of the trip. Next comes figuring out eating arrangements once you’re at your destination. Call ahead of time and talk to the party you’re going to be visiting, see if you can sleep on the couch or if they have a spare bedroom. This will cut out the costs of a hotel. You can always use the excuse of, “This will give us more time to spend together!” Also coordinate food. Cooking in versus eating out is always a cheaper option. See if they will cook something while you’re visiting or suggest you all go out and buy the raw ingredients and make it a fun time. This, again, divides the food bill.

While you’re there, you’re going to want to hang out, but bars and movies are expensive forms of entertainment, so if you’re stringent on your budget, just go mall crawling to get out. You can always just window shop and you can enjoy a different environment. At home, you can play card games, dominos, or if board games are your style, try and bring some so that you’re constantly entertained. Maybe buy a movie that no one has seen out of the $5 or less dollar bin so you can all hang out.

These are just some of the things I did when visiting friends to reduce the cost of the trip. There are probably several other ways. Think of a few and pick a couple and be diligent in sticking to your budget. Friends last a lifetime and you should never let money be the reason you lose contact and don’t see your friends.

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