College Advice: How to be Frugal

Here’s my advice on how to save money in college.

I know you’ve probably already heard of skyrocketing tuition. I know especially how you feel because I’m a current UC Davis student. Here’s my plan to conserve money and maximize your savings.

Cooking your own food

Takeout is expensive and going out to eat can really put a strain on your wallet. Now, I’m not saying to completely stop going out to eat. Sometimes, there are special events, celebrations, or maybe you’re still stuck at school. It’s okay to splurge once in a while. Try to avoid it everyday if possible.

Cooking at home is also better because you can make healthier choices such as making a salad. Go to your local supermarket. Find a bag full of fresh greens, a box of small tomatoes, and olive oil. Add any seasonings or extra healthy ingredients to make it more personalized. Put all of those into a container and shake! Congratulations, you made a salad! 

Conserving Utilities

There’s no need to turn on the air conditioner during the summer. If it’s a nice hot day outside, why not go take a dip in the pool and invite friends over? If you have to stay indoors, use a fan instead of open your window if there’s a breeze. During the winter, try to wear more layers to keep warm and cover up as much as possible.

For water, try to not take half an hour or hour long showers unless its necessary. If you must sing in the shower, sing outside the shower so everyone can hear that beautiful voice of yours. 

For electricity, don’t forget to turn off the lights after using it. Bring your charger for your laptop and cell phone. When you’re at school, charge it there. 

Going to a Farmer’s Market

There’s no need to buy overpriced groceries at your local supermarket. You can just go to a farmer’s market every week to stock up on vegetables and fruits. Try to visit within the last half hour of the market closing. Usually, farmers will be trying to sell off their remaining goods and will give ridiculously good bargains to sell it off. 

Paying for your Bills on Time

The biggest chunk that can take a lot out of your savings is the interest you accumulate if you don’t pay your bills on time. Live within your means. Spending more than you have can come back to bite you and cause your debt to spiral out of control. 

 Buy Cheap Books

Unless the university forces you to buy a brand new edition, I will encourage anyone to never buy anything at full price. Buy it secondhand either from amazon or from a student on campus. Haggle for the best price! Ask for a book either from a person who took the class before you or post on your local facebook groups to find it. 

Go on Low Cost Dates

Dinner and movies? Can’t you do better than that? Put some effort into it and take your date on a hiking trip. Hike up to a very nice quiet spot. Bust out the picnic basket and have a nice lunch together. Use the time while hiking to get to know one another. Be sure to reach the top of the mountain together! The most important thing is to make sure you both have an unforgetabble experience together!

Sales/Coupons

Stock up on groceries that have sales or really great coupon deals. Saving a few dollars a day could add up in the long run. Buy fruits and vegetables during peak seasons to maximize the savings.

Buy Out of Season Products

Want a cheap Halloween costume? Buy one the day AFTER Halloween. You just did your Halloween shopping a year early and you probably snagged a good bargain at the same time. Buying out of season items gives you greater rewards because those items are being sold at a good bargain to the customer. 

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  1. Howdy.. this is very great tips for those who still in a college for studying and live far from their family. I really agree with you.

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