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Use the 5 Love Languages to Date in College on the Cheap


Young Couple at College

You don’t have to drop $100 on dinner to woo your college crush. Some women prefer quality time with their beau over pricey gifts. In Gary Chapman’s book “The Five Languages of Love,” he explains how to foster a healthy relationship by recognizing what exactly makes your significant other swoon. While one person might appreciate a love letter, another might prefer a night alone together cuddling under the stars.

If you can tap into your partner’s love language — words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, physical touch and receiving gifts — you can better plan a date that takes not only her needs into account but your budget as well. Here are some tips to dating in college without breaking the bank based on the five love languages.

Words

Words of affirmation is sometimes the hardest love language of all. You may not have reached the “I love you” phase, but everyday compliments can be just as powerful. The most financially sound gesture of all, verbal terms of endearment provide a feeling of warmth to the recipient.

Date ideas:

  • Create a mixed playlist with specially chosen songs for her. Pack a picnic, go to the park and listen to the “mixed tape” together.
  • Plan a scavenger hunt with little sticky notes about what you like about your date at each location.

Time

Make your date feel like the only man in the world by giving him uninterrupted quality time. Put your phone away and offer your undivided attention. If this is your beau’s love language, he prefers experiences over tangibles.

Date ideas:

  • Take in one of your college team’s sporting events together and give it your full attention. Cheer, eat a hot dog and laugh together. No texting!
  • Have a board game night.
  • Take a road trip together (this might be the ideal time to pop in that playlist you created).

Service

While the phrase “acts of service” may seem a little archaic, it really is just about being kind. What can you do to make her life easier?

Date ideas:

  • Cook her dinner. This includes going to the grocery store, setting the table and cleaning the dishes afterward.
  • Wash her car together. It may not initially seem like a fun date idea, but water, sponges, soap and your little lady could turn into the best water fight you’ve ever had.

Touch

Even if you’re not a touchy-feely kind of person, if your mate’s love language is physical touch then you have to find a way to show them affection. Whether you snuggle during a movie or take her hand while strolling through a farmer’s market, physical touch is free and can make a world of difference.

Date Ideas:

  • Dance together. You can hit the club to get funky or dim the lights and pop in some Frank Sinatra at home for romance.
  • Trade massages. Enough said.
  • Tour your city’s downtown hand-in-hand.

Gifts

Even though you are trying to save money, it might be necessary to show your affection with gifts. They don’t have to be fancy, expensive gifts; it’s the gesture alone that counts. Be thoughtful in your efforts and give gifts that align with your partner’s interests.

Date ideas:

  • Go to the farmer’s market and buy her that organic honey she’s been raving about.
  • Gift her a date night like a cooking class or a paint and wine night.

No matter what you are doing together that night, begin her day with a special flower delivery to let her know you are excited and thinking of her. A reasonably priced floral arrangement catered to her flower preference is always a safe bet.

Save money when dating in college by using your partner’s love language for a guaranteed good time.

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5 Great Ways Students Can Have an Active Social Life on a Budget


Group of friends at college campusAs a college student, chances are good that you have champagne taste and a beer budget. In other words, you want and deserve to do fun things during your spare time, but you’re not exactly rolling in dough to afford the nice dinners out, endless shopping sprees or even popcorn and tickets at the movies.

Fortunately, with a little creativity and a group of willing friends, it’s very possible to have an active and fun social life in college without breaking your budget. For example, check out these affordable ideas:

Check out semi-pro sports games

If you attend college in a major city, you might dream of attending a professional sports event. While the ticket prices for an NHL or MLB game may be more than you spent on books last semester, semi-pro games tend to be just as fun and way more affordable. Google your college town name and “semi-pro sports” and see what pops up.

If your college is in an area that hosts spring training baseball games, you can often purchase a general admission lawn ticket for very little money and watch the pros play a game from the comfort of a blanket.

Outdoor concerts

Some concert tickets may be affordable at first, but once you add in parking and a post-show meal it can get expensive quickly. Instead, check the local paper and watch for posters advertising outdoor concerts. Typically held in a park or amphitheater, outdoor concerts are often free or cost a few bucks for a ticket. You can usually bring snacks and beverages in plastic containers with you and enjoy a fun evening of music.

Host social gatherings at your place

While it can be fun to head out and hit the local bars, the tabs add up pretty quickly. Instead, host some parties at your place and encourage everyone to bring a favorite food or beverage to share. You can even up the cultural ante a bit and purchase high quality beer like some Guinness Nitro IPA for your gatherings.

Schedule a craft night or game night

Two great ways to socialize with other college students are to host a craft night or game night. If you are feeling crafty, check out Pinterest for ideas and invite several friends over to share a creative evening together. Crafts don’t have to be expensive—for a few bucks you can buy supplies to paint wooden ornaments or picture frames.

Game nights are also a budget friendly option. Check out thrift stores for gently-used copies of Monopoly or Clue, pop a few bags of microwave popcorn and stock up on soda when it’s on sale.

Explore your college town

Google “things to do in (name of your town)” and you might be amazed at how many free or cheap events are coming up. You might find spring carnivals that are open to the public, art museums that offer free admission for college students, farmer’s markets where you can purchase inexpensive fresh produce, or even a planetarium that offers shows for a few bucks. Sometimes it’s so easy to focus on what’s happening on campus, it can be easy to miss some amazing cheap events that are within biking or driving distance.

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3 Types of Subscriptions to Help You Get Through College


studentlaptopFrom shave kits to beauty products there are subscription services out there for just about anything. But, as you try to prioritize your limited resources, which ones do you need for the next school year? Whether you’re in your first or last year of college, here are the best monthly subscription services for college students:

School First

While there are a lot of fun subscription services out there, the most important are the ones that help you with school. With Microsoft Office 365 University you get all the tools you need to succeed while at college, including PowerPoint, Word and Excel. All the essential word-processing and presentation programs are available as part of this four year subscription service.

Another helpful subscription is Adobe’s Creative Cloud. This provides you with Photoshop, Illustrator and many other premier graphic design tools. With these two subscriptions, you have all the tools you need for college. For a special deal on Adobe’s Creative Cloud, check out OnTheHub, which has many exclusive offers for students and teachers.

But all that computer time can be hard on your eyes. It’s important to wear your contacts or glasses on those late night homework stints. Luckily, Vision Direct has a subscription for contacts, so you’ll never be without the eyewear you need.

Snackables

Snacks don’t always have to be junk food, like potato chips and soda. Instead, Graze Box offers over 90 different snacks delivered directly to your door every month. With four- and eight-snack options, you get a variety of healthy snacks. Choose between super seeds, aromatic broths, fruit, nuts, seeds or even something with a bit of chocolate mixed in. Graze Box makes sure you never want for the snacks you need while doing lab time or sitting through a long lecture.

A similar alternative to Graze Box is NatureBox, which delivers organic and healthy snacks directly to your door. While NatureBox has a monthly subscription option, it also has an option for three and six months subscriptions to help cut down on costs.

Brew Subscriptions

For those mornings that you just need an extra kick to wake up, Mistobox has you covered. While many college students usually drink coffee on the cheap, Mistobox delivers quality coffee directly to your door every month. Get the taste and quality you want at the price you can afford. With Mistobox, you don’t have to sacrifice your standards to get the morning brew you need.

Another brew subscription is only for the 21 and over club. Craft Beer Club delivers award-winning beers every month to your doorstep. This subscription service delivers four different styles of beer to your door. This is a great service if you’re looking to explore new beers because Craft Beer Club handpicks microbrews from around the country. And if you have more worldly tastes, The International Beer Club can send you beers each month from two different international breweries. While this is a great way of discovering new beers, please drink responsibly.

While these are some of the best subscription services out there for college students, honorable mentions should be dished out to both Spotify for providing stellar and unlimited music selections and Netflix for those late night movie marathons.

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March (Hunger) Madness: GrubHub Ranks Hungriest Colleges in the U.S.


food, leisure and happiness concept - five smiling teenagers eatNo two things go together better than game day and takeout from your favorite spot. Whether it’s pizza and wings, burgers and fries or foot-long subs and chips, the official start of March Madness means an inevitable spike in restaurant business that only the NCAA Basketball Championships can generate.

In honor of March Madness, food takeout and delivery app GrubHub provided Huffington Post with a ranking of the hungriest colleges in the U.S., determined by comparing the average number of orders per day over the three weeks leading up to last year’s March Madness to the number of food orders on game days. It’s pretty clear that students need more sustenance for picking brackets than they do for studying.

So which colleges were the hungriest? Here’s a look at the top five.

5. American University, Washington, D.C.

GrubHub reported a 16 percent increase in AU orders during last year’s March Madness game days. Niche.com picked Wingo’s in Georgetown as a top 24-hour AU spot and also one of the best places to get wings.

Although the AU Eagles did not qualify for the tournament this year, the team did participate last year, earning a bid from their win at the 2014 Patriot League Tournament. Ultimately, the Eagles lost to Wisconsin in the second round of the championships, 75-35. But that loss didn’t stop the students from coming in fifth for hunger.

4. Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

March Madness game days in 2014 meant a 17 percent jump in food orders from OSU students. Unexpectedly, Niche.com’s pick for best wings in the area went to franchise Buffalo Wild Wings, which was also listed as a student favorite alongside fellow chains Chipotle and Raising Cane’s.

The OSU Buckeyes will fight for the title again during this year’s March Madness, which marks their seventh running season at the tournament. Last year, the Buckeyes barely lost their first game in the tournament to University of Dayton, 60-59. Perhaps the hungry students at OSU were stress eating.

3. George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

In third place is G-Dubya with a 20 percent game-day order increase. Although the Colonials have never made it to the NCAA Championship, last year the team got the closest they’d ever been (they lost their bid to Michigan State). So why so much food? Just because GW wasn’t playing, the students stayed true and supported their neighbors from American and Georgetown, two of the other universities in D.C.

2. Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan

A whopping 30 percent increase in game day orders? Hungry Howie’s and Buffalo Wild Wings are listed as the best pizza and best wings (respectively) in the area, but, true to the diverse midwest fare, there are also several Asian and sushi places on the Niche list for MSU best off-campus dining.

The students at MSU are no strangers to March Madness, as this year is the Spartans’ 29th trip to the NCAA Championship.

1. Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY

The number one hungriest college in America boasts a 31 percent boost in game day food ordering. Antonio’s Pizza, Wings & Pasta is the area’s highest rated pizza place on GrubHub, but with 14 restaurants just within a quarter mile of campus, Syracuse students are eating more than pizza and wings during games.

Unfortunately, SU’s self-ban on participation in this year’s tournament will likely push their hungry ranking down, but that doesn’t mean students won’t still be setting up brackets and strategizing outside their home team. No matter if Orange is on the court, basketball fans in New York will be watching.

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Avoid The Winter Blues – Affordable Entertainment for Students


entertainmentMost college students don’t have much extra spending money on hand these days after paying for tuition, books, meals and room and board. Entities such as cable television and trips to concerts or the movies are luxuries. However, thanks to today’s technology, many higher education learners can have a great time with some affordable entertainment options that won’t break the bank. Here are a few ways they can save a few dollars each month.

Streaming Movies and TV Shows

Cable television costs continue to increase forcing many college students to forego traditional cable subscriptions in favor of Internet streaming. Providers such as Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime are making a killing on college campuses because they affordable and mobile. Students can watch free movies, trailers and current and old television shows from their home television via a streaming media player such as a Roku, Google Chromecast or Apple TV or through their tablets or smartphones. They can save up to several hundred dollars a year.

Renting movies is also a great option to spending hard-earned cash at the movie theatre. Online, you can rent movies from Redbox, Amazon, Netflix and iTunes. Redbox also has a kiosks at nearly every grocery store, so there’s another option for students to save a few bucks.

Downloading or Streaming Music

Living on a shoestring budget also means not spending a large amount of money on musical entertainment. For students who do not want to pay a lot for music can download some free songs from iTunes or GooglePlay. For streaming songs, there are many options including Pandora or Spotify. However, for Samsung Galaxy users who want to be in charge of the music they listen to can do so with Milk Music, an ad-free, Internet radio service that allows consumers to personalize listening experiences. Milk Music is available in two tiers with more than 200 stations programmed. The free version allows six song skips per hour. The premium service has off-line listening, unlimited song skips and a sleep timer.

Video Gaming

Playing video games is a great way for college students to not only reduce stress, but is also a cheap way to spend an evening. For students who own a PS4, PS3 or PS Vita, they can download some free games, add-ons and apps from Sony Entertainment. Users can also download free video games from CNET and Games.com.

Prepaid Cell Phones

Even though there are many on-contract smartphone plans that are affordable, college students can save even more by purchasing a prepaid cell phone. There are several providers that offer services and devices that can help save a few dollars each month including Consumer Cellular, Net10 and ChitChat Mobile. Another affordable phone option for students is purchasing used or refurbished smartphones and joining family phone plans.

On-Campus Events

College campuses are a haven of entertainment events such as plays, concerts, lectures, poetry readings, sporting events and more. Student unions typically have discounted tickets for these types of activities, as well as some off-campus events such as movies, museums and other entertaining ventures.

Deals of the Day

A great way to draw college students off campus is through some great entertainment deals. Local coffeehouses, retail stores and restaurants typically offer daily deals on sites such as Groupon, Woot and LivingSocial. Students can receive large discounts on a variety of items, often 50 percent or more!

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DormDuels: Bringing Prizes To A Campus Near You


Until DormDuels.com, many prom pics were happily buried at the bottom of a cardboard box. No more, thanks to the latest contest sponsored by the competitive social media site for college students. Titled “Past Prom Pics,” the current contest encourages Facebook fans and active users of the year-old site to dig out the shots that defined that high school night and then proudly post for all to see. The photo with the most votes wins a $100 Visa gift card, with one lucky submission randomly selected to receive an edible arrangement, a.k.a. free fruit.

So begins one’s entry into the DormDuels’ experience, where everything seems to be on the table, and may even include the table, when it comes to offering insight on college life using a game-changing twist. The brainchild of management/marketing double major Michael Neel, founder and CEO, at Florida Atlantic University, DormDuels.com, founded in August 2011, is reshaping the way brands can effectively interact with college students by creating an experience that connects fun rewards with photo/video sharing and contest campaigns.

Neel’s business partner and co-founder of this marketing platform is fellow FAU student Mohammed Ibrahim, who serves as chief technology officer.  Together the duo has infused a humor-filled combination of creativity, demographic research and technical know-how to design a site entirely around what college students experience during their college years.

The result is an innovative interactive adventure with Featured Contests ranging from the Sickest Tatoo” and “Ragin’ Pic of the Month” to “Greatest Game Day Photos” and “Sexiest Costume Contest.” Prizes include everything from a Victoria’s Secret gift card to the ultimate party packs complete with a $50 gift card, mini koozies and….wait for it…an ice luge.

In September 2012, DormDuels.com went a step further and offered a $500 scholarship for the best video explaining how DormDuels actually works. The site also regularly sponsors User Contests to identify such things as the “Best Pumpkin Pic,” “Best Obama vs. Romney Cartoon,” “Best Duck Face” and “happy meals,” which calls upon participants “to take a picture of food with a smiley face on it.”

More recently, the company extended the entrepreneurial spirit of its founders by setting up an easy way for users to create their own contests.  Interested parties can click on a preview video that details the three simple steps in a unique DormDuels.com way for taking an idea and turning it into gold, or at least something the color of gold, maybe. (There is also a shortcut directly from the site, but the preview video was just more fun.)

Another fun feature for the company’s college-age audience is that DormDuels.com allows users to follow each other similar to Twitter’s setup. In so doing, more votes can be gained, more prizes won and more fans of DormDuels.com discovered. Add to that the company’s campus rep program, aptly named “CampusCrazzies,” and DormDuels.com connects even more with students in that the reps can earn school credit and win exclusive prizes just for signing on with the DormDuels.com team.

Since its founding in a Florida Atlantic dorm room and in addition to tons of gift cards, tens of thousands of votes and hundreds of entries, DormDuels.com has given away 42-inch HDTV’s and full weekend getaways among its thousands of dollars in prizes to date. And just as entering any of the site-sponsored contests is easy, so is joining the DormDuels.com experience via Facebook from the company’s website. Clearly, fun plus the chance to win free stuff makes DormDuels.com worth a daily visit.

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