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A George Foreman Grill Helps To Make College Cheaper

During the course of the last year, I received a large number of responses from students entering CheapScholar’s How Do YOU Make College Cheaper? Scholarship Giveaway.  Some students tweeted their answers, others posted them on Facebook, and many more sent me their strategies to making college cheaper via email.

In effort to to share their wisdom with others, I am starting a new series on called 1001 Ways To Make College Cheaper. Each week I will compile entries received from readers and post them here on

Our first entry comes from M. Douthard. Enjoy and please be sure to utilize the “Share Tab” below to pass this along to someone else that you think may find this information helpful.


Everyone knows that college isn’t cheap, so it’s up to me to be creative and look for ways to make my college education cheaper.  I wanted to go to college since high school.  But, just saying I wanted to attend college, wasn’t enough, I had to find ways to pay for college.

My family did not have money to pay for my college education so to get a head start on paying some of my college expenses, I opened a savings account. To fund the account, I started recycling.  I collected cans and bottles from several of my neighbors.  I was surprised at the amount of money I made from my new found venture.  Also, I made sure that I kept a strong GPA throughout high school, so that I could tap into the vast amount of private scholarship opportunities.  Naturally, I applied for federal financial assistance, state grants and university scholarships.

Reality set in once I started going to college.  There are so many fees and costs that college places on students and this becomes more of a burden every year as those costs are continually increased. I need free money really bad so I have to apply for every scholarship I am eligible for.  So, I put together an Excel spreadsheet that contained pertinent scholarship information and deadline dates.  I also put reminder ticklers on my phone and laptop, I did not want to miss any deadline dates.

At San Diego State University (SDSU), there is a communal recycle bin for the students to use.  I have been recycling for so long, I just cannot part with cans and bottles.  I not only keep my recyclables, but my roommates and a few other students share theirs with me.

My mother lives in Los Angeles so she is able to visit me regularly.  When she comes she always brings me care packages.  She also takes me and my roommates to our 3 favorite shopping places, Costco, Wal-Mart and especially the 99 cents store.  By shopping at these stores, I don’t have to spend that much money at the campus stores.  My mother takes my bottles and cans home and I turn them in for cash when I’m home during my college breaks.

I never ever will buy my books.  I am part of a textbook rental pilot program at SDSU for two years.  If the books I need are not available through the pilot program, then I use textbook rental companies like Chegg or  Textbook rental programs are very cost effective tools; however, you can wipe out the savings if you lose the books or you don’t get them back in time.

When I started college I had a 7-day meal plan, but after eating on campus five days a week, I found myself eating off campus on the weekends.  I changed my meal plan to a 5-day plan and purchased a George Foreman grill.  This was the best thing I could have done.  Whenever I’m hungry or want a snack, I just fire up my grill and make my own hamburgers and grilled cheese sandwiches in my apartment.  I even make killer Fajitas. (*CheapScholar note* – George Foreman grills are great when living in a campus apartment but make sure to check your residence hall rules before bringing one to your campus dorm – Safety First!)

I always use my student discount in and around campus and wherever it is accepted.  I use public transportation, my bike or my skateboard to travel around San Diego. Whenever I travel home,   I use Amtrak and my Guest Rewards Pass.  I can purchase a round-trip ticket for the price of a one-way ticket.

As my tuition and costs increase year after year, I will continue to look for ways to be frugal and cheap.

This article is part of the 1001 Ways To Make College Cheaper Series

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2 Responses to “A George Foreman Grill Helps To Make College Cheaper”

  1. Cynthia Mason says:

    I am so glad I found this website and believe me, I will pass it on to other moms like myself. My daughter will be going to college in September and the tips in this article were great. OMG, I would never have thought about a George Foreman grill, but that is such a great idea.

    I almost had a heart attack when I found out how much her books would cost. I didn’t know you could rent books.

    Keep the great articles coming, because sharing information like this is definitely a way to make college cheaper.

    • Dee Ferry says:

      I truly found this entry informative and inspiring. This has definitely opened up ideas for savings. My daughter is off to college and I so appreciate this site and the articles, such as the one above.

      In no way did I ever think there was a rent option for school books. Of course we knew that books could be bought, but at such high rates. This is a savings that is priceless…and not sure if anyone else sees it as an eco-friendly idea…we will no longer have to wonder how to discard books, we simply return them.

      And let me also say that my daughter is worried about the “freshman 15”, you know the weight gain in the first year of college. The George Foreman grill makes things cheaper with an added plus of healthier eating. We thought of the microwave, but never this grill…already bought one to send along.

      Thank you for such a GREAT article…