Compare Colleges Find Scholarships Financial Literacy College Pulse

Categorized | Financial Literacy

How to Avoid Eating Away Your College Budget

CheapEatsWhen you are in college, it is usually a given that you are not flush with cash. Money is almost always tight for college students regardless of your family’s socioeconomic status. Even college students with wealthy parents often find themselves lacking in funds when it comes time to move out and go to school. One of the most difficult aspects of living on your own and trying to make do while you get an advanced education is how to allocate and spend the right amount of money on food and beverages.

Avoid the Unnecessary Expense of Going Out to Eat

If you are moving to a part of the country or the world that is entirely new to you, then there are very likely going to be restaurants and pubs that you simply cannot wait to experience. While it is completely acceptable to treat yourself every now and then to a new place for lunch or dinner, you must make sure that you are not overdoing it. Variety, after all, is the spice of life, but if you are going out to eat many times each week, then you are very likely going to run out of funds very quickly. You can avoid this particularly difficult problem by making sure that you only go out to eat once or twice a week, depending on your own personal food budget.

Find A Local Grocery Store

Grocery stores should still be the number one place for college students to get the majority of their food, especially if your dining hall at school is very expensive, not particularly appealing, or doesn’t exist altogether (as is the case at many smaller schools). Grocery stores usually offer far better prices on everyday goods compared to smaller bodegas and convenience stores.

Another great way to make sure that you are getting the most bang for your buck is to find a copy of your grocery store’s weekly flier. These advertisements are usually rife with savings. Sometimes they will even have cut out coupons on certain items that can help you save even more money. Before you go grocery shopping each week, you should find the local grocery store’s flier and try to plan out your meals for the week based on what items are on sale. This might take a little bit of extra time, but the savings will be well worth the trouble.

Buy Your Groceries in Bulk When You Can

In addition to the point about maximizing your use of grocery store’s fliers is the tip that you should always buy your groceries in bulk quantities when this is an option. This is especially important with nonperishable foods as you will not have to worry about eating them by a specific date before they go bad. Buying groceries in bulk will not only save you a significant amount of money, but it will force you to be disciplined in the food you eat. If you already have a lot of an inexpensive food item, then you are less likely to want to go out for an unnecessarily expensive meal.

Always Say Yes to a Free Lunch

Many colleges today will have social groups, societies, guest speakers, and presentations that come with the promise of a free lunch for all attendees. These can be a godsend if they come just when you are trying to save as much money as possible. The one downside to these is you may have to sit through a presentation that you would otherwise find incredibly boring, but even this is not too bad a price to pay as you might get the added benefit of learning something new.

College students are always struggling with their money. This is understandable, seeing as for the majority of students, it is the first time in their lives where they are wholly responsible for their own finances and well being. If you follow these tips and try your best to be disciplined about spending your money, then you should be well on your way to graduating with as little student debt as possible.

About the Author:

Today’s guest article comes from Ryan Ayers. He is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to the field of education. This article offers financial tips to college students and aims to encourage further study with an online masters of education.

RSS Subscribe Did you like this article? You can get all the latest articles sent to you by entering your email address in the box below and clicking "Subscribe." Your email will only be used for this subscription and you can unsubscribe at any time. You can also Follow Us on Twitter!

One Response to “How to Avoid Eating Away Your College Budget”

  1. Dawen says:

    I understand the ideas behind buying food in bulk – my family regularly does that now – but do you have any suggestions for doing that when living in a dorm room that doesn’t have much space?