My name is Rebecca, and as a fellow student, one of the best forms of advice that I can give is to reduce, re-use and recycle.
And I know, trying to do all three can be a bit annoying, or time consuming, but, what if you can do all three in one and save money at the same time? Many places around the nation now have thrift stores that you can go explore for a variety of things that you could need for a price drop of 75 percent or more. The best payoff? Sometimes people donate clothing that is brand new with the tags still attached. Who wouldn't want a new Under Armor shirt for 7 dollars or less? Not to mention high end shoes, coats, and even cook wear. And most importantly, sports bottles for our Athletes and even school supplies for the rest of us. Have a forgetful friend that leaves their supplies behind all the time? get them a grab bag of goods and they'll never be behind for 2 dollars or less. Did that same friend forget their bag? Go to your local salvation Army or Goodwill (or whichever thrift store is your fave) and get them a backup bag for under Five bucks. And this is the best part. When purchasing, your money goes to a good cause, and you reduce your ecological footprint. And you're also recycling goods that might have been sadly thrown away instead.
Also, another easy way to save money is to make lunches, and drinks to go. One of my favorite things to drink is organic coffee. But the price of drinks out at coffee shops is enough to make my mouth shrivel. But a pound of my favorite organic coffee is less than 12 dollars. I also live with my boyfriend, so using him as an example this is a rough outline of what we would spend out on coffee.
5.00X2X5 for one week of class is 50.00 dollars. 50X4 for the month, and for two people that's 200 dollars a month. For the whole year? 2,400 Dollars. That's the equivalent of a very nice Mac laptop every year. Even solo, that 1,200 dollars is pretty impressive. And a pound of the Coffee we get lasts a month for two people. Now onto lunch. The average cheap lunch around campus is roughly 7 dollars. That's 35 dollars a week for one person and 140 dollars a month, making it 1,680 dollars for a year. if you reduce eating lunch out to once a week instead of five times a week, you will save insane amounts of money. Not good at cooking? no problem. Salads are easy to make, and good for you at a fraction of a fast food meal. All you need to do is wash, cut, and put into a reusable container before you head out the door. Really not good at cooking? Also no problem. Get a slow cooker for yourself, cut up veggies, meats, and add broth to a pot and set it on low. by the time you get back, you'll have soup hot and ready to go that you can have for dinner. Put some in a thermos for yourself the next day, and get your awesome on.
These quick and easy tips have helped me out a lot, and I hope they help you too. Also as a personal freebie, a lot of thrift stores have college student discount days during the summer. keep an eye out for adds online, or give them a call. All you have to do is show your school ID, and you can save even more on fabulous stuff.