A stereotypical college student has a permanent lack of money, eats junk food, and is particularly bad at saving. This is often accompanied by health problems and irrational spendings. However, it is possible to save money without having to eat unhealthy food. You surely can do both, eat well and cut on spendings. Below are some practical tips that you might find useful.
Do Some Planning
The first thing you need to learn to do when in college is how to plan your budget. You might start with planning your lunches and dinners. Make a list of what you will need, say, for the upcoming week. When shopping, you will look at the list and stick to it, rather than wandering around the store buying unnecessary things.
Look at the Prices
Not every grocery store customer looks at the prices when shopping. This is, however, a nice habit to have. Always look at the prices, compare them, and know how much you spend on your food.
Use Coupons and Promos
With coupons and promotions, you can save a lot of money. Even if you are able to spend a dollar less than you normally spend, you can imagine how much it will be when multiplied by the number of shopping rounds per month. What if it’s even a more significant sum?
Discount codes can be found in catalogs, on the websites, or obtained through specific apps. For example, 20% of young people save money on grocery shopping with a mobile app. You might want to subscribe to a bunch of newsletters to get coupons when they are available. In general, you will see promotions everywhere if you pay attention. They are often connected with some holiday, so be especially alert on days like this.
Use Regular Discounts
There are discount cards at practically every store. Some even offer special discounts for students. You won’t really save much using your customer discounts, but they still can save you some cash. Unfortunately, students often ignore this possibility, as only 17% of them use their student discounts. Don’t forget about this additional opportunity to cut on your budget spendings.
Don’t Chase after the Brand Names
Did you know that buying goods from a brand costs you additional money? Try to pick products by generic brands or those which belong to the store chain. They are often not worse than the goods you are used to, if not better.
Don’t Shop Excessively
Did you know that every family in the US spends $1.3–2.3 thousand yearly on products and goods they do not need? That’s $100 and more per month. In the end, it all goes to waste, along with the money. So, stay alert whenever you go shopping. Don’t take more than you can eat and don’t buy something that you won’t consume. A shopping list will help you.
Don’t Shop When Hungry
This piece of advice might sound funny, but you should try following it. When you are hungry and traveling among the supermarket aisles, you will likely buy processed and less healthy food to eat it immediately. Besides, you will buy more, just because the products are so conveniently arranged that you won’t stop at just one thing — you’ll find something just as good right next to it.
There is always a way in which you can save some money without giving up on healthy and tasty things. Just remember that planning helps, as well as turning on your rational side. Search for coupons to save money, don’t buy stuff that you’ll be likely to throw away, and use your student status to your advantage. These are the main tips that will help you get through your college days and have some cash to spend on more important things like clothes, books, or a Netflix subscription.