Four easy ways to save money on food in college
A common source of anxiety for new college students is keeping their money in order, making sure they have enough of a budget to live comfortably between classes (even if they’re in our Accounting programs). If that’s you, then of the more specific sources of financial stresses is probably the food you eat. If you’re not thinking about it, your meals can take a bite out of your budget. Here’s some tips to help you keep your food spending under control.
Bringing a lunch will always be cheaper, so start with that
When it comes to the food you buy, each step of meal prep you do yourself (and you can learn how in our Culinary Skills programs) is money saved, so every day you’re packing a lunch is a few dollars saved. Keep it in your fridge at home or in the dorm, and use it instead of buying more expensive foods. A good way to help yourself do this is to make a plan over the weekend of what your meals during the week are going to be, as well as bringing snacks on top of your meals.
Make a lot of dinner, so you can bring it for lunch
Whether you’re making or buying food, if you make a lot of your dinner, you can pack it up and make a lunch at the same time, saving you both time AND money.
Always make a list before you go food shopping.
That way, you won’t make impulse purchases, or even worse, buy food you don’t need that’ll just sit around until it goes bad. According to Money Pantry, those who shop with lists spend less overall, too. Another way to spend less, according to Credit.com? Eat before you go grocery shopping, so your impulse purchases don’t come from a place of hunger.
Don’t make buying food into a routine, and go to cost-effective places when you do.
As tempting as it is, save buying your meals for special occasions, or emergencies. As an aside, if you want cheap, good meals, The Local at Progress Campus has them. If you MUST eat meals with friends, try to go there. As an aside, the most expensive things you can get are alcohol, specialty coffees (sorry, Starbucks) and smoothies, especially when you can just make the last two on your own. And stay away from vending machines! Those dollars add up.
By Anthony Geremia