State College on the Cheap


Ryan Pfister’s done it again. His colloquial columns in the Collegian really resonate with me. This week’s column I found particularly interesting, especially in light of the current economic situation. Pfister distills the economy and the rise of coupons with a certain verve.

The stock market’s tanked. Consumer spending is down. People are getting laid off.

But, for me, there’s a silver lining: Being cheap is finally cool.

Being cheap is certainly important on a college campus like Penn State because, though students may come from means, they are usually on a fixed income while at school. On this income, spending compromises must be made in order to get through the semester, whether it’s deciding to go to see John Legend or T.I., or eating on or off campus. These choices we grapple with are directly related to  the size of our wallets.

One method of saving money is the infamous coupon. Pfister notes that when times are good, the coupon is looked down upon, but in times like these, those little pieces of paper could save you more than a little coin. Outside the University Park bubble, use of coupons is also on the rise. Even coupons for internet businesses have flourished in attempts to compete with brick and mortar stores. Hopefully, once again coupons will become as uncool as they once were, but until then, here’s a mantra for you: Clip and save.


About Author

Eli is a junior majoring in International Politics. He enjoys paninis and books.


  1. Speaking of tight budgets……..Don’t you find it curious that, in this dismal economy, holiday spending was UP on Black Friday? Maybe we just can’t break our spend, spend, spend mindset? When is SAVING money going to be fashionable?