A College Student’s Guide To Eating On The Cheap

If you are a college student, there is a solid chance you are always looking for ways to save money to deal with the ever increasing cost of tuition or beer. Food is one area where everyone spends money and one of the areas where there is a lot to be saved. Following these tips can save you a ton of money:

  • Buy in bulk: Don’t shop at Mclanahans, rather, shop at Wal-Mart where you can buy larger packages at a discount. It is easy to save the $0.50 that the Vairo CATA bus costs when you shop at Wal-Mart.
  • Even better, buy a membership to the Sam’s Club out near Nittany Mall. You can split the cost with your roommates and take a weekly or monthly trip to stock up.
  • Buy a rice cooker. Seriously, you put the rice and water in and turn it on and then the rice is done later without any supervision.
  • Eat simple. Buying packages of frozen vegetables, rice and beans will give you the essentials of a healthy diet, without the expense of fresh vegetables all the time.
  • Spices are the spice of life. Invest in a few packages of spices. My favorites are lemon pepper and a “Mexican spice blend”. These can go on everything and make an otherwise bland meal delicious.
  • Avoid eating out. Although a dollar cheeseburger at McDonalds may seem like a deal, that wont be enough food for a meal and you will just end up hungry later on.
  • Pregame. Bars are expensive, it is much cheaper to buy your own booze and drink beforehand than it is to go do all your drinking at a bar.
  • Make friends with a freshman. While the mandatory meal plan policy is horseshit, it can get you into the dining commons for free as a guest.

Do you have any tips that we missed? Feel free to leave them in the comments below.

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About the Author

John O'Brien

John is a freshman at University Park majoring in materials science and engineering. When he is not doing photography of work, he is working out with the Penn State crew team.

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