Saving Money In College

Fall us upon us, and with Texas A&M right down the street, that means thousands of students are getting back into the swing of the semester. The back to school rush has not gone unnoticed, and while my roommate and I made our weekly grocery trip, it led to a discussion about shopping and saving money while attending college.

I thought about my own experience in school, and decided to ask friend and coworkers how they made the most of their money as students.

Here’s what they had to say:

  • Simplify your grocery list. When I went to college, I ate on campus quite a bit. When the costs started to add up, I switched to making food in my dorm instead. I quickly found that it was impractical to get lots of groceries at the store. One coworker’s solution to this was to shop for ingredients rather than dishes. The goal becomes to plan as many dishes as possible that can share a small amount of ingredients, preventing waste and making it significantly easier to carry grocery bags.
  • Invest in a slow cooker. Slow cooker recipes are a great way to get more food per dollar. One of my favorite meals in college was a delicious bean soup that I could let simmer while I studied. If I planned well, then I could eat soup throughout the week.
  • Buy generic. One of my roommates had a few items for which he preferred the name brand. For everything else, he purchased generic brands and saved himself quite a bit of cash.
  • Become a mystery shopper. If you’re in college (or know someone who is), mystery shopping is definitely something to consider. For a student, it can be a great way to put some cash in your pocket, and getting reimbursed for meals can definitely be a huge plus. However, don’t just limit yourself to restaurants. You can integrate grocery, retail, and even movie theater shops into your busy school schedule, and get paid for things you planned on doing anyway! Plus, it’s a great way to sharpen your note-taking skills.

If you’re interested in becoming a mystery shopper, talk to one of our Schedulers. Whether or not you are a current student, there are lots of little things you can do that add up to big savings!