5 Ways to be Frugal in College

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As the cost of college rises, everyone seems to be looking for ways to cut the price. While you can’t get a discount on tuition or textbooks, you can cut the price of basically anything else. Since starting college I have found that there always is a lower price for everything, you just have to look for it. Being frugal in college is easier than you think, here are five tips to help get you started.

1. Thrift Shopping

I LOVE thrift shopping. I always am able to find cute vintage clothes for an extremely reasonable price. I have found so many great pieces thrifting, that I often skip going to the mall altogether.  Though if you live in a college town, thrifting could get a little competitive. I suggest going to the thrift stores a little out of the way to compensate for this.

If you’ve never been thrifting, don’t be afraid. While the clothing might be old and smell like moth balls, you can always wash it with extra fabric softener to make it smell and feel like new. The key to getting a good thrift haul is to take your time. All of those gems are hidden and you will quite literally have to dig for them.

2. Shop Sales

This is the next best thing to thrifitng. In fact, if your hesitant about thrifitng, then this is a great alternative. Shopping during sales can save you tons of money especially if the sale is good. Stores usually have their deep discount sales at the end on a season, so that they can get rid of clothes from the previous season.

In order to find when seasons transition for a store I suggest being apart of their email list. While they can be a bit spammy, it will definitely be worth it to know when to buy.

3. Student Discounts

There aren’t many great student discounts for clothes, though there are for activities. Before you pay for any sort of event or activity ask for a student discount.  I’ve used my student discount to go skating, to the movies and even go-karting. While the savings might not be much, you can save a few dollars that you could use for coffee in the future.

4. Eat at home

One way to be frugal with food is to make it at home. Eating most of your meals at home will save you tons of money. Typically when I got out to eat I spend around ten dollars for one meal. Though when I buy groceries I only spend around thirty dollars a week. Naturally its more cost efficient to eat at home.

Eating at home doesn’t have to be boring either, you can make learn to make the same things that you purchase at restaurants. By finding similar recipes on Pinterest, I have been able to mimic some of my favorite dishes that I usually get at restaurants. Nine times out of ten they are better if not just as good.

5. Buy in bulk

One of the best ways to be frugal in college is to buy in bulk. While buying in bulk means putting more money up front, it does save you money over time. I usually buy things like rice, beans and soap in bulk at places like Costco.  Although you can find bulk items at virtually any store as well.

If you are hesitant to buy in bulk due to a lack of space, only buy the essentials. You could even dedicate one large storage container for all of these items and keep them under your bed or in your closet.


Let me know some of the ways you save money in college in the comments below!


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