Small Ways to Save Money on College

from:Allen, Myra

to:All Students

Time April 27, 2012

LINDSEY: Five little ways to save:

1. Know your priorities: Avoid making a huge Target or Wal-Mart run before you leave for school. Bring only the necessities and make a list over the next few weeks of what you really need. After I got to school, I realized that some of my must-haves, like a printer and a desktop mirror, weren’t necessities at all.

2. Make the most of your meal plan: At the end of my first semester at school, I still had 50 meals that I hadn't used, which made me regret all those trips to Chipotle and McDonald's. Many dining halls offer take-away lunches that you can use instead of buying lunch on campus or picking up snacks at the grocery store.

3. Identify local student discounts: Many college town businesses, such as local shops and restaurants, will offer great savings if you show your student ID. When visiting my friend at the University of Tulsa, she managed to score us half-price breakfasts at a restaurant near campus by using her student discount.

4. Skimp on the small stuff: When it comes to school supplies, pretty floral notebooks and sets of 24 highlighters may be tempting, but these can be double the cost of more basic items. During my freshman year, I stuck with 87-cent notebooks and made my own note cards out of regular printer paper.

5. Know when to say "no": It's a hard pill to swallow, but you can’t buy every last t-shirt, baseball cap, or tote bag that your club or organization offers. In my sorority this year, I had to make a conscious effort to buy only the apparel that I loved—and even then I ended up regretting some of my purchases. Limiting yourself is also a great way to keep your closet (and that tiny dorm room) clutter free

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