Are you one of those college students who spent half of their expenses on food? Do you have trouble limiting your grocery shopping? We have listed 10 easy peasy ways on how to save money on food in college…
Every college is unique in its own way. And every college student has his peculiarities as well. However, one thing is common to every college student. That is the persistent shortage of cash during their stay in college. All the care packages received from home only do a little. And, it will always appear like your bank account reduces every time you check your balance. Yet, there are certain ways you can get the best out of your funds while in college.
We all know that campus life comes with a ton of attractions for students. There are numerous ways to squander all the cash you have without knowing how quickly it’s going. Still, there are a lot of ways to save money as a college student on campus without robbing yourself of all the pleasure and adventure that you can enjoy in your college life.
Without doubts, several needs will eat up a whole chunk of your college fund. There is tuition, then you have books to buy, furniture and clothing to get, and class fees and lab fees that pile up in no time at all. All of these leave you with only a little amount of cash to spend on food and for fun. Regardless, there are ways to save money on all of these different college expenses. We are hopeful that with a few valuable nuggets we will provide, you can ensure that your college funds go farther than you have ever imagined.
But first, have you considered your food expenses?
According to reports from an annual National Student Money Survey, students in college spend an average of £100 monthly on groceries only. That is more money than you will spend on any other expenses aside from rent! When it concerns food shopping, college students are likely going to make mistakes repeatedly. Consider how often you have found yourself buying a one-off dinner from the Tesco Express just down the road rather than stocking up.
You will discover that food is one of the greatest culprits when it comes to causing damage to your college financial life. Necessarily, you must eat. Yet, without sufficient restrain, your food budget can end up being one of the biggest ways you will squander your money. We will be providing you with certain tips to assist you in managing your food expenses as a college student. That by the end of the day, you can easily save money on food while in college.
How to Save Money on Food in College? Let’s Find Out…
It’s high time you put an end to those old and bad spending habits. It is time to consider this valuable list of nuggets that can save you some money on food as a college student.
1. Shop in Bulk
Shopping from wholesale retailers in bulk is the most suitable way of saving money if you have the capacity to store bulk goods. You can buy products that you use most often or the things that can sit on the shelf for longer and save a ton of money.
Moreover, if you invest in a warehouse club membership like a BJ’s or Costco membership, you can get your hands on your favorite groceries at discounted wholesale prices.
BJ’s store’s groceries at a price that is up to 25% less than conventional grocery store prices. And you can get your hands on this discount through a $55/year membership. While Costco offers its house card at $60/year. Which gives you access to their wholesale inventory. So you can buy your groceries at wholesale prices and save your hard-earned money.
2. Use Rebate Programs
Want to buy everything you love, and save money? That’s not a dream anymore. Rebate programs have made it possible for people to shop to their heart’s desire while saving money.
These programs work by offering a fixed discount on prices.
Two of our top favorite rebate programs are Mr. Rebates and REBAID, because of their mind-blowingly awesome discounts.
Mr. Rebates offers cash back guarantee on all sorts of products from apparel to accessories, automotive to beauty, and cosmetics from a massive variety of stores.
While REBAID offers up to an unbelievable 100% discount on some of the products. So, while you save a bucket load of money on products with a 60% cash back guarantee. You can also get your favorite things for free!
3. Invest in plastic containers
Student life is stressful. You have to deal with your falling grades and depleting stash of money. And forgetting your dinner on the counter for days is easier than getting through the crowd outside an Apple store before a new product launch.
However, throwing away your leftovers because they stink is not an intelligent option when you are trying to live on a budget. Then what is the intelligent option?
Plastic containers! Investing in plastic containers can help you store your leftovers and take them out on days when you don’t feel like cooking.
In this way, plastic containers not only prevent you from throwing your money away in the form of moldy food. But also help you save money on takeaways by keeping prepared food ready for you to microwave and eat.
4. Prepare your own meal
It goes without saying that preparing your own meal is an un-skippable option if you want to survive and thrive on your student-budget.
Even though buying a $20 meal from a restaurant after a hectic day at college may seem easier than going home and cooking something from scratch. But cooking at home costs significantly less than eating out. And each penny that you save on food can go into your savings account and be used for better things, like paying off your student loans.
Apart from directly saving money on meals, preparing your own meals also helps you utilize all your groceries and prevents them from going bad. So, you don’t throw your money away with that rotting meat or moldy fruits.
5. Supermarket Shopping
If you think buying in bulk is not a suitable option for you, then shopping at a supermarket definitely is.
Planning and buying your groceries for an entire week or the whole month is a sure-fire way of saving money on necessities. Buying everything bit by bit balloons up your expenses because every time you visit a shop to buy one thing, you always return with buying two or three. Which shows in your budget as reduced savings and increased expenses.
This reminds me, shopping from the supermarket also gives you an estimated amount that you spend on groceries which helps with budgeting.
Keep an eye on the weekly deals and sales that your nearest supermarket offers and cash in on the discounted prices of the groceries you need.
6. Advanced meal planning
Saving on your grocery bill becomes much easier if you plan your meal ahead and then shop for groceries accordingly. It helps you identify what you can afford to eat and spend on your groceries so that you don’t exceed your monthly or weekly budget. Additionally, advance meal planning also helps you stick to the list and buy only what you need.
The best way to save the most on advance meal planning is to check out what you already have and to see what is on sale at your supermarket. And then plan your meals with what you already have or what you can get at a discounted price. Practice this for a month and you’ll see a significant difference in your grocery bill.
7. Download a budget app
It is not easy managing your accounts and jotting down every single expense, then totaling it against your income when you have a 5000-word paper due the next day.
However, technology today leaves no one to fend for themselves and you too can leverage this and use a budgeting app to track your money
Apps like Digit or true bill sync with your bank accounts and trace your earning and expenditure and display it for you so you can see where all your money goes. In this way, apps like these play a great role in preventing you from spending on unnecessary things.
See our post on: Digit App Review
Moreover, these budgeting apps set a saving target for you, track and display your progress and help you pay your loans faster.
8. Cook in groups
Too many cooks spoil the broth? Well, when you are a student trying to live on a budget, too many cooks make making the “broth” affordable.
Sharing a meal with your friends or roommates not only gives you time to sit and bond (if you like them), but it also helps you split the cost of food. So, even if you don’t like your spits-while-he-speaks roommate, try sharing your meals with him for the sake of your depleting savings.
According to a survey, cooking for four people may cost between $150 to $290 a week. Now split this amount among four people with whom you are sharing your meals. You’ll see how you’ll only need around $40-$70 a week for surviving.
9. Say goodbye to take outs
While getting a Chinese takeout on your way back from college seems like a relaxing option, it burns your earnings quicker than cardio burns your calories.
The average cost of a restaurant serving a meal hovers around $20 per person. While the price of the same serving of the same meal sits at around $4 if you cook it yourself. Can you see what the point is here, or do we need to spell it?
Restaurant food is almost five times more expensive than the cost of cooking your meals yourself.
So, saying goodbyes to takeaways or restricting them to only a once-a-week treat can help you save hundreds of dollars annually that you can use to go on a vacation. And who would want to miss out on a trip to the sandy beaches of Florida for the sake of a pizza? No one!
10. Invest in a ninja blender
Investing in a ninja blender will result in a quick return on investment through all the money that you’ll save on that unhealthy, diabetes-inducing smoothie from Starbucks.
With these blenders, you can dump all the fruits that you bought from the supermarket and blend them to get five to six smoothies that will get you through a couple of days or more.
Ninja blenders stand true to their name and blend you creamy, dreamy smoothies within seconds. With their patented 4 and 6 blade technology, these blenders are capable of converting a pitcher full of fruits and veggies into truly smooth smoothies in a blink of an eye. (that’s an exaggeration of course. But we’re not too far off.)
We hope you enjoyed these tips, so stop spending your college money on food and get things going.