By the end of four years, college tuition will have made a large dent in your finances. However, by doing little things here and there you can significantly cut out spending money unnecessarily on food.
Split Groceries with a Roommate
If you have similar eating habits as your roommate, splitting the groceries can save you a lot of money. If there are two or more of you, most items can be bought in bulk from stores like Costco or Sam’s Club. The bulk items in those stores are cheaper than the smaller amounts at grocery stores. Buying a set of 24 chicken breasts for $25 is incredibly cheaper than 4 for 6$. Non-perishable foods can be bought in boxes or large packets of individual boxes. Splitting groceries with a roommate will also lessen the chance of perishable items going bad. The amount of vegetables and milk that gets thrown out when eating on your own, wastes a lot of money.
Eating out all the time is a huge waste of money. You can easily spend $100 a week by eating out once every day. Spending the same amount on groceries could give you three square meals for almost double that length of time. If you set a weekly limit then you can still enjoy a few meals out with friends but it won’t put a huge strain on your budget. Eating out twice or maybe three times a week isn’t too bad, depending on the type of restaurant you go to. If you are into cooking, you should check out the menus at restaurants for recipe ideas. When you stumble across something that sounds good, you are almost guaranteed to find a similar version online. Eating in will also lessen the chances of gaining the Freshman 15, the less McDonalds on your meal plan the healthier you can eat.
Bringing a snack to class or work with you everyday can actually save quite a bit of money. A bag of chips from the vending machine is usually about $1.25; you can get a box of 54 bags from Costco for $15. Paying for that doesn’t even make sense. Also, on most campuses it will be difficult to find a healthy snack. If you are looking for carrots or fresh fruit, you will most likely be required to drive to a grocery store or food market. By bringing something from home, you will definitely have what you want to eat and it will save you a huge amount of money. You might even be encouraged to eat healthier.
Reusable Water Bottle
In regards to liquids, buying a cheap, reusable water bottle will be an incredible help financially and for the environment. A 24 pack of Poland Spring water is $6.99. The suggested water intake per day is 13 cups, which means you will fly through those bottles. By buying a $5 bottle and keeping it with you, you can eliminate needing to purchase any other bottles. Most places have a number of accessible water fountains and they are now being equipped with a water bottle filler at the back. If there isn’t a handy water fountain then sink water is an adequate substitute. If you prefer purified water, then there are bottles available with a Brita purifier attached to the lid. When trying to save money, this is a definite step in the right direction.
Cutting down on simple costs can add up significantly by the end of four years. Saving money on food doesn’t mean completely eliminating eating out and buying quick bites, it means limiting them.