Saving Money While at College

September 16, 2010

Chalkboard with the word student written on it leaning against a wall behind a plate containing a few coins.What are some ways to save money and manage it while going to college?

By chantel from Portland



Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 153 Feedbacks
September 18, 20100 found this helpful

1) Learn the difference between needs and wants.
2) If you don't go anywhere, you won't need a car.
3) Get used to cheap meals. Get a rotisserie chicken and a head of cabbage and make soup, sandwiches, cole slaw, burritos, etc. I have a friend who does this and he finds it quite satisfying. The two items can last you all week for lunches.
4) Of course, buy books and other necessities second hand whenever possible.
5) Trade tutoring for goodies. Or give it away. What goes around comes around.
6) Attend the free events on campus for entertainment.
7) Don't go to stores unless you have a list, coupons for most of the stuff you're buying, and have already eaten.


8) Use what you have to the fullest extent possible. For instance, if you are an art major and can only afford pen and ink, push yourself to do the best work ever with that medium. Even Michaelangelo started out with the basics.
9) Choose your dorm mate carefully. Get someone who shares your values and can be trusted to not walk off with your stuff.
10) Treat your classes as pure pleasure, even when they seem over your head or not in your field of interest. Attitude of gratitude, etc. Attitude is 90% of everything. If you're determined to go the course, you will.
Have a fabulous time learning!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
September 19, 20100 found this helpful

Get a small slow cooker. Find one with a removable container, this will make clean up easy. Now take the bones from last nights barbecue chicken with some onion, garlic and veggies of your choice and water to cover. Now your free to study, go to class, chill, dinner will be ready when you are. Remove the bones and discard. You can add rice at the start or quick rice about 20 min. before finished. Pasta only takes about 10 min at the end. One problem, the smell will have half your dorm clambering for the left overs. Now that you have made your first slow cooker dinner get ready to use anything you can think of to make dinner, slow and oh cheap.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
October 12, 20100 found this helpful

Get an air popcorn popper; healthy, and delightful and actually nutricious to snack on! You can easily put taco seasonings; make your own parmisian cheese and garlic salt seasonings; this always smells delightful and lifts your mood! You will never feel deprived with this treat around! Rice cooker is wonderful as well; get from bulk; get jasmine wonderfully aromatic; and balsmati; get your seasonings by the tablespoon in bulk; far cheaper; take a steel water bottle with you and fill from fountains; can also take a thermos (stanley) with you; full of hot water/hot chocolate/coffee; carry tea bags with you.


Learn where you can sit and enjoy a cup of tea etc in a place where it is like a picnic! Instead of bemoaning the fact you can't get starbucks, love the fact that you have great beverages and enjoy them! Glean from other students what they were able to do; and what appeals and works for you, incorporate into what you do.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question

December 14, 2017

This is a page about saving money on meals at college. Here is some great information to consider, if you are looking into using a meal plan for your college student.

College Students Being Served in Cafeteria

Read More... Pin it! Was this helpful? Yes

April 28, 2016

This is a page about cheap meal ideas for a college student. Many college students need to eat on a budget.

Pile of coins on a white plate with a knife and fork on a wooden table

Read More... Pin it! Was this helpful? Yes

February 22, 2012

This page is about saving money on textbooks. A major cost of attending college is purchasing the textbooks needed for your courses.

Saving Money on Textbooks

Read More... Pin it! Was this helpful? Yes


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

September 16, 2010

I am back in college after a bad illness at age 35, and my husband ditched me, so pickings are slim. I have a few suggestions to stretch those dollars, which are very few these days.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

August 17, 2009

Paying for college is a major headache, but the costs incurred while studying there are also high. There are ways to save money while you're at college, which can help pay for the next semester.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

August 17, 2009

Tips for saving money in college as suggested by our ThriftyFun community. Do you have any advice to share? Feel free to post your ideas below.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
Education College Life BudgetApril 30, 2016
Father's Day Ideas!
Mother's Day Ideas!
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Better LivingBudget & FinanceBusiness and LegalComputersConsumer AdviceCoronavirusCraftsEducationEntertainmentFood and RecipesHealth & BeautyHolidays and PartiesHome and GardenMake Your OwnOrganizingParentingPetsPhotosTravel and RecreationWeddings
Published by ThriftyFun.
Desktop Page | View Mobile
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Generated 2022-05-08 19:06:04 in 6 secs. ⛅️️
© 1997-2022 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.