Is there a college student in the family heading off (or back) to school this fall? Here are some savings tips especially for the cash-strapped student:
Save on school supplies by scavenging university discards. Watch for notebooks and folders that are being discarded by professors or staff members.
You have to eat, but the school cafeteria and vending machines can be your worst enemy in sticking to your budget. Carry a water bottle to fill at water fountains. Pack thermos of coffee and plenty of snacks in your backpack. Brownbag it when you're going to be at school all day.
If you must have your soda, don't pay 50-75¢ for a cold one from a vending machine or $1.00 or more from the cafeteria. Bring your own from home (purchased on sale, of course) and buy a 10-15¢ cup of ice from the cafeteria. Better yet, you may be able to use the refrigerator (and microwave for heating leftovers) in the department of your major.
Why pay for Internet service if you can take advantage of the free Internet and email services provided to students by the university? Save yourself the $15-20 a month!
Don't overlook the possibility of buying books online. Even with shipping costs, you can often still save money, especially when your university bookstore only has new copies of the book for sale.
Watch for students selling books you'll need next semester at the end of this semester. By buying other students' books at less than the bookstore charges but more than the bookstore buys them back, both you and the other students profit. (This requires talking with your professors to find out exactly what books you'll need long before the semester starts.)
Get in the habit of asking about student discounts everywhere you do business. You'd be surprised at the savings you can get just for asking if such a discount exists. (Editor's Note: When we recently moved, we got 10% off a Penske rental truck because I showed my student ID!)
Even at 7¢ each, the cost of making copies adds up quick. When copying multiple pages, see if you can fit two loose pages or adjacent pages in a book on one copy either by reducing the size or using 11x17 paper (if 11x17 copies are the same price).
Even if you have your own printer, save money on replacement ink cartridges and paper by using the university computer lab to print out reports and papers.
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