Living Cheap While in College?

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28 Replies - 5673 Views - Last Post: 01 September 2011 - 12:04 AM

#1 RandomlyKnighted  Icon User is offline

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Living Cheap While in College?

Posted 05 August 2011 - 10:25 AM

I hear all the time about how tight money is while in college. Fortunately, the past two years I was at a community college and didn't have to worry about it too much. But in 8 days I'll be moving into my dorm at my new university. I've had friends that say they lived off of Ramen noodles while in college. I'm curious to know what's it like for those of you that are in school currently?
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#2 Lemur  Icon User is online

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Re: Living Cheap While in College?

Posted 05 August 2011 - 10:43 AM

Ramen is king.

No, but in all seriousness avoid the school caf. More often than not it will be horribly overpriced for absolute crap.

Learn the basics of cooking, pasta and chicken are good places to start. Chicken is danged cheap and pasta is as well for quite a quantity of it. Combine this with a basic knowledge of spices and you can have some pretty good dishes ready to go quick. This assumes you have access to a stove of course, if not it's cheaper to rent a house with friends in most cases, so do it.
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#3 Curtis Rutland  Icon User is online

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Re: Living Cheap While in College?

Posted 05 August 2011 - 10:45 AM

Depends. Are you going to try to get a job? Do some contract work on the side (if you're good with websites you might be able to live like a king in college).

How much partying you planning on doing? If it's a lot, you've gotta live cheaper to be able to afford the beer and, um, other stuff.

Dorm, apartment, rental house, or parent's house? That matters too.
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#4 ipushmycar  Icon User is offline

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Re: Living Cheap While in College?

Posted 05 August 2011 - 10:56 AM

Cheap but healthy is key. I found a local fresh grocer and lived there. 15 minute walk that was easy to make on weekends. Budgeting will help you live within your means. Books is where a lot of my money went. Amazon (free prime as a student) and googling helped me find the best deal. I also kept my books in amazing condition so I was able to, at best, break even with some of them. GL!
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#5 xclite  Icon User is offline

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Re: Living Cheap While in College?

Posted 05 August 2011 - 11:02 AM

Get a job. Moreover, eating in the dining hall is fine, depending on your university. Finally, don't order pizza out every night.
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#6 Curtis Rutland  Icon User is online

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Re: Living Cheap While in College?

Posted 05 August 2011 - 11:22 AM

Don't sell your textbooks back to the campus bookstores. They absolutely rip you off (sometimes offering $10 for a $200 textbook). Sell them online and reclaim about 50% of your investment.

Or keep them. You never know when you'll need to go back to the programming books. Probably get rid of the others though. No need for a freshman composition book lying around.
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#7 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: Living Cheap While in College?

Posted 05 August 2011 - 11:56 AM

Clip coupons, shop sales, and join eClubs for places you frequent. Budget your money, prioritize, and get a job. It's not about never going out and doing things, just understanding what and how often you can (and can't) afford.
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#8 ishkabible  Icon User is offline

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Re: Living Cheap While in College?

Posted 05 August 2011 - 06:56 PM

a cheap trick i learned while at boarding school...sweet potatoes. you can microwave a sweet potato and put some butter, sugar, and Cinnamon on it and it makes a meal for next to nothing. i would take sugar and butter packs out of the cafeteria so i never paid for that. 1 small thing of Cinnamon lasts forever(i think i only bought 1). the sweet potatoes are cheap them self's too.

ramen, as mentioned, is dirt cheap. the thing i had trouble affording was soda, although i drink WAY too much soda so that may be the issue at hand :P. proton shakes(that can be made with water) can fill you up if your hungry and are pretty cheap especially if your not using them for workouts.
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#9 RandomlyKnighted  Icon User is offline

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Re: Living Cheap While in College?

Posted 05 August 2011 - 10:07 PM

I know getting a job has been mentioned several times. I already have a job but with the semester starts I will only be working weekends and I'll have to drive home on the weekends so I can work. So most of my money will be going to gas that's why I asked about living cheap.

Also I will be living on campus so I have the meal plan that way I don't have to worry about most of the meals. I'll just have to worry about paying for 1 meal a day plus eating on the weekends.
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#10 hookiethe1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Living Cheap While in College?

Posted 06 August 2011 - 09:14 AM

You said you'll be driving home on weekends. Where is home? Your parents house? If that's the case, that's where you do your shopping! (and laundry too)
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#11 RandomlyKnighted  Icon User is offline

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Re: Living Cheap While in College?

Posted 06 August 2011 - 10:53 AM

View Posthookiethe1, on 06 August 2011 - 11:14 AM, said:

You said you'll be driving home on weekends. Where is home? Your parents house? If that's the case, that's where you do your shopping! (and laundry too)


Yes, the parents house. But I'll be working most of the weekend so I may just do my shopping during the week when I have a little bit extra time. Yeah I've already been thinking that I'll do laundry at the parents house. I'm mainly trying to get ideas for the Spring semester as I'll have been at my job long enough that I can transfer to a store just a few minutes away from the university. So when that time comes I'll be living up there all the time.
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#12 J-e-L-L-o  Icon User is offline

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Re: Living Cheap While in College?

Posted 26 August 2011 - 09:05 PM

2 words: Foreman Grill.

That thing is amazing. you can buy the bag of frozen chicken breasts for like 5-10 bucks and have chicken for days. Grill, slice it for sandwiches, put it in salads... eat plain with Easy Mac...endless, cheap, and better for you possibilities lol.
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#13 NeoTifa  Icon User is offline

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Re: Living Cheap While in College?

Posted 30 August 2011 - 06:05 AM

You can get a 20lb bag of white rice for $15. Do you realize how versitile rice is? You can make any fucking thing. Really, all you need is rice, frozen stir fry veggies (jumbo bag only like $5), some soy/teriyaki sauce, maybe some ground ginger and garlic, and like canned tuna or cheap chicken. Most of the stuff might seem a little steep when you first buy it, but it holds a long time and will last quite a while. Just remember to wash your rice unless you like it starchy/goopy.

Also, a can of coconut milk is about $2, chicken bouillon cubes (sp?) $5, and a jar of curry paste $4, and you can make quick, cheap curry. Just add in the stir fry veggies (I like to add potatoes) and some chicken, and pour over the cheap rice. Delish.

Oh, another tip, get international versions of your books online. The chapters may be a bit out of order, but the content is the same. I got 2 $200 books for $35 a piece. Sure, it might be printed for use in India, but it's in English and the info is legit.

This post has been edited by NeoTifa: 30 August 2011 - 06:13 AM

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#14 J-e-L-L-o  Icon User is offline

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Re: Living Cheap While in College?

Posted 30 August 2011 - 11:05 AM

^ Can you come over and cook for me?
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#15 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Living Cheap While in College?

Posted 30 August 2011 - 11:15 AM

Ugh... if someone was cooking curry in the dorm rooms I would give serious consideration to stabbing them in their reproductive organs.
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