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Let me start with the bad news: college is a money-sucking machine, hungry for every last penny you have.
After spending your entire savings/paycheck on textbooks you’ll never read, a calculator you’ll never really learn how to use, and those GE classes that are literally just a waste of money….
…..what’s left for you?
How do you manage to enjoy anything outside of school when you’re living on a “I can see through those leggings” tight budget?
These money-saving college tips and tricks are the secret you need to survive the up-all-night-stress-studying (AKA binge watching Grey’s Anatomy while downing an entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food) thing we like to call “The College Experience”.
How To Save Money In College: 10 College Tips and Tricks
1. Get Paid to Online Shop
Buying new clothes while on a budget should be the last thing on your mind.
But somehow… it’s usually top 3 (or 2).
Get paid to shop.
Ebates is waiting to hand over free cash every time you make an online purchase.
(and it gets better)
Ebates also keeps an updated list of every retailer’s coupon codes, sales, free gift offers, and more!!
Get your $10 Free Gift Card when you sign up (for free) here and make your first $25 purchase!
2. Have Your Essentials Delivered to Your Door at 15% Off
Don’t you love asking your friend for a ride to Wal-Mart…for toilet paper?
Yeah, I didn’t think so.
Instead, have them delivered to your front door FOR 15% OFF!!
Amazon Subscribe and Save is the ultimate college hack.
Simply pick out the items you’re always buying like:
- Paper Towels
- Protein Powder
- Tooth Paste
- Keurig Pods (A must)
- You get the point..
And have them shipped to you at any interval you like!
>> At 15% off the full price!
3. Get Paid to Grocery Shop
Here’s the truth: grocery stores want your money.
From the fancy lighting in the freezer section to the way they organize the food to make it look extra enticing….
… everything is designed to catch your eye and get you to spend money.
Fight back with the free app that PAYS YOU to grocery shop.
After a day of stocking up on all your favs, simply whip out your phone, snap a picture of your grocery receipt and watch free money instantly flood into your account.
And don’t worry; you don’t have to buy a bunch of weird food items you’ll never eat.
Just go about your regular shopping, buying things like:
- Anything (free money just for scanning your receipt)
- Bread (any brand)
- Ice Cream
And if you’re trying to eat healthy on a budget, this app is the perfect sidekick!
Psst… and look how much you can make!
4. Earn Free Gift Cards In Your Spare Time
Free gift cards are better than cash.
While dollar bills can be spent on *anything*…. That anything includes responsibility.
If you’ve got a free gift card to Starbucks, well… you’ve got to buy a Venti Iced Vanilla Late right??
Next time you’re taking a Hulu study break, pull out your computer and start racking up them free gift cards!
(some of these sites give you a free amazon gift card just for signing up!)
Give your opinion in (free) online surveys:
- Pinecone Research– get paid $3/survey
- Survey Rewardz– get paid in Amazon gift cards!
- Harris Poll Online– rack up free Starbucks Gift Cards!
Load up on “Welcome Bonuses” (get paid to test these sites/apps out!)
- Drop App– get a $5 gift card for signing up and linking your credit or debit card. Learn more about Drop in our complete Drop App Review
- Ebates– get a $10 gift card after spending your first $25 online shopping.
- Ibotta– redeem your free $10 after scanning your first grocery receipt
- MyPoints– get your $10 gift card after spending your first $25.
Or simply get paid to search the web:
5. Meal Prep (with a cheat sheet)
Ever tried out meal prepping so you could crush that healthy lifestyle while saving money?
It starts out sounding like a great idea.
…. Until its 2 hours later, you aren’t even halfway done, and the “Pinterest-worthy” recipe you just made tastes like crap.
So I get it, meal prepping was that thing you tried once and never tried again.
Luckily there is a brilliant, money-saving (and time-saving) solution.
For just $5 a month, $5 Meal plan sends you mouth-watering meal plans plus a shopping list straight to your inbox!
And every meal can be made for $2 or less!!
6. Travel Without Pricy Hotel and Food Costs
When you’re a college student, traveling over summer break is the dream that keeps you going through those mind-numbing 8+ hour days.
I mean, there’s nothing else to do right??
Stop blowing your budget on pricey (while not even that lavish) hotels.
Instead: rent an Airbnb (and get a free $40 when you sign up today!).
When you book a stay with Airbnb you’ll save $100’s if not $1,000’s in room costs!
No matter the destination, there are countless houses and rooms to rent at a fraction of what even a low-end hotel would cost you.
Plus, you can make more meals at home with your fully functioning kitchen (AKA saving money)!
* Vacation with friends so you can split the rent and save even more!
7. Go Out To Eat For Cheap
Plain and simple, going out to eat is not cost-effective.
But…. eating ‘Cup Of Noodles’ daily can only be done for so long.
So what do you do? How can you be frugal, save money, AND enjoy going out to eat every once in a while?
Groupon is the hub for insane deals on restaurants in your area.
Want fast food? Ice cream? Italian?
Why not get it for 50% off?!
Sign up for Groupon and get awesome deals at your fingertips whenever you’re feeling just a liittlleee too tired of easy-mac for one night.
8. Sell Your Old Stuff And Buy Used
You know those old Ugg boots sitting in your closet collecting dust?
(and use the money to buy new fashion pieces guilt-free!!)
With websites like Poshmark, you can sell your gently worn clothes and accessories for a hefty profit!
Go through you closet, pick out the things you’ll never wear again and list it on Poshmark (and start making it rain new clothes $$$).
Update your wardrobe with *Like New* fashion pieces from Poshmark at crazy low prices!!
Get a free $5 Poshmark credit when you put our invite code: “budgetingcouple” into the blue [Have an invite code?] box!!
>> Free $5 Invite code: budgetingcouple
9. Rent or Borrow Text Books!
Truth: Textbooks are a savings destroyer.
Don’t drop $300 on a new textbook when you can borrow one for free!
Ask around, you’re bound to know someone who’s taken that class before.
If not, RENT!!
Check out textbook rental options like Amazon’s Rent-A-Textbook marketplace, to find the savviest deals!
- Ibotta Tips and Tricks
- How To Live Frugally On One Income
- 25+ Ways to Get Free Amazon Gift Cards Fast
Do you have any college tips and tricks to save money as a student? Let me know in the comments below!
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Co-Founder, Budgeting Couple
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