101 Money Saving Tips for College Students – Money Hacks!
College has been described as “the best time of out lives.” Surprisingly, you don’t hear many people describe college as one of the most stressful and poor times of our lives. But there are things we can do to save money in college. I have made 101 money saving tips for college students for just the occasion. Check out these 101 money saving tips for college students.
Saving Money on Textbooks
- Never, ever buy textbooks from the University’s library or bookstore! These books are always WAY overpriced!
- Investigate prices at off-campus bookstores.
- Rent, don’t buy. This is a great way on how to save money on textbooks.
- Rent or buy your textbooks online. I recommend you check out Chegg.com.
- Your textbook may include valuable resources like online access codes that you may not even use. You can always sell these access codes separately.
- Find students who previously took the class you need a textbook for. You can find them either through your department, professors, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Ask them if they still have their textbook and if you can have or use it.
- Search online for a free legal version of the textbook
- Borrow classmates, roommates, or other acquaintances textbooks.
- Another money saving tip for college students is to see if you can find your textbook at a library.
- Often times, professors may require a textbook, but you end up never needing to use it. Especially nowadays with professors using online slides and textbook websites. Make sure to ask past students about this one.
- If your class requires the online version of the textbook, just buy that! You can be frugal in college.
- See if past students will let you use their online textbook if they still have it.
- Take pictures of the pages you need to read from a classmate’s textbook. Just don’t distribute those pictures anywhere else. You could get in a lot of trouble for that.
- When in doubt, ask your professor. They may have an extra one.
- Textbooks come out with new versions that sometimes change just a few aspects of the current version. If the older version is not much different from the new one, buy the old version so you will be able to call yourself a frugal college student.
- If you bought your textbook and learn that you will not be needing it for your class, try to get a refund for your textbook.
Save Money on College Tuition
- These next two tips are the most important money saving tips for college students: Get a FASFA. Even if you don’t think you will get accepted, try. It’s free!
- If a FASFA does not cover everything or the FASFA doesn’t apply to you, search online for local, statewide, and national scholarships and grants. They exist and students don’t take advantage of them.
- Look up the prices of each class before you register them.
- Keep in mind online classes are generally (somehow) more expensive.
- Be frugal in college by taking transferable college courses at a community college.
- Or you can just get your degree at a community college too!
- Ask your college administration for ways you can get discounts on your tuition.
- Compare tuition costs at different universities.
- Save money on tuition by attending an instate colleges.
Save Money on Food in College
- Always have staple foods available.
- Your staple foods should include bread, eggs, rice, pasta, meat, cheese, condiments, and some kind of sauces. You can make hundreds of different meals with these ingredients!
- Two great money saving tips for college students is to know where to find coupons,
- And how to save money on groceries.
- Try to shop at Wal-Mart rather than grocery stores like WholeFoods.
- Make a grocery list!
- You can still save money at high end grocery stores! Just don’t buy anything that is not on sale. You won’t find everything on your list, so be prepared to go to another grocery store later.
- Know what are rebates and where can you find rebates.
- Be careful shopping at warehouse stores like Costco. Yes they have good deals, but 1 college student can’t just live off of 13 lbs of chicken for a week. You will get so sick eating chicken!
- Frugal college students watch out for hungry roommates. They will eat your food if you let them!
- Get a Crock-Pot! Crock-Pots are perfect for college students. You just put all of your ingredients in the slow cooker, turn it on, and it’s ready later that day. You will have left overs for days afterwards. Plus, there are some really yummy and cheap crock-pot recipes out there.
- If the University doesn’t require it, DON’T purchase on-campus meal plans. On-campus meal plans are way too expensive. Universities always try to market meal plans by saying meal plans save students money on food. This is just another way Universities make profit. Additionally, the food is usually bad!
Save Money On Transportation in College
- Live as close to campus as possible.
- Don’t live on campus!
- Be a frugal college student and get a bike. And if you live close to campus, you can just ride your bike to class.
- Know your way around your college’s transit system.
- See if one of your fellow classmates will carpool you.
- If your friends or roommates have a class at the same time, you might be able to catch a ride with them and walk to your class.
- Consider utilizing your city’s transportation system. Not every college student has access to a subway system like students in New York City. There is a good chance a bus stop is near or stops at your college though.
- For more money saving tips for college students, check out my article on how to save money in college!
- If you are able to qualify, universities give free student housing to a select number of students. It never hurts to ask!
- Try to get scholarships! Many scholarships give free room and board for college students with scholarships.
Save on Clothes in College
- If you haven’t heard of Plato’s Closest, they are an awesome choice for college students!
- Don’t forget about thrift stores.
- Online stores have some cheap clothes too. Make sure to find promo codes!
- Online auction sites like eBay offer clothes for really cheap. Just beware of using eBay.
- Common retailers like Macy’s, JCPenny, and Gap are good frugal selections.
- Check out TJ Maxx! College students can get clothes for cheap here and they have brand name clothes too.
- Ross is a good store as well. Many people have their opinions on which store they prefer (vs. TJ Maxx). Each store is different so go try them both to get a feel for things.
- Look up outlet stores near your University or home!
- Be on the lookout for those sales during holidays like Labor Day and Memorial Day.
- You can also sell your clothes at Plato’s Closet too. Be a frugal college students and save your money or buy some more cheap clothes there!
- And if you are transitioning from high to college, you will find people don’t care as much about name brand clothes. You don’t have to impress anybody anymore!
Frugal Household Items for Students
- Dollar Tree! Dollar Tree is the bomb! They have a ton of kitchen utensils, drinking glasses, trays, buckets, brooms, skin products, common medicine, etc. Check it out.
- A lot of major retail stores have discounts for being a student. Just carry around your University I.D and ask for their student discounts.
- A great money saving tip for college students is to use cheap alternatives to household objects!
- If you have college roommates, make sure they pull their equal weight when buying items for the household.
- Ask your parents, siblings, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, etc. if they have any spare household items you may need in college. Most of the time, they will have something!
- You can always borrow your neighbors stuff! In college, I asked my neighbor if they had anything to grill meat and she said she actually had 2 George Foreman Grills. So she gave one to me, for free!
- Go to flea markets for furniture and anything household you may need!
- There are also auctions you can go to for cheap household items for college students.
- Ross and TJ Maxx carry some of these items too!
- Yard sales! All the frugal college students are doing it!
Saving Money on Going Out
- Bars will cost you a lot. Learn how to save money at bars!
- Bowling lanes are fun and they have a lot of discount nights.
- Know when your movie theaters have cheaper tickets. Don’t forget to ask about student discounts too!
- Most clubs have cover charges just to get in. Know when they are, how much they are, and when they are cheaper. And for all the girls, watch out for lady’s night!
- See if your college offers discounted tickets on things like movies, plays, baseball games, etc.
- Going to college football, baseball, or soccer games make for a lot cheap of fun.
- Instead of going to a club, find house parties to go to!
- Some more good money saving tips for college students is to plan cheap dates. Bring your dates to parks, on a walk, local plays, movies at home, cook dinner for him/her, or other cheap date ideas.
- Ice skating and roller skating are fun and cheap ideas for college students.
- Another money saving tip for college students: instead of paying for a movie, stay home and watch Netflix or Hulu.
- College students should play intramural sports at their university.
More Money Saving Tips for College Students!
- Stop buying so much fast food! It’s more expensive and unhealthy. Fast food is a big contributing factor for freshman 15’s.
- Choose your roommates wisely! You don’t want college roommates that break, steal, and just plain irritating.
- If you are going to drink, a handle of vodka lasts longer than a 24 pack of beer.
- Not only will you learn experience and make money during a Co-Op, you will save money on tuition too!
- Save money on Ubers by having a friend drive. If drinking is involved, plan for a designated driver before hand.
- Companies like Amazon and Spotify have awesome discounts for students.
- Eat smarter. Cooking lasts longer!
- Libraries have awesome resources available for students to use. Of course they have computers and books. People don’t know you may be able to check out calculators, textbooks, and sometimes laptops!
- Use on-campus gyms instead of paying for a membership.
- When you don’t have enough money for class, talk to your professors. You don’t even have to be a frugal college student to do that!
- Try to buy foods that don’t parish in a short amount of time. That doesn’t mean buy all frozen foods!
- Use on-campus health centers instead of going to the doctor.
- If your school has a cosmetology department, they will cut your hair for free or a very small amount of money.
- Eat well in college to save money on health issues later!
- Don’t have a pet in college. Pets are expensive. If you do own a pet, at least have money saved away in case of an emergency vet visit.
- Do not start smoking or vaping. These habits cost a lot of money.
- Buy paper in bulk to save time and money.
- Including textbooks, never buy anything from your on-campus bookstore
- For coffee drinkers, save money on coffee by see if your university offers free coffee to students anywhere on campus.
- Check out DollarTree for a great selection of school supplies
- To be a frugal college student, you must make a budget!
- Ask your professors about internal scholarships. Sometimes there are scholarships available to students based on either the school you go to or your major you’re in.
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