College Connect: Slow down and save some cash

Posted By Crystal Beasley

By Brea Love

Fast isn’t always good for your wallet. I know when we get really busy with classes, work, tests, and studying you feel like you don’t have time to cook. Of course our first thought is to drive through McDonalds or Taco Bell to grab something quick. The dollar menu is a dollar, but dollars add up. I’ve made that mistake before. Those $3 or $4 purchases can add up to $50 very fast. If you have a fast food addiction like I do, and can’t kick it there’s pretty easy ways to save money.

Those little pieces of paper…

The No. 1 rule is keeping your receipts. They are crucial if you want to save money. For years you’ve been throwing away those little white pieces of paper and losing a lot of discounts. Almost anywhere you go you can take a survey and get a discounted item or something free. A couple of my favorite drives thru restaurants print the link to the survey on their receipts. The surveys take less than 10 minutes, and they’re usually simple questions about the previous visit. Saving money with those coupons could dramatically change your budgeting.

Special night…

I don’t think college students pay enough attention to weekly specials. In most college towns there are certain nights where you can eat cheap. Even at major food chains they have certain places that require you to show an ID and you’ll receive a discount. These things usually posted outside or around the eatery, and you can almost always find them posted on the locations Facebook or twitter pages. Also when you look at those social media sites you can also sign up for emails. I know they are annoying but I promise you will hear about the best deals, and even get coupons to bring with you on your visit. I’ve even had free items just from signing up to be on a company’s email alerts.

Or split it…

Your friends are your best resource. I’ve saved plenty of money splitting meals with my friends. We had a bi-weekly dinner night where we’d go to a local Mexican restaurant and have drinks and food. We never missed a week, and without having a job I never thought we’d be able to continue after the first one, until we started thinking outside of the box. You don’t always have to order a full meal. Appetizers are often large portions, and when it’s just you and your friend, it will save you money. If we order two $8 appetizers meant to feed a whole table and share them, we are only spending $8 individually. I swear by splitting appetizers, you will always get almost four people’s worth of food for the price of two.

Don’t miss these opportunities because we all know eating out is very expensive, but you can do it with a little extra effort. Deals are out there, they’re hard to find, but they exist.

Brea Love is a student at University of Missouri

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