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Frugal College Living is Possible with this Guide

written by: vrodbaz•edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 11/28/2010

The most important steps to frugal college living is knowing how to spend your money wisely. By following these helpful tips, you can save money on many of the items you buy everyday and not feel deprived.

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    How to Save Money on Groceries when Attending College

    Coupon Cutting- Yes, it’s old school, but coupons are a great way to save money on grocery items you use everyday. Some people have it down to science and pay very little money out of pocket. When you utilize coupons, you maximize your spending power.

    Surplus Stores- shop at surplus stores to buy fruits, veggies and protein in bulk. This will also encourage eating healthier and to stop spending money at fast food restaurants. You can also learn to make a variety of dishes by utilizing a few ingredients. For instance, when you buy a whole chicken, make a stir-fry for dinner one night and refrigerate left overs to make chicken salad sandwiches the next day or later in the week.

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    How College Students Can Save Money on Clothing

    Second Hand Stores- save a ton of money by shopping at a second hand store, such as the Salvation Army. Often people discard clothing that is gently used or still have the tags on them. Therefore, you may want to stop by many second hand stores to find great deals on clothing that you can wear throughout the year.

    Shop Online- Not only will you save money on gas, but there are many items you can buy for yourself, when needed. There are many gently used items online and on eBay and other auction websites. Often many of the prices offered online are cheaper than if they were to purchase them in the store. Combine savings with any coupons or special offers taking place when you shop.

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    How to Use Credit Cards when in College

    Open a credit card with no or low interest rate. Make sure to keep track of the special deadline for low or no interest rate. Make sure to be dedicated and able to pay off the entire balance by the time the special interest rate expires.

    Make timely payments on a low interest credit card. You can even get into the habit of making payments even when one isn’t due. This helps you lower the final balance, so there is less to pay off when the due date arrives.

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    How College Students Can Save Money on Gas

    In order to save money on gas, make sure that your gas tank is always at least half-full. Once fuel drops at or below ¼, a tank the engine starts to expend gas at a faster rate.

    Make sure the tires are well balanced and that each tire has the right amount of air. When tires become flat or lose air, it can make the engine work harder and burn more fuel.

    Always have a regular tune up and keep up to date with car maintenance. Many people begin having problems with their cars fuel efficiency when they do not have regular maintenance performed on their car.

    Only travel with the items you need. Get rid of any items in the car that you do not use. Extra weight makes the engine work harder and burns gas at a faster rate.

    If you have a led foot, stop this reckless driving behavior. The faster you go, the more fuel you use. Drive the speed limit.

    Avoid slamming on the breaks or herky-jerky stops. If you drive inconsistently this driving behavior also affects the gas miles per gallon.

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    How College Students Can Save Money When Dining Out

    Before you go out for dinner, practice a little routine that will save money. This routine consists of eating a little snack before you dine out. This will decrease the chances of ordering a meal that is too big and too expensive. If you can, snack on high protein foods. Nuts and beef jerky help to curb your appetite and save money.

    Another money saving tip you can use, is to drink a lot of water. Your body needs it anyway, why not give your body the hydration it needs as well as curb your appetite.

    You can also search the Internet for coupons to save money or look in your mailbox. Often restaurants will send coupons in the mail for a discounted meal or drink specials.

    When you utilize your resources wisely, you don’t have to worry about whether you can afford to buy what you need because you have found a way to save money, time, and cut back on unnecessary expenses. By following this guide frugal college living is possible.