College students aren’t known to be wealthy, but we’re notorious for finding ways to save money/find free stuff. With college, life, a wedding and graduate school to plan for and pay for, I don’t have a lot of extra spending money on payday. But these simple tips have helped me stretch my resources.
+ Cut coupons and compare circulars. If I don’t have the physical circulars, I view them online to decide which store will have the best deal, or which coupons I should use at certain stores. Between sales and coupons, I was able to save 40% on groceries for the next two-three weeks upon returning to college this evening. Grocery shopping has become a game for me, and I’m excited to be able to consecutively save +50% on groceries.
+ Use multiple coupon inserts. Ask friends and family if they use the coupon inserts in their newspapers — if not, ask if you may have them. This has proven especially helpful in wedding planning. Several church members have given me coupons for Michaels, which is where we’re purchasing the save-the-date and invitation paper. Don’t forget to organize all of your coupons — I use a three-ring binder with 4×6 photo inserts to organize coupons. Each page is a different aisle, and the three photo inserts are categorized according to manufacturer’s coupons and store coupons from the two stores I frequent most often.
+ Sign up for an online rewards program. I’ve signed up for MyPoints and Upromise, which allows me to earn points while shopping online (like for textbooks) or for printing and redeeming coupons. Those points can be redeemed for either a check or gift cards — through MyPoints, I received a $50 gift card for Shell, which we used on the trip to Walt Disney World last summer.
+ Save money on printer paper. I like to print articles or papers when I edit them, which usually leaves me with several sheets of one-sided paper. By flipping the paper to the reverse side and feeding it back into my printer, I can print coupons and save paper.
+ Get paid to take surveys. Lame? Absolutely. Legit? Yes. It only takes a few minutes of my time, and Opinion Outpost sends me checks for $15 every three-four weeks (the minimum payout is $5, but I usually wait until I’ve earned $15). It’s not much, but it helps with gas and groceries.