College — a time when penny-pinching means eating Chipotle only four days a week instead of five. We know the saving methods instilled by your parents tend to go by the wayside after you leave home. But seriously, remembering some of these lessons could save you some serious burrito money.
1. Collect napkins … from Peet’s, from Crossroads, from every place that thinks it’s important you learn to wipe your mouth. You never think about how much you would miss the comfort of Costco packs of paper products until you’re living on your own.
- Reuse containers from groceries so you don’t have to buy more Tupperware. Now it looks like you’re stockpiling yogurt, because you’ve saved all those plastic tubs to put away leftovers. Maybe they’re not the sturdiest, but we suppose they get the job done.
- Take home whatever food is left from club meetings. Remember when it was “embarrassing” for your parents’ friends to heap leftovers on you after parties? That attitude is no more. You have no shame and will proudly tote home the leftover pizza, sandwich rolls and Diet Coke if no one else wants to walk down Telegraph with such a bounty.
- Learn what coupons are, and you’ll learn to love them. Fifty cents off almond milk? Ten percent off that brand of frozen dinners you never buy? You used to roll your eyes when your mom riffled through coupons in the checkout line, but now, those babies are gold. Go ahead and nickel-and-dime it. Obviously, you’ve got a good deal on your hands.
- Buy store brands. When you were a kid, you might have whined to your mom because couldn’t have the brand-name cereal with the toucan on it. Now you probably realize it was a total ploy to get your money for a colorful advertisement. So whether it’s Market Pantry at Target or “Trader Joe San” (from — guess where? — Trader Joe’s), you’re willing to save those few cents.
- And finally, you’ve become a thrifter. It was sort of destined to happen, with so many thrift stores near student housing. Sure, Urban Outfitters and American Apparel are positioned strategically across from campus, but how many times have you really had enough money to go in there? You used to hate hand-me-downs, but now, it’s (kind of) cool to think that you’re recycling someone else’s gently used clothes and shoes. Plus, you know you love the discounts.
Contact Jessica Rogness at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @jessarogness.