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How to save money in college

Graphic designed by Claire Hammond.
Graphic designed by Claire Hammond.

Going to college to receive a degree is arguably a great decision, but unfortunately, it comes at a price. While tuition is increasingly expensive, you don’t necessarily have to play into the stereotype of a broke college student. Here are some tips to save money in college.


While being away at college means you have more freedom, it also means more financial responsibility. You are now responsible for buying things your parents probably bought for you at home, like groceries, clothes and toiletries.

Having a budget (and sticking with it as much as possible) is a great way to make sure you allot enough funds for various expenses. Not sure how to make a budget? Don’t worry! You can find plenty of templates and tips online.

Spend dining dollars on staple items

Included with your meal plan are dining dollars that can be spent at on-campus stores. Dining dollars are great, but for me personally, I always have trouble using them all before the year’s end. Don’t let them go to waste! Spend them at the Provision on Demand (POD) stores!

PODS are my go-to places to stock up on bottled drinks, gum and snacks, and even things like peanut butter, paper towels and laundry detergent. The prices are inflated, but you’re not technically spending your ‘real’ money, so it doesn’t matter. By using dining dollars, you’re getting your money’s worth of a meal plan and saving actual money. It’s a win-win!

Utilize student discounts

There are some companies that recognize the college struggle and offer discounts to customers with valid college emails. For example, you can enjoy iTunes half off for $4.99 a month. Spotify includes access to Hulu and Showtime, in addition to Spotify Premium, for $4.99 a month also. Microsoft Office programs are also available for download for free with your Mercer email.

There are also discounts available in Macon. Around town, you can purchase $8 movie tickets at AmStar Cinemas and receive a 10 percent discount at Moe’s Southwest Grill with a college ID. Don’t be afraid to ask around at your favorite places - you might be surprised where you can save money!

Check out sales and coupons

Most stores usually post their sales ad online or will email you with special deals. Stay in the loop of when your favorite stores are having sales to get the best deal.

I do my grocery shopping at Kroger because I can check out their weekly sales online before I go to the store. Kroger also has online coupons that you simply add to your Kroger card, and are automatically applied when you scan items during checkout.   

Knowing how to be financially wise will pay off not only in college but later down the road. Use these tips to help you learn how to save money now, so it’s easier later on in life.

How to save money in college


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