The costs of going to college have skyrocketed in recent years. There’s tuition, books, transportation and housing. Each of these has seen a price spike lately. The causes are everything from the high cost of gas, reduced state budgets due to the recession and higher than normal inflation rates. So what better time than now to figure out how to save money while in college.
Sure, it’s easy to stay at home instead of going to the movies, out to eat or out shopping, but to truly save money in college you need to do more. Use the tips below to help you set aside a little bit every month so you can afford to continue your education. So without further ado, here are four ways college students can save money.
Buy in bulk
While you might be paying more cash up front for bulk or economy size products, on a per serving or per use basis, you are saving quite a bit. Buy in bulk and set aside the cash you save to cover your higher education costs. This might be chump change at first but don’t get discouraged. Keep at it. Turn it into a habit.
If you buy bulk for most of the consumer products you buy, you can end up with quite a bit of cash after several months. In fact, you should apply the bulk buying principle to as many things you buy as possible. It doesn’t always apply but if it does, make sure to use it. You can buy in bulk at stores like Costco or Sams Club. But it is also possible to find bulk items at Walmart and Target as well.
Use price comparison sites
If you buy stuff online, try to pinch dollars, not pennies, by using price comparison engines. There are tons of these websites online. Use them to get the best deal from stuff you regularly buy online. Keep in mind that there are many scams online. Price comparison sites haven’t been spared by some of the fraud and shady operations on the Internet. Make sure to use only legitimate price comparison engines.
Make sure the prices you get are actual final prices. Some online retailers try to fool buyers into thinking they are getting a great deal by hiding the price of shipping or handling.
Make it a routine to use coupon codes
Staying on the topic of online shopping, be sure to use online promo codes when shopping to save money. Right before checking out, there should be a box requesting a promo code. Don’t have one? No problem. Just go to google or a site like retailmenot.com and search for the store you’re shopping at. Odds are you’re going to find some coupons. At the very least, you’ll find one for free shipping or 10% off sitewide. Locate the code then paste it into the box and your discount will be applied.
Save on online purchases through auction sites
If you really want to save big time, use auction sites. Most prefer eBay because of the variety of items available. Auction sites can cut huge chunks off the price of stuff you buy online. Of course, you need to go with legitimate and proven online sellers at eBay. Look at their ratings and study them carefully. Don’t get ripped off. A little research and patience go a long way.