8 Tips for living frugal on a college student’s budget

by Shayna Holle, Flipside Holle

College is expensive and extremely time consuming. For some, it can be difficult to work a part-time job while attending school. However, there are ways to reduce the cost of your expenses.

Avoid the bookstore. In some cases, you have no choice. However, most of the time you can find your books on third party websites, such as Amazon and Chegg. Also, rent your books. Renting is good.

Stop driving to class from your dorm. Let’s get real, it takes about five or 10 minutes to get from one side of campus to the other. Save in gas and just walk.

Hit up Goodwill. Want a new shirt to wear to that party this weekend? Check out Indianola’s local Goodwill just across from Station Square.

Actually utilize your meal plan. If you don’t, get rid of it. If you can’t get rid of it, reduce it. It makes no sense to have a meal plan you never use.   

Two words: Student. Discounts. Multiple places in Indianola and Jordan Creek Mall offer discounts for Simpson students. Take advantage of it.

Coupons are now your best friend. Hy-Vee has constant sales. Look for coupons in The Des Moines Register and other local papers to help reduce grocery costs.

Skip the takeout and seek out free food. Many organizations on campus offer free food throughout the week. For example, Food for the Soul every Tuesday in Smith Chapel.

Ask for gift cards instead of random junk for birthdays and holidays. Use these gift cards on things you need, like groceries or gas.