Room and Board Advice
Living and eating at college obviously gets expensive, but as with all things, there are ways around the large sticker cost of your school's recommended meal plan or your housing choices.
If you go to a college that grades its housing prices, you ought to select a less-expensive housing option. Find somewhere that's affordable, livable and comfortable, but won't break the bank.
A common money-saving housing option is the double-edged sword of the forced triple. The forced triple is a pretty self-explanatory setup: three people in a room for two. Schools will usually refund you a substantial amount of your housing bill if you volunteer to live in a forced triple, so if you don't mind being a little cozy and having two roommates, then a forced triple is a good money-saving possibility.
Food gets expensive, no matter what school you go to, so here are a few dining tips that'll save you money and hunger cramps:
1. Bring Tupperware and a backpack every time you go to your dining hall. Take a few containers and fill them up with whatever strikes your fancy, from fresh fruit to hummus or a few buffalo wings. Keep your room constantly stocked with things you can snack on, and, compliments of the dining hall, your meal plan worries will be over.
2. If your dining system is points-based, stay away from the expensive stuff, like $3 bottles of Smartwater.
3. Going out to eat is great, but it's something to be saved for a special occasion.
4. When you do go out to eat, order water instead of a soda.
5. When alcohol and other substances come into play, control your appetite. Not only is munching under the influence a good way to waste an awful lot of money, it's a good way to pack on the Freshman 15.
6. Most dorms have communal kitchens. Learn to cook. Or if you're too lazy to cook, learn to love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches like you're in elementary school again.
7. Go to events that have free food.
Hopefully these tips will keep a relatively affordable roof over your head and cheap food in your stomach!