Originally Posted: Oct 10, 2011
Last Updated: Jul 26, 2019
For most college students buying groceries every week is not a concern because dining plans, for the most part, provide their daily nourishment. But for students who may not have meal plan, shopping for food can sometimes break the bank and be a little difficult too. Below are tips for students who provide their own meals each day so that they can eat healthy, but spend smart.
It helps to be organized about grocery shopping, especially when you are trying to be thrifty. Therefore, first take inventory of the items you need and then make a list before you shop. Making a list can help you buy the items you know you will need and prevent guessing and ultimately overspending.
Be an extreme coupon clipper
Perhaps you are familiar with the show Extreme Couponing. Well, maybe don’t go as far as to have your own stockpiles, but the people who appear on the show have the right idea. Finding deals can save you tons on groceries.
The next time you are at you local super market pick up the sales pamphlet they provide. Inside you may find sales on the food you plan to purchase.
Getting a preferred card from your local super market will also help you save money. When you are a preferred card holder, over time you will gain points or “bucks” which will amount to discounts.
Check out online sites like Saving Star and Food On The Table to help you find coupons, make lists, and ultimately save! Also, Have you ever heard of Groupon? Well Campus Sizzle is the latest buzz. Search for your college or university and sign up for daily deals around campus.
Eat before you shop
A good rule of thumb as you get more comfortable with doing your own grocery shopping is to eat before you shop. It sounds like silly advice, but imagine being really hungry and then being surrounded by aisle upon aisle of food. Not only would that be extremely aggravating, it could also make someone spend more than he or she planned to spend.
Fresh markets are not just trendy
In the last few years shopping at farmer’s markets has increased in popularity. I am not entirely sure why but rest assured that fresh markets are not just trendy they are also affordable.
Find a farmer’s market near you to buy fresh produce. You will find that with a small amount of cash you can buy a lot of vegetables and fruits that are not only locally grown and good for you, but also inexpensive.
Around the country fresh markets are appearing on campuses such as North Carolina State University, Clemson University, University of Miami, and Boston University. Check out your student union's events and activities to find out if fresh markets are on your campus.
Good Luck and happy college saving!