Many international students live on a budget. Apart from paying tuition, spending money on books, housing and going out, adding the cost of food on top of that can quickly reach your limit.
We at peerTransfer have come up with some simple steps on how to have your cake and eat it too.
Eat at the school’s cafeteria: Most schools offer campus meals plans, which come with a certain number of meals throughout the day/week, that you pay for at the beginning of each semester. They may not always offer what you’re hungry for, but it is probably your best bet for long-term savings.
Cook at home: Although cooking may not be for everyone, there are various college student recipes that are simple to make in your hall’s kitchen at low-cost. From spaghetti to casseroles, stir fries and wraps to peanut butter & jelly sandwiches – even the least talented student can do it.
Cook with friends: If cooking isn’t necessarily your passion, try cooking with your roommates and friends. This can be a lot of fun, and you can split costs of groceries when you buy in bulk.
Compare grocery stores: Some grocery stores are more expensive than others, so walk the extra mile to save the extra buck – it can add up quickly. Try to buy store brand groceries as they’re cheaper and there usually not a big difference in taste, compared to the high-end brands.
Don’t shop hungry: Shopping on a full stomach may prevent you from buying sweets and other things that you might otherwise buy when you’re hungry. Also, make a list of things you need to make meals for the upcoming week, and buy only what is on that list.
Dine out on happy hour: Many restaurants offer 4pm-6pm “specials”, others have a certain deal on different days of the week. Try to take advantage of that and order tab water with lemon instead of a soda. Make sure to take left overs home, so you’re saving money on your lunch the following day.
Do you have any other tips and tricks on how to eat on a budget? Let us know in the comments below!