Money saving tips for students?

  1. I'm in my first semester of an RN program. My husband is on dialysis, but is still working as much as possible. Needless to say, money is tight!

    Any suggestions on now to save money, especially on groceries and stuff?

    Thanks!
    •  
  2. Visit jillebean profile page

    About jillebean

    Joined: Dec '09; Posts: 41; Likes: 9
    Student Nurse; from US

    14 Comments

  3. by   STL2008, RN
    coupons??? and dont buy the name brand stuff
  4. by   SaraFL
    No specific suggestions, other than not eating out and make stuff from scratch as much as you can. I've been there with the husband on dialysis, although I wasn't in school at the time and it was incredibly stressful. If you haven't already, check out www.ihatedialysis.com
  5. by   caliotter3
    You can do wonders with ramen noodles.
  6. by   sophie<3
    limit how much you eat out! so much $ is wasted through going out to restaurants all the time. clip coupons, look for sales, get a kroger plus card (if you have a kroger), buy in bulk if it is something you use often and is a good deal. invest in a crock pot..cheap and a time saver when you are busy at school and dont feel like cooking...it will keep you from getting take out or ordering pizza..they have sooo many recipes online! try allrecipes.com
    roll coins..i know it sounds lame but my boyfriend keeps a change counter and just his pocket change has amounted to $10 in a few weeks. bring snacks to class so you won't be tempted to go to the vending machine...trying to keep your utilities bills low if possible..turn off lights, be aware of the amount of time drying clothes, etc. it all adds up!
  7. by   Miz_Que
    Stop buying cleaning products. I have been cleaning with vinegar, water, baking soda and tea tree oil for over a year. It saves a ton of money and I don't get a headache anymore when I clean.

    Word of caution: please do some research online first. Some products cannot be combined (like bleach and vinegar) and you must be aware of this at all times. I accidentally did this when I used a dried rag in my vinegar and water solution that apparently had been used with bleach and not washed. I almost passed out before I realized what was going on.

    Deborah
  8. by   tiffanyleigh0212
    check out angel food ministries.. i'm not sure of the website, but google it.. they have excellent deals on food packages
  9. by   SAHMStudent
    There are a bunch of great websites for frugal living. Many recommend doing a weekly menu plan. I do this, cut coupons, and plan my grocery list. My receipts look like an ad for Safeway. If it isn't generic, (with the exception of a few items for my snobby husband) it isn't in my cart. I am TRYing to get DH off of meat at every meal. That would save me sooo much money. As it is, i sneak, and use half the meat when cooking a recipe. He hasn't noticed. I don't know if your DH has dietary requirements, or just personal preference, but meatless a few times a week can help. Bean soup, made with dried beans, very easy. Brown rice in bulk, frozen veggies (I find are cheaper than canned with much less sodium), and getting creative with leftovers have saved me a great deal. I do spend a good portion of our grocery bill on fresh fruit, and some veggies. I just can't give that up, not yet. But the balance of my bill has gone down, by not buying many of the "middle aisle" foodstuffs.
    This is all easy for people who aren't in NS, but it is doable. Scratch is harder, but cheaper.
    I think I've gone to the vending machine twice in two semesters. I bring a lot of food to school, and to clinicals, but I am never hungry and never tempted.

    I am sucking it up and switched to suave haircare products- my hair is almost always up anyway. I get a haircut twice a year, and at a cheaper salon, instead of four times a year, and at my girlfriends salon (even with her friends and family discount it is still as much for one cut, as for two of the other salons!- forget nursing be a hairdresser!). I get my shoes repaired, instead of new ones, we canceled some subscriptions, but are unfortunately locked into a contract for bundled phone, internet and cable. Scam.

    Bonus of being a NS: you have no life, so don't talk to any of your old friends (-cell phone bill), you don't have time to go out (-movies, dinners out, dancing, bowling etc), you don't care what you look like, only that you are there (-new clothes, shoes,) and you dont' have time to do any of the leisure activities you used to
    (-scrapbooking, reading non-textbooks, -video games), look on the bright side>> life is actually cheaper!!
  10. by   akanini
    I love this thread......keep the ideas coming.lol
  11. by   Rednights
    Oh man I think those cheapo Ramen Noodles won't be so cheap when you're paying for a lifetime of BP medications!
  12. by   ldmills112
    For meal planning help (because I'm horrible at trying to put one together on my own), check out the website www.e-mealz.com. They charge a nominal fee, but my husband and I have still saved a TON on groceries and eating out using their meal plans. You can even sign up for a plan specific to your usual grocery store, and each week's meals incorporate some of the stuff that's on sale at the time. Recipes are super-easy, and the shopping list they give you each week with stuff organized by where it is in the store has even made my dreaded late-night Walmart runs easier.
  13. by   locolorenzo22
    Take an afternoon, a notebook, and spend time in the starbucks at Barnes and Nobles, drink the free water, and write down menu ideas/grocery ideas from cookbooks and recpies. Really just shop the outside of the grocery aisle, only go down the middle for specfic things that you have on a list, and cook.
    take your own drink to the bookstore, I think I killed a lot of evenings out studying for 1-2 hours there, and then read for pleasure.
    Try to do more things at home, find chores/tasks to do to keep you busy.
  14. by   Saysfaa
    Some ideas: think in terms of nutrient value rather than simply cost. Flavored sugar water is generally less dollars then 100% fruit juice, but it gives you empty calories and sugar spikes. The effects of the sugar spikes push you to eat when/what you don't need. You'll be healthier, feel better, and ultimately save money on food if you avoid the sugar spikes.

    Oatmeal (even when you add fruit or dried fruit for variety or texture or to get some fruit into your diet), is a very inexpensive breakfast. Just get the Quick Oats or Old Fashioned Oats rather than the little packets already mixed with sugar. You can make the Quick Oats in the microwave just like the packets, but it isn't much faster.

    Beans and Rice are very cheap without being empty calories. Ethnic cookbooks are good sources of recipies to add variety. There is not just so many cultures using them to give you a wide range of kinds of recipies, but also how many kinds of beans and kinds of rice there are. Basmanti or jasmine rice are a little more expensive than other kinds but still much less expensive than many more typical American diets. Watch out for "Americanized" versions of ethnic recipies though, they tend to add so much fat/sugar. Also, think "peasant food" or "everyday food" rather than "holiday food"... go with the simple everyday recipies not the elaborate special occasion foods.

    Potatoes are very cheap and versatile. My wheat-intolerant friend indroduced me to using them instead of wheat.... either noodles or bread. Just bake the potato and spoon the spagetti sauce or chili on. If you eat them as *plain* potatoes instead of as the base of recipe, it is better to load them with milk or broth instead of some of the butter or cream cheese.

    Fruits and veggies are essential, even if they seem to cost a lot. Fresh or frozen or dried have more nutrients than canned.

    Hm, one more thing... food is not just about nutrients. People like what they are used to, so it might take a while for new menus to become what you are used it. It helps to move toward something (like eating more veggies) rather than moving away from something (like eating less chips).

close