There’s a variety of meal options for college students; however, it’s important to watch how much of your money is going to get eaten up by those delicious meals.
Grocery shopping can be a major expense, but there are several ways to save. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep your grocery budget under control.
Use Gift Cards
One way to ensure you’re staying on track with your spending is by buying grocery store gift cards to make purchases. As a student, you may be tempted to spend your cash here and there throughout the week, but if you have a gift card, there’s only one place you can spend it. This technique also allows you to keep track of exactly how much you are budgeting and spending on food every week, as long as you’re not buying extra non-food items at the store.
Take Advantage of Discounts
Make sure to check out any benefits offered by your college or nearby businesses. Grocery stores in college towns will sometimes offer discounts for students on their transactions. By simply showing your student ID to the cashier, you may be able to get a percentage off your bill. It may not seem like a lot when purchasing less expensive items, but with a full cart, your savings can add up.
You can also take advantage of gas rewards, if they’re offered. A rewards card often gives you discounts in the store and at the pump, allowing you to save money with minimal effort.
If you’re a PSECU member and making purchases with your PSECU debit or credit card, you can monitor the amount of money being spent at grocery stores each month based on your card use. Simply log into your account, go to My Money, and look at your Financial Summary. You can easily see how much is being spent on food each month. Set a monthly budget and use this tool to help you evaluate when you need to make cuts.
Share the Cost
Whether you’re living on or off campus, chances are you share your space with one or more roommates. A smart way to cut the cost of groceries while in college is to split it. It’s often more affordable to buy in bulk, and sharing will limit both wasted and excess food. To keep things fair, create a calendar outlining who will buy staples such as eggs and milk each week, rotating evenly.
Schedule your grocery shopping trips ahead of time and take a look at weekly advertisements for discounts beforehand. Check what’s on sale first and cook meals that use those ingredients. Plan on making extra servings, which will give you leftovers to eat throughout the week.
Another good way to plan ahead and help you save is to make a list of the items you need and want. You’ll remember everything you need and keep yourself on track by not purchasing unnecessary items.
Following these tips can help you save big on grocery shopping. Looking for additional tips on saving and managing money?
Check out our WalletWorks Page