The Poor College Student’s Guide to Saving Money

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After paying off tuition and fees at the beginning of the semester, your professors sock you financially with one or two required texts that could cost anywhere from $100 to $200 a book. Before dropping out all together or getting by without doing any readings, try Googling free PDF versions of the text.

If the internet fails you, University of Florida junior Natasha Pereira knows a unique way to save cash: use the international version. “I had to buy a psychology textbook, and the usual publishing was around $200, but I got it for $25 just because the same textbook was printed and used somewhere in China,” Pereira said. The only differences Pereira noticed in these international textbooks were that they had a different front cover, were only printed in black and white or had a slightly different font size. “The content is exactly the same, just the style is often different.” Oh, and they’re way cheaper.


For many of us, college means the first time we do a lot of things alone, including grocery shopping. The cost of groceries racks up pretty quickly, and one way to save money is by buying in bulk. “I’m a huge fan of bulk buying, whether it’s toiletries or non perishables snacks,” said Pereira. “I also bulk buy my meat and freezer store it. I’ll just take it out whatever I need and cook accordingly.”

You may feel like you’re shelling out a lot of money up front at the register, but the items you buy then are guaranteed to last a few months. Whether your college town has a BJ’s, Costco or Sam’s Club, registering for a membership with any of these stores will grant you the long-term benefit of saving money.


Going to the same restaurant is tiresome—and expensive. I mean, who can resist ordering dessert? To change it up a bit and keep your wallet from depletion, invite your friends over for a potluck. Have each person bring an appetizer, entrée, dessert or a drink to contribute to the broke-and-hungry-college-student fund. This will save everyone money, offer a chance to experiment in the kitchen and bring your closest friends together.

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