College is a difficult time for everyone’s pocket books, but there are a few ways to make it easier on yourself. The number one thing that college students spend most of their money on is food. While food is a necessity, it does not have to be the main stressor of your daily life. The fastest way to spending all of your paycheck without realizing it is going out to eat. I am definitely guilty of this and probably had the hardest time with it during my freshman year. I never wanted to miss out on anything, so I was constantly going out to eat with friends.
Living in the dorms makes it a little harder to get groceries and cook your own meals, but using your meal plans and FLEX money is sometimes a better choice and allows you to use that money. There are also places in Oklahoma City like PREP’D or KIZE that sell already cooked meals and would only require a microwave to be warmed up. These options have you spend more money up front but save you money in the long run. Trust me, these options are a lot cheaper than your daily chipotle habit.
If you live at home, that is even better! You have the option of getting as many groceries as you’d like to stock up for the week. Pinterest and Facebook offer thousands of yummy meal prep recipes for busy students on the go. I personally live at home, and I meal prep every week. Again, this will cost more upfront, but if you watch your bank account carefully you will notice your spending going down.
Now that I am older, I have realized that balance is the key to everything. Set goals for yourself by only allowing yourself to go out eating two times a week (or something like this). Sometimes, saying “no” to certain things is necessary to save some money. Also, bringing tupperware with your food in it to events or classes is not frowned upon. Prepping food ahead of time not only saves money, but it saves time for busy college students like us.