Humanities 101:
Money Saving Tips

  Cheap Eats:
Avoid eating regularly at fast-food places. The meals are relatively expensive ($3-6 each) and the food very bad for you. At, say, $4 per meal, three meals a day, you're paying $360 per month for bad food. At $6, you could be eating an inexpensive cut of steak and a baked potato every night, if you cooked it yourself. The following meals aren't exactly balanced, but they are a lot cheaper:

Meals for less than $1:

1. Macaroni & Cheese is your friend. For variation, add slices of cooked hot dog.

2. Ramen is your friend.

3. Peanut butter & jelly or banana or cucumber sandwich.

4. Cereal.

5. Spaghetti and tomato sauce or chili.

6. Rice, with chopped vegetables, can add chopped cooked ham, or rice and beans.

7. Tuna fish sandwich.

9. Beanie Weenie - cook two sliced hot dogs, add a can of beans.

10. Baked potato, large - can add cooked vegetable toppings. (hint: if you cook a baked potato in a microwave, be sure to poke holes in it, and after it has cooked the appropriate time, wrap it in a terrycloth towel and let it sit for several minutes to improve the texture).

11. Egg sandwiches (fried or hard-boiled).

12. Ground beef can be used for meatloaf, hamburgers, hamburger helpers, etc.

13. Free pizza at Philosophy Club meetings!

Averaging $1 per meal, three meals a day, you're paying $90 a month instead of $360. Cooking for yourself is the only way to go.

  Cheap shopping:
Places like WalMart are cheaper than Albertson's, with items like cereal a buck or two less per box. Dollar stores can also be a good value. It's also a good idea to buy generic brands and use coupons! Also, it's cheaper to buy soda in bulk than from vending machines.

  Credit Cards:
Don't run up credit card debt. At the rates they charge, your $6 fast food meal might wind up costing you $30. Executives at credit card corporations don't need your charity.

1. Don't pay for cable TV. $50 bucks a month for 12 months is $600 bucks. Besides, you should be studying! And, anyway, you only watch foreign films made prior to 1960.

2. Don't pay for a cell phone. $40 - $60 bucks a month for 12 months is $480 - $720. An additional plus is that people will find you less annoying in theatres, class, etc.

3. Don't pay for a car. A couple hundred bucks a month for a car + a couple hundred bucks a month for insurance = you working 50 hours a week at $8 per hour just to pay for it so you can drive to work. Try to live within walking/bicycle distance to campus. For longer trips, use the bus. For occasional longer trips to places you can't get to on a bus, it's much cheaper to take a cab than to own a car. Plus you don't have to pay for parking on campus or have the hassle of trying to find a parking spot (and if you avoid these by parking at Cajun Field, you'll be taking a bus anyway!).

4. Don't shop at the mall for clothes - $50 for a pair of jeans will kill your budget fast. The local Goodwill stores are packed with cheap clothes - those same jeans, already properly broken in, may cost you only 50 cents. If you absolutely must by new, discount stores like Marshall's will be a lot cheaper, especially if you carefully go through the clearance sections.

5. Don't buy magazines off the rack. Many magazine distribution services have steep discounts for students on the usual subscription rate, and they regularly litter the campus with their pamphlets. You can also just check out their web sites!

6. Buy books used. Especially over the Internet. There is some small risk involved, but you can save a fortune. See my Bookhound web page for some possibilities.

7. Quit smoking and clubs with entry fees.

8. Use free workout facilities at Bourgeois Hall rather than paying for a gym membership. (They have indoor facilities as well as a Student Aquatic Center).

9. Don't pay for internet service. You can access the internet free through university labs, local libraries and even some cafes.

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