Home » Holiday » Back To School » Tips for Saving Money at College

Tips for Saving Money at College

Here are some Tips for Saving Money at College. So, you are in college…Making possibly one of the most expensive investments you will make in your adult life.

Tips for Saving Money at College

Reality sets in really quick that your cash can be gone in the blink of an eye! How can you make those precious few dollars stretch? It’s time to start a lifetime of good habits of spending smart and saving right now.

Tips for Saving Money at College

The first thing you need to do is Set a Budget! Know how much you can spend a month. Make a realistic breakdown of your needs (Be sure to add a little “fun” money in your budget). And then spend wisely. Once your cash is gone for the month, don’t get tempted to pull out your shiny new credit card! The last thing you need is another bill with interest piling up.

Probably the biggest money sucker in college is food. Pizza, vending machines, soda, trips to the closest fast food… getting the munchies during those late-night study groups… Add them up and it can be very expensive.

Here are a few tips for saving on food:

1. Stay away from vending machines.  The mark up on the soda and snack food is high and while a $1 may not seem like a lot, it can add up fast.

2. Stock up on essentials.  Make a trip to your closest superstore and make a little stockpile of your favorite snacks and drinks. (Be sure to mark what is yours. Unmarked food in a community space is usually considered a free for all)

3. Invest in a hot pot, microwave or electric griddle (if the school allows them).  You’d be surprised how good you can eat using two small appliances. Cook with your friends. Dinner together is a great way to make some awesome memories.
Don’t forget that this is one of the most exciting times of your life! Make great friends, study hard, and enjoy every moment. Remember, you don’t have to spend crazy to have a crazy, awesome college experience!

4.  Rent textbooks.  It is a great way to save money!  Why pay full prices for textbooks that you are only going to use for 1 semester?  A great way to get cheap textbooks is by renting them instead of paying full retail price only to sell them back for a few bucks.

5.  Take advantage of student discounts. Most college towns offer discounts for college students when dining out and for activities.

6.  Utilize the student center at your college.  Many colleges provide free or reduced activities and discounted trips for college students.  Take advantage of these offers.  Many offer games you can check out and use and some even rent camping or kayak equipment for a reduced rate.

By using these tips for saving money at college you will have more money to study abroad and hang out with friends on the weekends!

Stockpiling Moms can be found in all your favorite places. Hop on over to Instagram and follow the fun. We love posting memes, family fun, travel, and whatever we are feeling that day. Pinterest is also an amazing place to visit Stockpiling Moms. This is where you can pin all your favorite articles from our Food, Travel & Lifestyle Blog.

Similar Posts


  1. If your parents or family live far away from your campus, don’t visit so often. Sad but true.

  2. Bring your games from home and invite others over for game night. Some colleges offer movie nights that are free or only a $1 or $2 with your ID. Always ask for a student discount when you do go out. Some entrees are large enough for two meals. Split it with a friend.

  3. See if your college will let you buy a small fridge, then stock it with enough for lunches and light meals. Try and purchase your textbooks used, and drive sparingly.

  4. Take advantage of all the free activities and free meals they offer on campus. Also apply for scholarships, some of them can make college free!

  5. Have mini frozen pizzas in your freezer so you don’t waste money on ordering late night delivery! Plus te wait is so much less.

  6. Food is the biggest money pit. As hard as it is, buy food at grocery store. Ramen noodle soup is so cheap. Look for coupons too and sales at your local stores! Every little bit saved counts.

  7. Take a few of the lower level courses through a community college. Apply for scholarships….my nephew got his first year of college without having to take out loans since I pushed him to search out and apply for scholarships.

  8. Save on your clothing and food budget by shopping discount stores online and using coupons. For instance, Old Navy has a 40% off day today and an added coupon for an additional 15%. On food, stock up on basic items when they are on sale and check the local dollar store.

  9. Use water bottles and not buy water from the store. Plus do not eat out a lot. Try to eat as healthy as you can afford.

  10. Buy used textbooks whenever possible or opt for online versions which are usually less expensive!

  11. I search for the best textbook deals. Used books are the best or I take part in a textbook sharing program on campus.

  12. to save money in college, i carpooled a lot with friends or classmates to save on gas. and i bought snacks at the grocery store instead of eating out all the time.

  13. My sister is in college and I always tell her to use the good apps out there like TUNdeals and Gas Buddy!

  14. My advice is buy used textbooks- they’re so much cheaper and they already have notes and highlighting in them!!

  15. Take advantage of online programs such as Upromise by Sallie Mae. This allows you to register your credit cards and debit cards and earn money back for college like a rewards program on the money you already are spending.

  16. One of the best ways my son saved on his first year of college was graduating Valedictorian of his high school. The state of Texas paid for his first year at UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS in Austin. Also he lives at home instead of on campus.

  17. Sell books when your done with them, and live at home if you go to school close enough to your parents.

  18. Rent your textbooks whenever possible, and if you do have to buy your textbooks, don’t sell your textbooks back to the college bookstore. They pay you less for your books than ecampus.com or BarnesandNoble.com will. There are lots of other great sites that will pay you more now for your books as well online.

  19. Buy snacks at stores such as Family Dollar. Much higher in college vending machines!Also, buy good used books instead of new ones when possible.

  20. dont have any college age kids, but can save if want to go instate, w/ the 529 plan, also can save by buying used texts book and then resale them, live at home or apt near campus will save. do laundry at home, raid the cupboards at home. get a bike to ride to class instead of a car.

  21. My kids had to apply for every scholarship we could find and they were close enough it really was cheaper to come home and do laundry

  22. Only use cash when going out! If you don’t have the cash, you can’t buy it! Put your debit card in a hard place to get.

  23. You can rent textbooks for really cheap. I think it can be like ten bucks, and then you just send it back in the packing they give you when your done!

  24. coupon for necessities and have a stockpile of snacks you can sell to your friends that you coupon for to get you a little extra pocket cash. Shop clearace racks, walk when you can to save gas. Save pocket change you will be amazed at how it adds up. Try to do laundry at families when you can to cut costs

  25. Ask your college counselor about scholarships, a lot of times there are departmental and campus scholarships that are not as competitive to apply for.

    Diana C

  26. Don’t go with the full meal plan. I never wanted to get up for breakfast on mornings I didn’t go to class, so 14 meals a week was fine for me and saved my folks a ton of money.

  27. Stop drinking soda pop. Invest in a Brita filter, or something similar, and drink water. It’s healthier, and a whole lot cheaper.

  28. Make sure you talk with roommates ahead of time to find out what others are bringing….you don’t need 4 microwaves!

  29. Try to limit your social outings – most will cost money. At least try to have simple gatherings.

  30. – Make a budget.
    – If you’re not disciplined to follow alone, find an accountability partner who will hold you to your budget.
    – Don’t borrow money/take out student loans, pay cash.
    …oh, and can’t leave out couponing! If you don’t know how, find someone who does — they’re MORE than happy to share.

  31. You guys are always giving away goodies — thank you! Following on FB, both you and Skyo.

    And if I happen to win, I’ll pass along the prize to my niece who’s a freshman in college…along with a printout of these tips. Thanks again!

  32. I follow stockpiling mom on facebook and twitter and I follow skyo on twitter and facebook also. Coupon to save money in college!!! 🙂

  33. Everyone in college needs coffee or tea to stay awake and study, so save money by making it instead of buying coffee out. Or make a big batch and put it in the fridge for ice coffee and you will always have it =)

  34. As stated above stock pile your snacks but, even better savings..stock pile for your everyday day-to-day items..like bodywash,laundry detergent,deoderant,shampoo/conditioner,lotion,razors,and even more items.

  35. resell your text books on either ebay or through your book store. use that money to go toward more books

  36. One of the best tips I picked up in college was downloading my books on my iPad versus renting or buying them! Most were available through iTunes for a few dollars! Saved me hundreds of dollars. Better yet I didn’t have to carry a heavy backpack!!

  37. Find the free or very cheap things to do in your college town for entertainment. You’ll save money and do interesting things.

  38. I use my Higher One checking account through the school. As long as I use the school’s ATMs I don’t get nickled and dimed on ATM charges and the account is free. An added bonus is getting my loan refund check two weeks earlier.

  39. I Followed Stockpiling Moms and Skyo on Facebook and I followed you and Skyo on Twitter.

  40. I use my banks Way To Save account. It takes $1 out of my checking account everytime I use my debit card and transfers it to its own account that I make sure I don’t touch.

  41. me and my fellow dorm hall mates each had a night to make dinner for the group. So typically i only cooked one night a week, saved me alot of money. Theres alot of cheap-o meals to make for a group, try crock pot meals!

  42. Always check out the different bookstores. We have 2 book stores at our local University; one on campus and one off-campus. I noticed it was cheaper to buy books off-campus but the on-campus store usually gave more money when buying books back at the end of the semester.

  43. Buy your clothes at thrift stores, freezer cooking, & don’t be shy to ask for care packages from your family.

  44. as a mom of 3 and fulltime college student and on top of that a fulltime CNA, my biggest tip is use coupons whenever possible and to eat at home as much as possible, also a refillable water bottle and some easy take along snacks have saved me a lot against those tempting vending machines!

  45. When cramming for a test, instead of coffee to help you stay awake…grab an apple! Works better than caffeine and is healthier too! Follow on facebook

  46. I always take my own drink and snacks so I won’t have to purchase the overpriced ones from the vending machines.

Comments are closed.