Confessions of a Broke College Kid

By: Hillary Cowden Email
By: Hillary Cowden Email

As a broke college kid who has come to appreciate the full stretch value of a dollar, the phrase "it's the little things" has taken on a whole new meaning for me.

I have mastered the art of penny- pinching to a ninja level and I thought it may be time to share some of this helpful knowledge with some of you who feel my pain, or are just looking to save some money (which is completely understandable, because who isn't right?).

Snack Time Savings

First of all it is summer, and for me one question seems to stream line through my head, "Why is it so hot?!" As if by some miracle, this summer's heat index will be drastically different from every other summer here in Texas. My taste buds crave ice cream...a lot. So, I have found a solution. I go to McDonald's for a 49¢ ice cream cone. It's cheap enough to pay with left over coins I seem to have all over my car, and savory enough to satisfy my cravings.

If you ever get the 3 am munchies and find yourself in the mood for some IHOP, I have a trick for that too. A lot of the items on the menu are combo "specials" that are supposed to be a deal, in theory. But, what I do is break them apart. For example, instead of paying for the Swedish Danish crepes for about $7, I ask for just one and pay only a $1.60. If I happen to still be hungry I just order another one, and it is still cheaper than the combo deal.

Do you need to make an easy dinner that will feed several? I found out that HEB has spaghetti noodles for around a dollar and tomato sauce for about two dollars that they sell right next to each other. Badda-bing, badda-boom, toss in a salad (pun intended), and you could have a decent dinner for about five dollars give or take.

Beauty Budgeting

I have found that many skin-care products are not the cheapest of investments, and a lot of the home remedies are a tad sketchy to be fair, but I found face wash that takes about two seconds to make and you probably already have the ingredients in you kitchen. Mix together about 2 to 3 Tbsp of Baking Soda and 1 tsp of milk. Pour out the extra milk on top after stirring until you are left with the pasty material on the bottom of the bowl and use that as a gentle scrub. Now, I will not venture to convince of its incredible cleansing power, but in a pinch it's not too shabby.

Date Night on a Dime

For those of you with love lives this summer, dates are fun, but can definitely rack up a bill. Not saying any of you mind paying, but sometimes having to pay for dates holds you back from actually having them...oh the irony. Here are a few ideas I came up with that could be fun, (disclaimer: I haven't actually tried some of these out yet though, so participate at your own risk):

-Buying cheap canvases and painting self portraits of one another, when you're done, trade.

-Go to Wal-Mart and buy candy from the 50¢ bin and a random movie from the $5 bin for a movie night in.

-Go for a walk in nature, don't forget it's the little things.

-Pack a couple of sandwiches and have a picnic somewhere, perhaps Lake Bryan? Hello sunsets.

-Hit up any of the thrift stores in town, "I only got $20 in my pocket.."

-Go to open Mic Night at Revolutions in downtown Bryan on Sunday nights.

-Write out a bucket list of small things for the other person to complete that day while you hang out.

-Make a fort!

Well I hope this gave you some helpful ideas, and even though I may be five dollars short of a garage sale, at least I know that gas stations do accept payments in quarters!

What do you do to save a little extra cash? Leave me a comment below! You will probably be helping me out...no joke.


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