February 2nd, 2011
Attending an online school is just as expensive as attending a traditional one—sometimes even more expensive depending on the circumstances. But an easy way to ensure that you aren't left completely broke after paying a hefty tuition bill is to be responsible with your money when it comes to food. To learn how you can save money, follow the tips listed below.
By far one of the easiest ways to save money (and help your waistline) is to cut back when it comes to dining-out. Especially if you have a family—all those trips to the local burger shack will most certainly add up. It's common that most online students do have families and work, thus many argue that they do not have the time to cook a meal. But you do not have to construct anything gourmet. In fact, purchasing frozen family meals that can be popped in the oven and ready in 30 minutes with a fresh side salad is a healthier and cheaper option than purchasing a bunch of combo #1's. However, it's equally easy to overspend once at the grocery store. To prevent this from happening, never under any circumstances go the grocery store when you're hungry—you may just end up buying a bunch of food items you don't need. You also never want to go to the grocery store without a list. Having a list will help you remember the items you need, and the items you don't. Try your absolute best to stick to the list.
Another way to help you not overspend at the grocery store is to track your spending so you know if/or where to cut back and create a weekly grocery budget. A good way to help you stick to your budget is to simply only carry the allotted amount of money in cash. One can be too tempted to go over their budget with the simple action of swiping a debit or credit card. You may also want to consider purchasing generic food and store-brand items and avoid buying costly organic produce/products. You also need to get used to using store circulars, flyers and coupons to get additional savings. Remember to save your receipts as well, some stores offer extra coupons on the back of them. Also, see if whether your grocer as any sort of discount customer card for even more in-store savings.
With that said, it's still ok the dine out every now and then, just try to limit this to special occasions or at most once a week. When you do decide to dine-out, make sure to go on nights where children eat free (if you have a family), avoid purchasing alcoholic beverages (they can make the bill exceptionally high) and use your student I.D. for additional savings (if one is give to you).