Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Saving money and watching the budget!

As a graduate student, I am juggling different ways to pay tuition each semester and buy costly books. International (F-1) students are usually not allowed to work, and paying tuition can become a more difficult task.

Here are some tips for cutting spending and doing more with less:

Prepare meals at home. Buy groceries and turn on the Food Network! Experiment with different cooking techniques and styles, and go easy on pricey ingredients.

Buy in bulk. Have a friend with a Costco or Sam's Club card? Tag along and stock up on items you use regularly. Be wary of buying perishable items that you may not use before the expiration date.

Comparison shop online. Did you fall in love with a pair of expensive shoes at Macy's but cannot afford them? Carry a pad and pencil with you and write down the brand, style, and sku of the item you are interested in. Hop on the computer and comparison shop at home! You would be surprised the deals and steals you can find on the Internet! If you are going to purchase an item online, make sure to look for coupon codes first!

Websites to try:

Plan your purchase! The end of summer is the best time to buy a discounted swimsuit, a jacket at the end of winter, etc. Black Friday is usually the best time to buy electronics http://www.blackfriday.info/.

Hit the outlets! Outlets can be a great place to snag some deals. Check out the outlet malls in the Houston area and don't forget to get a coupon book from customer service:

Frequent the yard sale or flea market in your area. You will be surprised what people are selling or giving away! Don't forget resale or consignment stores.

Scan online classified ads for great deals.

Look for student discounts! Some movie theaters, museums, and stores have student discounts!

Share some of your tips and tricks with me!

1 comment:

houstonmacbro said...

Good tips. Thanks for sharing. These are good tips even for people that aren't in school!