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Top ten ways to save money in college

By Shannon Paris

Staff Writer

Finding the best ways to pinch a penny here or save a dollar there are key for a college student’s survival. Considering these skills will be used even after graduating college, why not take a look at the Top Ten ways to save.


1. Finding food specials

“It’s still considered one topping at Domino’s, Papa John’s and Pizza Hut if you order half of one topping and half of another. Combine this with their deals and you can easily get two or three meals for $8,” said Matthew Sherwood, a student at the University of North Texas.

Resources like and offer other great specials to check out in the Tyler area.

2. Buy used books, or previous editions instead of the new version.

In most cases the only difference is the cover of the book, and the cost difference between new books versus a used copy is considerably large. Some great resources to check out would be, or ask for used books from the college bookstore.

3. Eat where you work

“I worked at a restaurant so that I could both make money having a job, but also to save money by eating there,” said Kyle Paris, a graduate of Texas A&M University.

Most restaurants offer employee discounts to their workers, so making use of that savings could provide several different meals in the same week coming almost free to students.

4. Don’t drive a car whenever possible to save money on gas

“I took my bike everywhere on campus and left my car at the dorm. I really didn’t drive at all during the week,” said Ciara Lee, a graduate of Tarleton State University.

There are some areas in Tyler that would prove dangerous for people to ride a bike; so another great alternative would be the Tyler Transit system. There is a stop right on Fifth Street in front of Jenkins Hall and students can get a free transit sticker for their ID that makes the transit free for them. The entire bus schedule can be found at

5. Use a Student ID to save money around town.

Many businesses offer student specials with the proper ID. Town Square Cinema in Tyler offers movie tickets for $6.50 with a valid student ID. Restaurants like Jersey Mike’s also offer value meals for students.

6. Shop in thrift stores for savings on clothes.

Several places sell slightly used clothing for discounted prices. Goodwill and Plato’s Closet are just a few in the Tyler area that offer gently used clothing and other household goods for cheap.

7. Find activities on campus for entertainment.

All students need a way to blow off some steam and have fun with friends. Taking trips out of town or even going out on the town with friends isn’t always an option on a college student’s budget. TJC offers card games, Ping-Pong, pool tables and other board games that students can use on the first floor of Rodgers Student Center when on break from class.

8. Wear clothes more than once to save on the laundry bill.

Don’t all gasp at once! Obviously undergarments are the exception, but many students wear a pair of jeans and a T-shirt, walk to class, sit inside and return to their dorm or home to do homework. Hanging those clothes up for an additional use before throwing them in the laundry pile can cut a laundry bill down significantly in a month’s time. At TJC, each load costs one dollar to wash and an additional 75 cent to dry, so to wash and dry one load it costs close to $2. If a student washes an average of three loads per week, it would cost around $25 a month to wash, not including the cost of the detergent. By using this cost-saving tip and reducing the laundry down to one or no more than two loads per week, it could save an average of $10 each month, which could help cover the cost of supplies needed to wash clothes in the first place.

9. Cut coupons or use savings cards to save on groceries.

Brookshire’s, Super One, and Walmart all offer different savings programs to cut costs on items each week. Target and many other retailers post coupons online. By watching for coupons in the newspaper or online, additional savings could be found on toiletries, make-up, food, etc. Target is one retailer that will honor a manufacturer’s coupon in addition to store coupons, which can provide further savings.

10. Split the cost of activities by going in groups.

Want to watch a movie? Why not ask one friend to rent the movie, while the other buys the popcorn? Is there a concert that a few friends are dying to see? It can save lots of money for everyone to chip in on gas and to make a list of snacks that each person could bring so that everyone has plenty of munchies, but not breaking the bank to have a great time with friends.

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More money saving tips can be found online at

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