I hope, on this blog, that I will be able to help other Grad Students who will be looking to find ways to save money. As such, I have declared Thursdays to be Thrifty Thursdays (at least for the purposes of this blog)! Today is the first of them and so I will start with something pretty basic.
Consider a meal plan. I know, many of you grads are moaning that you thought you were done with meal plans when you finished your undergrad program. I know I thought so. I graduated with my BA nearly 10 years ago, and when I decided to return to graduate school, I didn’t really consider the possibility of a meal plan. I excuse myself in the first semester because I was still working full-time and wasn’t on campus enough to make it worth my while. However, now that I am working on campus, I considered the option. This will not be a viable tool for all graduate students. If you spend little time on campus or are a part of a distance education program, meal plans will likely not be of help to you. Likewise, smaller colleges without many meal plan options may or may not save you money. However, if you spend four to five days per week on campus and your school has meal plan options that work for you, it may save you some money, or at least guarantee that you get a meal.
My university offers meal plans as small as five meals per week, and there are many other options. As I work on campus around lunch or dinner time at least four days a week, those meals are already pre-paid, and my meal plan credits can be used in any restaurant on campus. If you aren’t already on a meal plan, look into your school’s options. If you find one that works for you, and the price is right, go for it! It guarantees you food and you can save your cash for other needs.
Check back next week for another tip!