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As a college student, I know the struggle of money stress. You begin to pay for bills, food, entertainment… you mentally prepare yourself for student loans post-college. Whether you are financially independent or simply aware these events are in the future, one way to ease your mind is to learn how to save a little cash! Here are my five tips for saving money as a college student:

1) Save on books by shopping for the best deal. It takes a little extra time and effort, so before your semester starts- grab a notebook or the notepad on your phone and price compare the text books you need. Also, ask yourself if you’ll need this textbook in the future or if it’s not important in your major. If it’s not, renting books through the bookstore or are great options to save money! If you plan to keep your book, look for used books. For the amount that you’ll save, it’s worth the less-than-perfect cover.

2) Ditch the plastic bottles and Starbucks and save $$. It may seem like a few dollars for a latte, or $1 for that bottle of water, but this adds up! Bring your water bottle and fill up at the water fountain. If you can’t ditch the Starbucks coffee, buy ground coffee at the store (for the price of 1-2 lattes) and make a pot of coffee that can be used all week. I like to pour my brewed coffee into large Mason Jars because this keeps the coffee fresh all week long. Heat up at school or drink iced!

3) Pack lunch and snacks. Some of us (*cough* fellow dietetics students) absolutely love packing a balanced lunch and snacks everyday, but this isn’t everyone’s favorite thing to do. If you’re looking to save though, this will help a ton! At very least, throw a granola bar, trail mix or a piece of fruit in your backpack for brain power during class.

4) Be familiar with cheap and nutritious snack options. Some inexpensive (and healthy!) snack options include bananas, apples, hardboiled eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese and popcorn. For a full list, check out Healthy Foods: 44 Cheap Foods Under $1.

5) Utilize your resources. Use the library to rent books, DVDs and magazines for free. Google local festivals in the area; they’re often free and very abundant in the fall! Check for local events on Fontbonne’s website for campus activities, and ask classmates from the Saint Louis area what they like to do for fun.


Finding good tasting, healthy snacks on the go has been a struggle for me since I began college. I always find myself on the go, needing something quick and easy to take with me during long hours in class or while at work. If you find yourself in a similar pickle, read some of these suggestions. I know you’ll find a few ideas that will help you conquer your busy schedule.

1) Choose nature’s portable produce. The most portable fruits include: oranges, apples, avocados and bananas. Portable veggies include petite cucumbers, baby carrots, snap peas and celery. Any cut up fruit or veggie will need to be refrigerated, so invest in an ice pack (they’re about $1 at target) and you’re set! If not, stick to produce that doesn’t require cutting up or cooking.

2) Bag your own trail mix. This one seems like a no-brainer, but many students grab vending machine trail mix for convenience when they can make their own for pennies on the dollar! Here’s a quick idea for trail mix: 1 cup of your favorite cereal (I use Chocolate Cheerios or Trader Joe’s O’s), 1/4 cup dried cranberries, 1/4 cup dried apricots chopped, and 1/2 cup almonds. Divvy up into 4 portions and you have a great snack for between classes!

3) Make your own protein and/or fruit & nut bars. I have another blog post with my current favorite recipe for DIY protein bars. Also, I find a lot of my ideas on Pinterest. Not a protein bar fan? Make fruit filled muffins or veggie-packed zucchini bread. Just look for recipes with a lower sugar content and whole wheat flour.

4) UHT Milk. UHT (Ultra-High Temperature) Milk are those little cartons or bottles of milk that you see in the store that do not require refrigeration until opened. This is a great way to get in protein on the go when no refrigerator is nearby. Warning: these can be on the pricey side… so get a package from Walmart/Costco/etc. and save them for days when you know you’ll need them the most!

Advice: Plan ahead. One of my best pieces of advice has nothing to do with what foods to have, but rather with planning. Having a snack with you at all times will help you from becoming ravenously hungry by the 3pm mark, when most people feel a drop in blood sugar and is referred to as “hangry”. Being prepared will help you eat mindfully. In other words, you’ll be choosier about what you snack on versus grabbing the first thing in sight.

Have a happy summer! Apply these tips during summer and this fall semester to keep you fueled for your day.



Alumni Posts

Food With Love

by Alumni Posts on November 25, 2013

in Uncategorized

So several months ago, I joined this program with and Food With Love. Every month, for about $7, they send you a box of snacks. These are usually new products that are not yet sold in stores and they ask that you taste and review them. It’s fun! And honestly, the more I think about it, it is PERFECT for a college kid. A box of snacks for a really low price, AND it somewhat applies to my major. As an advertising major, we discuss in my Ad and Marketing classes the value of primary research. Which is, essentially, what these boxes obtain. We review the taste, uniqueness, packaging, and overall quality to give constructive feedback about these products. I enjoy it a lot and I think that shows that I picked the right major.


Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.