How To Save Money in College, According to Redditors

Happy student and her male friend communicating while walking through university campus.

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Happy student and her male friend communicating while walking through university campus.
Drazen Zigic/istockphoto

Acing Your College Budget

Most college graduates emerge from the university as debtors, their future earnings owned in part by lenders with strange names like A.M. Money and Funding U. And despite the already staggering sum of student debt in this country — $1.75 trillion, to be precise — the situation is likely to get worse as tuition continues to rise. Long-term solutions are no doubt systemic, but for college students who're trying to scrape by this semester, Redditors shared a few straightforward tips.

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Sorting Through the Food Storage

Go to the Food Pantry

Many universities have campus food pantries, where students can pick up essentials like produce and canned goods for free. Check and see if your college has a program to cut down on your grocery bill.

Related: 31 Simple Ways to Save Money Every Day of the Month

Girl friends couple cooking in the kitchen together

Split Costs With Roommates

Living off campus has its perks. Not only do you have more freedom, but you’ll also save money on rent and food. To maximize your savings, split costs like utilities, groceries, and other supplies with housemates. And while few students want to live with their parents, it’s worth mentioning that the cheapest option is to live at home.

Related: New to the United States? Here Are 7 Indispensable Frugal Tips

Spotify, Podcasts, Music and other Apps on iPhone screen

Take Advantage of Student Discounts

From Spotify to Amazon, plenty of major companies offer steep discounts for college students. Go through your current subscription services and see if you qualify for a lower rate. You can also earn discounts at restaurants and movie theaters by showing your student ID.

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University students waiting for class to begin

Go to Class

If you and your parents are squeezing every last dime out of your paychecks to pay for college, then you ought to get your money’s worth. As one Redditor put it: “Attend all of your classes. Skipping that morning lecture just cost you $200.”

Woman Preparing Healthy Meals

Cook in Bulk

It may be easier to sign up for an all-inclusive meal plan, but it’s cheaper to cook at home. If you’re short on time, cook in bulk and meal prep using a budget-focused recipe site. One Redditor recommends BudgetBytes, which they say is “made with broke college students in mind.”

Young Couples Having Dinner at Home

Don’t Eat (or Drink) Out

If you’re paying for your living expenses with student loans — money that you’ll eventually have to pay back with interest — don’t DoorDash sushi to your dorm room every night. The same goes for drinking. Enjoy alcohol in moderation at home, and you’ll be way ahead of the curve.

Hunting pre loved clothes in vintage store
Thoughtful girl studying in library seated at table with textbooks

Apply for Scholarships

It’s easy to put off a scholarship app. You’ll never get it, you tell yourself as you look at your empty bank account and pile of unread textbooks … and then you’ve missed the deadline. Instead, be proactive and earn a piece of the over $4 billion in scholarships that are dispersed every year. We promise you that a scholarship (free money!) is a lot nicer than busting your butt with some crummy, semi-legal side hustle.

Teenagers stretching in dance hall

Use the University’s Resources

A small part of your outrageous tuition fees go toward transforming the university into a resort for young adults. We're talking free gyms, large research libraries, career counselors, mental health clinics, supplemental classes, clubs, and other complimentary services.