Saving money is hard when you're twenty-something years old. As a college student, we are faced with temptation to spend our money on food, clothing, alcohol, coffee, etc. Most of my spending is centered on food. Working nearly 40 hours a week at Target is great and all, but when Target is life, you end up spending much of your paycheck there. Even though I'm not perfect at saving money, here are some conscious ways that I try to save money every week.
1. Don't go out every weekend.
It's not that hard. You don't really need to get sloshed every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. If you do....you might need to reevaluate your life decisions. If you end up going out on the regular, drink before you go out and get an uber. You'll save cash and you can split bottles of alcohol & the uber with your friends. Drinking beforehand is great because you can get a drink and dance the night away. Also try to take advantage of drink specials before the night gets too late.
2. Stop ordering takeout multiple times a week.
You might learn to cook if you actually try! Trust me, it's really not hard. My cooking expertise before moving into my apartment was limited to grilled cheese, mac n' cheese, and omelettes. Once you are forced to cook for yourself, you might be surprised how easy it is to make meals everyday.
3. Make a food shopping list and stick to it.
It's easy to buy all the delicious foods at the supermarket, but when you get to the register you may be in for a rude awakening. Making a list and sticking with it is an amazing thing to do and it's super easy. Set a budget for yourself, look through your fridge and pantry before you go to the supermarket. Cross off the things on your list and add each item in the calculator on your phone or on the list itself.
4. Read all the grocery store flyers before you head out to shop.
Do a quick google search for Hannaford, Whole Foods or Shaw's to see what's on sale that week. There are always sales for meat, veggies and fruits every week! Many stores also have online coupons, like Hannaford, Target's Cartwheel app and the Whole Foods app. Use em or lose em. (Seriously Target Cartwheel is LIFE.....I've saved 140 dollars in 2 years!!!)
5. Invest in a reusable water bottle.
This is the 21st century. You can find a bubbler anywhere or a water filter station to fill up your water bottle. A reusable water bottle literally costs $10 or less. You can save a bajillion dollars if you stop buying bottled water and keep refilling your water bottle. If you drink more water, you may have the urge to snack less and the urge to drink less soda.
6. Make your own coffee.
"Make your own coffee"-says the Starbuck's gold member. My actions might not be regrettable, but I was astonished at how much money I spent on Starbucks. I recommend making your own iced coffees or lattes by buying instant espresso and mixing it with Fairlife milk or almond milk. In the long run, it's much cheaper to make a latte at home versus spending $4 on one drink.
7. Bring a lunch to work.
Pack a lunch and you'll save money each shift. You don't have to go out and spend 8-10 dollars on a sub, Mickey D's, or a frozen meal... It's that simple. It's a pain to wake up 10 minutes earlier to get your lunch packed, but it's worth the time. Plus, you have more time to relax and unwind in the break room instead of running out to your car and wasting your break driving to get food.