A Tutor Can Help Out Everyone

When we are in college, we are constantly in class or at the library. We have our noses in books, eyes glued to our computer screen and hands on our pencils, finishing up our statistics homework. Our days are filled with to do lists and finished with sights on a new day.

Of course, there is always a little grey area. Some college students like to take a break from studying and get some fresh air at local bars, restaurants or places that have mini golf. Now, money is required for these activities. If only everything was free. Luckily, there is a website that can help you navigate where you go on certain nights to get the best deals. It is called Party Tutor.

This website and now app, features discounts at places around the following campuses:

  • University of Florida
  • Florida State University
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Alabama
  • University of Louisville

It highlights food specials, college deals, bars, fun things to do, events and many more. It also has tabs for each day of the week, so you know where to go on which day. Everyone needs a tutor, this website is brilliant. It will help you save extra coins to buy another Dunkin Donuts coffee during happy hour. Do yourself a favor and check out the Party Tutor website and take a break from studying.

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Ten Dimes Equals One Coffee

In the words of Zooey Deschanel, actress in the awesome show ‘New Girl’, “I’m not 80% water. I am 80% coffee and a little bit of sass.” Obviously that is not statistically true but that saying is very relatable to the coffee lovers of the world, especially those who are college students. Nothing beats a steaming hot latte from Starbucks that keeps you pushing through your five class day, until now. Now, nothing beats an ice cold or steaming hot coffee from Dunkin Donuts that only costs a dollar. Yes, that wasn’t a typo, I typed a dollar. One dollar, four quarters, ten dimes, 20 nickels or 100 pennies, a coffee from Dunkin Donuts during happy hour only costs a d-o-l-l-a-r.untitled

I haven’t even mentioned the best part of your dollar coffee. ANY size whether small or large, is only one dollar. You may also get a tea if you prefer that instead. Coffee gets expensive when you are buying a five dollar one at Starbucks every day.

When is this magical happy hour? It is every day from 3 p.m. to six p.m. Now there has been an evil rumor going around that some Dunkin Donut locations do not participate in the glorious happy hour after certain dates so be sure to check out the locations closer to you. Thankfully, the Dunkin Donut locations across from the UF campus always participate in happy hour. That is where you will find me and several other college students.

Be sure to stop by between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to stock up on your favorite coffee drinks or check out the locations near you. America runs on Dunkin, especially if it’s only $1!

Count your money by counting your coupons!

The last stop of the grocery trip with mom was the row of candy that towered above me. My eyes would browse the shelf vigorously for the best pick. The milk chocolate Wonder Ball won the majority of the time. Fast forward ten years and I am standing next to my mom as she is checking out once again. The shelf is now the same height as me which makes the selection easier to view. Instead of allowing my eyes to shift through it, I watch my mom flip threw her coupons. The cashier says “You have saved $24.16 dollars ma’am.” My new fixation was spotted right at the bottom of the black and white receipt. Why don’t I use coupons?

Juggling finances can become a full-time job when you are providing for yourself. The coupon craze has dominated TLC shows so why not let it enter your lifestyle. Using coupons is a great way to save money while in college. A close friend Marney, has been couponing for the last two years and has gotten the swing of it.

With a passion for saving money and the determination to learn the ropes, you can follow Marney’s footsteps and become a coupon hobbyist.

       “The ways to save are out there – now it’s time to just utilize them,” Marney said.

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Read the interview below to get more tips from Marney about couponing!

When did you start taking an interest in couponing?

I started to take an interest in couponing about 2 years ago.

Did your parents coupon when you were a child?

My parents did not coupon as I was growing up and still do not to this day. As I have gotten more into couponing though, I hear that my grandmother was a big couponer (not to the same extent as myself) but she was always using coupons and trying to get a bargain one way or another.

Have you noticed a new acceptance for using a lot of coupons compared to when you were younger?

Since I really didn’t pay much attention to coupons as I child I can’t really answer that question. But I have noticed that once awareness of the use of coupons was brought to people’s attention, especially through the TV show Extreme Couponing on TLC; that people became very aware of the fact that coupons are still being used today. Once the show revealed how successful using coupons could be and the large amounts of money that you can save. Then people really started wanting to use them and achieve the same amount of savings that they were witnessing on TV.

When did your interest increase into a hobby?

My interest in coupons became an immediate hobby. I have always been frugal and have looked for ways to save money. So once I – along with the rest of America watched “Extreme Couponing” I realized that I could achieve the same thing. I then started watching the shows religiously and with a little common sense it was very easy to pick up.

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In the past year do you know roughly how much you have saved?

Roughly I have saved between $500-$1,000 between purchasing groceries, clothes/shoes, toiletries, etc.

How much is the most you have saved at one time?

In one transaction, the most I ever saved was $182.58. The total was $233.99 after coupons I spent $51.41. I was pretty excited but still wish I could have gotten the total even lower.

How do you choose your coupons?

Every Sunday I buy the paper with the inserts (coupons) in them. I always browse through the paper before I purchase to 1) Make sure the coupons are in them before I purchase them and 2) To make sure that there are good (also known as “high value” coupons) in them before purchasing multiple papers. Once I cut them all out and begin to organize them in my coupon binder I then create my grocery list. Once complete I browse through my coupons and begin to pull the coupons I know I will need in my trip. I will then write out next to the item on my list the item and the coupon value I have off the item (i.e. Chicken Breast – Coupon: Purdue Chicken Breast Frozen $1.50 off) so I can visually see that I have a coupon for that item and I then know to pull that coupon when checking out at the register.

How could couponing benefit a college student or household with a lot of mouths to feed?

Currently a Graduate Student myself, couponing has helped me tremendously. Even when I was in my undergraduate studies couponing saved me many trips to the store and money. Coupons will/can benefit anyone that uses them. I view them as “my money” the value they are worth (example $1, $3, $5 off – that’s money) and that money that you save gets to stay in your pocket. Therefore, you can use the money you save towards other things in your life – bills, savings, trips, retirement, education, etc.

I always advise people then when planning out your meals with coupons – only buy what you need and what your family will eat. People’s biggest mistake is not shopping with a grocery list. Always do an inventory of what you already have at home and then write down what you are in need of. When we allow ourselves the freedom to go into the grocery store without a list we then spend aimlessly. Regardless of whether or not you have a coupon for an item – always purchase the item that is cheapest (i.e. store brand items). Coupons may not always provide you with the cheapest deal and with our overall goal of saving money then we need to spend as less as possible.

Do you have any other money saving tips?

Yes, lots but I don’t know which ones are appropriate to share – ha! I try to save money everywhere I go – whether it’s in the form of a coupon, asking for a discount, haggling the prices down, using student discount opportunities, shopping when and only sales are going on, only shopping the clearance racks for clothes and personal items, etc. Overall, it’s just becoming more cautious of how to save your hard earned money. The ways to save are out there – now it’s time to just utilize them!

Dont let your money be a ghost this Halloween

Beware for ghosts, goblins, witches and zombies! They hide in the shadows and creep at night. You better grab your costume so you won’t be caught in their sight. But wait… the scariest thing just occurred, your bank account dressed up too! Don’t panic; this year instead of spending $50 or more on a costume that you are only going to wear once, just make one for way less!

Halloween can be expensive and it is the first fall holiday that kicks off the season. Before you know it, it is Christmas time and you are buying gifts for your friends and family. Save your pennies this Halloween and try out these homemade ideas that cost next to nothing.

  1. Tom Cruise from Risky Business– All you need in an oversized white long sleeve shirt, long white socks and a pair of black sunglasses. Oh and don’t forget a pair of whitey tighties!
  2. Dolly Parton or Daisy Duke- Grab your fanciest pair of boots, tease your hair as high as it can go and grab a pair of shorts.

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  1. Caesar or Roman Princess- Have a white sheet lying around? Get creative and wrap it around your body to make your own toga.
  2. Social Media- Be your favorite social media. All you need is cardboard, paint, ribbon and some scissors. Wear plain clothes for the background.

The easiest and cheapest costumes come from your imagination. When we were kids we didn’t have money to buy a new costume every time we played make believe. Find your inner child and create your own costume this year. For more ideas check out DYI Halloween costumes on Pinterest http://www.creatingreallyawesomefreethings.com/diy-adult-costumes/. `

Eat In not Out

As kids, we remember how exciting it was to go out to eat. Our parents changed us out of our stained overalls, fixed our hair and removed the dirt from our faces. We had the chance to choose from the long list of various kids’ meals instead of settling for what mom made. Of course my meal stayed consistent- fried chicken tenders   and steaming hot French fries. The point is we got excited about going out because it was a treat. Our parents didn’t go out everyday of the week for every meal. They would have spent tons of money depending how big their family was. Instead of going out to eat with your friends every chance you get, stay in and cook.

Personally, my favorite hobby is going out to eat to try different types of cuisines. When I moved out, this was the hardest to give up but saved me the most money. On average, I was saving about $30 a week. That is a new shirt from Forever 21 or the more responsible choice, 30 more dollars in your savings account. That extra cash adds up quickly. I am not saving to give up going out once and for all but do it in moderation. Make going out to eat a treat like it was as a kid and save the extra coins to have an adult treat later!

What do you mean money doesn’t grow on trees?

A phrase I remember best from childhood is “Money doesn’t grow on trees!” I couldn’t quite understand why my mom would not buy me a new Barbie, a new board game or a new bicycle every time we visited Target. It wasn’t until I moved out and started college that I realized that statement I use to question as a kid actually rings very true. When I started paying for classes, books, rent and supporting my coffee addiction, the “money tree” at the end of the month ended up looking more like an oak tree in the winter, clinging to its last leaves.

After scrapping the bottom of the barrel to make ends meet, I decided there has to be ways to stretch my money without having to choose between eating or paying rent. Through my own personal experiences as well as tips I have learned from others, I have learned to support myself financially without missing out on trips, shopping or my daily latte from Starbucks.

In this blog, I hope to share ideas that can help college students or new adults stretch their dollars. I mean, who says we can’t live large on spare change?