Thursday, June 10, 2010

Saving for College

Getting ready for college this fall...or starting to save for college? Here's more than a hundred tips that will help you save money, time and energy.

Money was tight growing up, and some things really helped me make it, all the way through grad school. These may help you, too.

*Alternate sources of protein -- if you can't afford steak, try tofu. We often ate smelt, a tiny fish that you munch, bones and all. Octopus was surprisingly cheap, too. (Try an Oriental grocery for even better prices.) Beans and rice are the standard; they're cheap, tasty and pack a real wallop.

*Work your way into housing. Become an R.A. for your dorm, or do custodial or cafeteria work to pay for your room. Find a family who needs help, and offer your services. I had a lovely top-floor room, plus access to bath and kitchen, in an old house in exchange for cleaning, taking care of the youngest child occasionally, and walking the dog.

*Keep your eyes open for freebies. Is that a chair parked by the edge of the dumpster? Take it home, scrub it up, and you've got a comfortable place to study -- for free. Garbage pickup days are the best -- or when students from the university are moving out. (Boulder, home of the University of Colorado, is famous for goodies on days like this.) If you can't use it, sell it.

More tips coming --  

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