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Being a full-time college student that works part-time I know how hard it is to have money for the things you want. Your friends hit you up to go to a club and you’re first questions are “How much is it?” and “Is someone driving or are we taking the bus, because cab fare isn’t happening…” I know I’ve been there. So you want to be able to cover your expenses and still afford go out and buy a nice thing or two? Well, I’m going to show you some of my favorite ways to cut the cash.

  1. Thrifting is your friend

Yeah that’s right. Thrift shopping. Once taboo and considered something that only old people did is now popularized by songs like “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Want super unique, old, vintage styles? Thrifting is for you. Want super cheap but good quality clothes? Thrifting is also for you. You just need to go to thrift shops in more affluent neighbourhoods. My favourite is Goodwill at St.Clair and Vaughan but I’ve heard there are some downtown that are even better. I’ve picked up barely worn clothes with labels like BeBe, Zara, H&M, Armani Exchange, TNA and Joe Fresh for under $20.

  1. Extreme Couponers aren’t crazy!

Yeah I know, you’ve watched the show and they go overboard with coupons and flyers and buy way more than they need. While excessive, take note that coupons DO save you money at the grocery store. Visit websites like save.ca and websaver.ca where you can either print coupons or have them mailed to your house, free of charge.

  1. Price match and save a trip

Sometimes when we get those Saver Bags with weekly Flyers in it, we pick which one has the best sale and go there. But sometimes, another store may have a few things that are cheaper than your store of choice. Don’t make a double trip, price match! Grocery stores like Wal-Mart and No Frills are known to match the prices on a competitor’s flyer if it’s cheaper than their own. So that means if you see Kraft peanut butter at Loblaws for $2.99 and at No Frills its $4.99, show them the flyer and No Frills will sell it to you for $2.99. This not only saves you a trip but it also saves you from paying tax twice.

  1. Bring food from home

If it isn’t already obvious, I have made myself very familiar with grocery shopping and cooking at home. When you look at how many fast food meals you purchase everyday it adds up to more than you would have spent to cook all that food. $10 at Chipotle can get you three tacos without a drink or a side. $10 in the grocery store could get you enough ground beef, spaghetti noodles and pasta sauce to feed a family of three.  You see where I’m going with this? While it may seem expensive at first because you’re buying all your groceries at once but in the long run you’re saving good money. This way you can have a set budget for food instead of blindly blowing all your cash. Not to mention, when you cook you can proudly say “Yeah, I made that.”

So that’s it you guys. That was probably a lot of rambling but I swear it helps. It is definitely a start to saving money and being a smarter shopper. My last parting piece of advice is to leave your money at home! Just don’t take it. If you plan to go to the club and spend $30 on drinks and cab fare, walk with only that money and nothing else. I’m not sure about you, but when I drink I begin to think I’m a rich socialite and not a working student who can’t afford to buy out the bar. With only a certain amount in your pocket, it forces you to be pickier about what you spend your money on.

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