#BrokeStudentProbs: 6 Creative Ways to Save Money

Let’s face it, I’m broke, you’re broke and so is everyone else attending DePaul University or any college as a matter of fact. The opportunities available, incredible staff, and accessibility to the wonders of Chicago make our empty wallets and extra shifts worth it. Nonetheless, we cringe every time we have to swipe our card. So if you are anything like me, you take advantage of every money saving opportunity available, making sure to get the most ‘bang for your buck.’ If there is anything that I have learned within the my first weeks of college, it is that broke students make for creative students. Here are six less obvious money saving tips that you should be sure to take advantage of!

1. My roommates and I were surprised when we realized how much trash we accumulate in a day, much less a week! The small trash cans that we bought for beneath our desks fill quicker than we had thought, and ain’t nobody got time to take out the trash multiple times a week, but nobody’s got the money to buy a large trashcan either (much less carry it home from target on the redline). So when my amazon order arrived in a box, we got creative. (Bonus, use plastic shopping bags as trash bags for your mini trash cans.)

2. There are some pieces of clothing that should not be put through the dryer. I learned this the hard way when I washed my brand new and oh so comfy oversized sweater, which came out as a teeny, tiny cardigan. Since then, not only have I begun to be conscious of what I toss in the dryer, but my roomies and I put our heads together and ditched the work order, keeping our extra bed ends that we acquired from lofting our beds. With a little duct tape we created a makeshift drying rack for our most delicate pieces of clothing… and then some.  

3. You can only eat so much chicken teriyaki and pizza before you begin to feel like a swollen walrus. It is inevitable, no matter how broke you are, you are still going to go out to eat. So in order to make your funds decrease at the smallest rate possible, order from the kids menu. It’s cheaper and usually has enough food to fill you, plus you may get a toy.

In addition some restaurants run specials, make sure to keep an eye out for those. For example, everything is 50% off at Papa Johns the day after the Soxs score 5 points or more!

Papa John’s also has a 30% DePaul student discount!

The promo code is DEPAUL30The Dunkin Donuts off the Fullerton exit of the L takes 10% off for DePaul Students and Staff

Jam & Honey has weekday specials (can only pay in cash though) & Hero Coffee Bar 10% off w/ ID (loop campus)

Other non area specific restaurants are:

Chipotle free drink w/ ID

Burger King 15% off w/ID

Subway 10% off (some locations)

Pizza Hut 10-20% off (some locations)

4 Piggybacking off of that idea, it’s impossible not to go shopping, especially when Michigan Avenue is only a train away. There are many stores that have student discounts, just whip out your school ID and ask if they have any. Below are some of the retail stores that I know of that give discounts:

H&M 15% w/ID

Also keep an eye out for free royalty cards, which can really make a difference at stores like Walgreens and CVS. (in fact you can’t get their sales unless you have one)

Get the target Cartwheel app and scan all of your items before you head to the checkout! It checks for exclusive specials/coupons that you can get only with the app.

5. Just in case the ten dollar lamp you bought while dorm shopping comes bent, or you need to make sure that your book shelves stay together as a make-do TV stand, always keep a roll of duct tape on hand. This way you won’t have to shed extra cash to replace what you have already bought (Duct tapes saves lives)

6.Unlike one of my roommates, I can’t drink coffee black though I still need my caffeine fix for my eight a.m. class. Therefore creamer is my best friend, though as the penny pincher I have become I’m not about to buy a container of it. (not to mention that there is no room for it in my fridge) So when I stop by The Stu to pick up my daily skillet or stop at The Bean on my way home from The Ray, I grab a handful of creamer packets (plus some hot sauce for my other roomie and napkins). Sometimes I even grab a little extra food from the stu to take home, so I can eat it later and make use of my meal plan!

Use any of these ideas or have your own? Share them with us via instagram or twitter with the hashtag #BrokeStudentAtDePaul and tag us in it @HC_DPU!