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4 Ways To Still Enjoy Downtown Storrs On A Budget

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Conn chapter.

Since coming to college, I’ve realized how much the stereotype of “broke college student” is true. I’ve found myself trying to save money in any aspect of life that I can, while still trying to live the lifestyle I enjoy. Believe me, I am no stranger to buying myself little treats here and there, and I’m starting to think the Bookstore Starbucks employees recognize me — but I’ve learned some tricks to make these treats less detrimental to my bank account. I’m going to share with you four tips and tricks for making downtown Storrs more affordable!

Starbucks Refills

When I found out about this trick, it genuinely changed my life. Most Starbucks locations (including the one downtown) will provide refills of brewed coffee or tea for Starbucks reward members as long as the drink is consumed in-store. I’m not a coffee drinker, but I’ve engineered this hack to work for me. Personally, I love a good strawberry açaí lemonade refresher, and I’ve discovered that green tea with strawberry açaí base added and raspberry syrup tastes similar, if not better. Since the green tea is a brewed tea, it’s eligible for refills and usually, the barista just charges you an extra few cents for the strawberry açaí base. All you have to do is go up to the register, ask for a refill, and the barista will scan your app and make your refill. Every weekend I’ve made a habit of doing all my homework in the downtown Starbucks and getting a few refills while I work. It’s the perfect way to get a little treat and also feel like I’m getting the most out of my one drink purchased at the same time.

Bagel ZOne

Bagel Zone downtown has become my new addiction this semester. It’s right in the same plaza as D.P. Dough, and it is the perfect place to grab a Sunday morning bagel. The bagels are so good and the cream cheese tastes so creamy. I order the salt bagel with chive cream cheese and it’s my favorite snack downtown. Even though it’s not a hack, Bagel Zone has pretty reasonable prices. My order is almost always under ten dollars and the quality of the bagel is well worth the price. I’d definitely recommend checking out Bagel Zone as a cheaper alternative to some of the other downtown cafes.

Cafe Bagle Coffee Laptop
Michele Hu / Spoon
CHang’s Garden dumplings

This one isn’t really a hack but another cheaper food I’ve found downtown. Chang’s Garden is right in the same plaza as Starbucks downtown and has some of the best dumplings I’ve ever had. They’re only seven dollars and come with six dumplings that will keep you full for the rest of the day. It may not be a hack, but it’s hard to find any food downtown for under ten dollars! I’d definitely recommend giving the pork dumplings at Chang’s Garden a try next time you’re downtown. 

Price Chopper Rewards

I may be a little biased on this one since I work at Price Chopper, but the AdvantEdge reward card is a great way to save money at Price Chopper if you do a lot of your grocery shopping there. The rewards card is super easy to apply for and for every dollar spent you get one reward point and for every one hundred points you get a dollar of your purchase. In addition to the rewards, the card also gives you access to any sales going on in the store. The few extra dollars you can save with the AdvantEdge rewards card can really go a long way if you’re a Price Chopper shopper.

Budgeting in college isn’t easy, and it’s difficult to find options in downtown Storrs that don’t break the bank. I hope you give some of my suggestions a try and enjoy them as much as I do!

Kara is a second-year at the University of Connecticut majoring in Physiology and Neurobiology with a minor in Sociology. her hometown is Wells, Maine, and she loves going out to eat with friends, crocheting, and writing articles for her campus!