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Living on less in college and staying healthy

Your college years are a time in your life when you'll absolutely have to live on less. It's an exciting time, because perhaps for the first time you've had to handle your own finances. It can be tough, and many students will merely cut down on expenses by eating cheap, but unhealthy food. This is not the right way to live on less. Here are some tips to live on less when you are in college:
Participate in your campus community garden While it may not have been the case a dozen or so years ago, more college campuses offer community fruit and vegetable gardens. For students who help tend the garden, you can often take produce home for free. This is a great way for you to start cooking on your own. This way, you'll be saving on groceries and eating healthy! If your campus doesn't have a community garden, talk to administrators and professors and start one!
Embrace a minimalist d├ęcor in your dorm room If you've ever stepped into a Bed, Bath, and Beyond, you'll notice that many of its offerings are specifically marketed towards college students. The fact of the matter is that you won't need 99% of this junk. Setting up your dorm room, of course, is an exciting adventure, one that you'll coordinate with your roommate. But most dorm rooms are very small, so the more stuff you buy, the more cluttered your space will be. Skip out on all the extras and embrace a style that's classically minimalistic.
Take advantage of the tons of free stuff offered to students through your university You'd be surprised by how much free stuff different student organizations on a standard university campus offer. The trick is staying in touch. Read all those flyers posted on different buildings, which typically announce events offering free food and prizes.
Check out local thrift stores If you've developed a pretty bad shopping habit in high school, it can be hard to give it up. One thing you'll realize in college is that how you look on a day-to-day basis is not nearly as important as it was in high school. Nobody really cares what you're dressed like. If you like fashion for fashion's sake however, make thrift stores your new best friend. It's really quite amazing what treasures you can find if you only look.
Of course, there's nothing all that glamorous about a typical college student's lifestyle. But in this laid back atmosphere, it's almost easier to live on less, just because everyone else is. As soon as you learn to love living frugally, you'll see that your frugal college skills may just carry over into real life once you're out and in the working world. Good luck!
This guest post comes courtesy of Mariana Ashley, a freelance writer who offers online colleges advice and welcomes responses at


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