Cancun and Miami out of the question for spring break this year? Don’t mope around! (Events never unfold quite like they do in those college movies anyway.)
Before you know it, college will be over and vacation time will be written into a stone-cold contract. So, be sure to have fun with any break you get—even if you don’t have a lot of money to spend. Check out four affordable ways I enjoy time off in my own city.
Pretty much everything is cheaper in bulk. Unfortunately, when you buy produce in bulk, it often goes bad before you eat it all.
I frequently buy large amounts of fresh food that’s supposed to keep well—like apples, potatoes, and onions. But, inevitably, I find a few rotten surprises a month or so later.
Lately, I’ve been making a conscious effort to avoid food waste. And thanks to intensive Internet research, I’ve learned ways to help avoid moldy strawberries, wilted lettuce, shriveled onions, and the spoiling of these other common produce items.
One of my best tricks for cutting down on meal costs is to go meat-free. For me, this is easy, because I was raised on a vegetarian diet. (My parents were young and didn’t have much cash, which my dad says is one reason he stopped eating meat.)
However, I know a lot of people cringe at eating vegetarian, thinking it won’t fill them up or taste good. So, I’ve come up with four protein-packed meat alternatives and ideas for what to do with them. These foods not only are inexpensive, but they’re also delicious.
You’ve gotten a job, moved out of your parents’ house, and you’re steadily chipping away at those student loans. Now what?
Beth Napper graduated from college in 1999 and wanted to figure out how to manage her own money, which naturally turned into a career as a financial adviser, helping others understand how to manage theirs. Here, she tells our own Aaron Weber about the importance of savings, as well as debt’s impact on it.
I graduated with $21,000 of student loan debt—but that number is not even close to how much my postsecondary education cost.
If you add up the tuition, fees, and textbooks for my bachelor’s degree and MBA, you’d come up with an amount closer to $100,000. I could have graduated owing that much in student loans. In fact, if I had done a few things differently, I definitely would have owed that much.
Ramen is the epitome of broke food. And while that’s great if you’re pinching pennies, it’s less good for you in a couple other ways. First, ramen isn’t the most nutritious choice (surprise!). Second, eating ramen over and over gets boring—which could lead to a budget-busting takeout night.
Fortunately, it’s easy to spruce up your noodles. Here are three of my favorite cheap recipes for adding protein (to fill me up nutritiously) and flavor (besides the salty MSG-filled seasoning packet) to my ramen.
It’s almost payday, everyone!
If you’re like me, you’re a little lazy and a lot forgetful, so you set your bills to be automatically withdrawn from your checking account. And, if you are like me, by the time rent, utilities, car payments, and student loans make their rounds, you’re practically back to square one.
I’m ashamed to say, but I haven’t been a great frugal foodie lately.
When it comes to budgeting, being an employed young professional can be more challenging than being a broke student/recent grad. That’s because saving money becomes a self-control issue, rather than a necessity.
As a goal for 2014, I want to put more money money in my bank account, not my belly, by being a better meal planner. If you want to do the same, check out my ideas for making this happen.