I’ve been meaning to make a post for first-year university students living away from home for the first time, but life sometimes interrupts your plans and everything gets pushed back. Anyway, I’ve decided to make this into a series because I find that it would just be more effective that way. There’s no point of bombarding these young-er students with a bunch of information and not thoroughly explaining it. I’ve already posted a list of essential items that a student starter kitchen should have earlier and so this post and the next few posts will succeed that. Please do just scroll down to see the list I will be referencing from 🙂
Alright, so I’ve given a list, now where are you going to buy these things without spending more than you want to? There are the obvious choices like Walmart; Bed, Bath and Beyond; Home Sense; Winners; Marshalls or Kitchen Plus. By all means these are good options. I don’y really have a preference of which store I go to because honestly, being a university student in my FOURTH-year, I’m more concerned about how much the damage would be to my wallet once I’ve arrived at the register. So, what to do? FLYERS and DISCOUNT COUPONS!
I know for a fact that Kitchen Plus sends out discount coupons and their new deals on the daily or weekly throughout the year (link for the sign-up just copy and paste the link: http://www.kitchenstuffplus.com/ExclusiveEmails.aspx). They have awesome $5 deals where you can get some kitchen supplies or bath decor/storage and even some outdoor cooking utensils for $5! You can sign up online for their online discount coupons (for in-store and online) to get these deals for FREE! Because they specialize in selling kitchen and some bathroom products, they have good quality brands. Along with the daily/weekly discount coupons, some items on sale featured in their flyers are also attached to the email, so it’s like hitting two birds with one stone.
What about flyers? First and foremost, if you don’t get physical copies you can always look them up online but make sure that you’re looking at the right AREA and DATE. Most stores nowadays also do price match guarantees so looking through these flyers is worth the time. I suggest to look through them once a week to which items are on sale and start to build your menu and shopping list. My next post will include a list of staple ingredients that you should have in your pantry or fridge. Meanwhile, why did I say menu? Well, how many times can you eat the same can of beans/tuna in a week?! Planning what you will cook for the following week or two weeks eliminates having to think about what you’re going to eat when you need to eat. Plus, you could also save money by not buying items you won’t end up eating anyway. I remember my roommate buying excessive amounts of cans of beans because they were on sale and of course she was thinking that she would finish them all by the end of the school year. She did not. Yeah, they’re not going to spoil but you could have spent your money elsewhere…like those pair of shoes or purse.
How do you develop a menu? What if you don’t end up wanting to cook what you bought? I admit, obviously we change our minds about these things and inevitably we do get cravings. So what could be a possible resolution? You have a few options: buy something else; eat out; stick with your plan anyway or work with what you have but considering what you crave. I prefer to do the last option but obviously that’s up to you guys. Key words to that option: versatile and imagination. No, that doesn’t mean you’ll imagine a different cut of meat as fillet mignon or a succulent piece of steak. What I mean is having an idea of how you can utilize the same ingredients in a different way. This is where the second word comes along. When you’re buying food, yes some of them may seem like they have a single purpose, but you what I am trying to promote is extracting the flavours from different ingredients and letting yourself recognize that maybe you can spread hummus in a sandwich if you don’t have mayo?! Hummus has less fat and tons of flavour, so why not?! Anyway, I’ll post a list staples shopping list tomorrow evening with some explanations about what to look for when you’re shopping for your items (i.e. how to pick tomatoes or bread, etc.)
- Student Discount Cheat Sheet (fatwallet.com)
- Three Tips for Frugal College Living (frugaldad.com)
- #Back2School: Students have to eat sometime! (fashionofgoodwill.org)
- Time Your Back-to-School Shopping for Maximum Savings (dailyfinance.com)
- College Kitchen Survival Check List (westernequipmentsales.com)
- Summers Final Sales Bring Big Savings with a Week of Labor Day Deals (seaofinfo.com)