Ways to Save Money in College

As a college student, saving money can be hard. We’ve compiled a list to help you save your hard-earned money. Believe it or not, we live by these tips too. What better way to provide advice than with some methods we’ve already tested ourselves! We hope you’ll be able to use some of these methods during your years in college and into the future. 

Textbooks

One of the first dilemmas you’ll face as a college students is having to buy expensive books for your classes. Let’s face it, you won’t even read half of the chapters in your class for some of them. Instead of buying new books, we recommend that you rent your books!

We’ve noticed some students purchase expensive books in hopes to sell them later on for an equal or higher price they bought them for. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Bookstore can’t always guarantee that they’ll buy your books back for the price that you’re hoping, or if they will be buying them back at all later on as their need for books fluctuates every semester. You’ll actually be saving yourself SO much money by renting!

At Textbook Solutions, we aim to keep our book prices lower than your on-campus bookstore and rent out books up to 90% off their new price.

Fitness

You should also look into what is included in your tuition: take advantage of the amenities that your university offers! If you’re looking to keep in shape while in college and are looking for a gym, don’t spend your money on a membership. Most universities have a gym for their students. All you’ll need to show at the door is your student ID. You can get fit and stay active without spending more money!

FOOD

On a similar note, we know that some classes can be super time consuming when it comes to homework and assignments, which may limit your meal times. Don’t let that pressure you into eating out every day. Many universities offer meal plans included in the tuition that will give you access to the cafeterias and on-campus restaurants. It’s already included, so you’re not spending more money by eating out!

One healthy, money-saving tip for eating and drinking is to always carry a reusable water bottle with you. It’ll not only help you in staying hydrated but also save you money. If not eating on campus, you should also consider the time of day that you go out to buy your next meal. We highly suggest visiting your favorite place during Happy Hour! Restaurants are more likely to be having special offers during that time.

Resources

In addition, most universities have a computer lab that allows you to print all the documents you need for free. Instead of having to purchase a printer, paper, and ink, all you’ll really need is your USB or Google Drive information and your school ID. You won’t have to worry about not having enough ink or paper!

Of course you’ll need a means of transportation to and from the computer on campus. While having a car can be useful, you can also look into taking the shuttle. If you live in university housing they most likely have shuttles all around – and the best part is, you don’t have to pay for gas! The shuttles on campus are designed to help the students get from their dorm to classes on time. We suggest scoping out the shuttle stops and checking out their itinerary.

Student discounts

People always say you should always carry your ID, and we couldn’t agree more. When you go out, never forget to ask if they have any active student discounts. If you’re in need of electronics/entertainment, Apple, Sprint, AT&T, Office 365, Best Buy, Dell, Spotify among others offer discounts for students! Restaurants like Dairy Queen, Buffalo Wild Wings, Waffle House, and Burger King can help you save 10% on your next meal. Don’t be afraid to ask if a place has any student discounts!

Budgeting

If you’re just not sure if you can keep track of your expenses by yourself, don’t worry! There are actually various budgeting apps designed to guide you. They’ll not only tell you how you’ve been spending your hard earned money, but how much you’ve been spending in transportation, shopping, dining, etc. Here are some budgeting apps you can use for free: Mint, Wally & EveryDollar. They can also help you in alerting you when your next bill is in addition to creating monthly budgets so you can stay within your ideal budget and save some moolah!

We know how hard it can be to save money while in college. At Textbook Solutions we aim to help you Save More Green. We hope that with these tips you’ll be able to do just that!

Texas A&M Football Calendar Wallpaper

Happy Monday! As the new college semester approaches, that means we are that much closer to college football! Our very first Textbook Solutions location was founded in College Station, TX – the heart of Aggieland and Fightin’ Texas Aggie football! We love our school here and to show our Aggie pride, we have created a desktop and cell phone wallpaper with the A&M football schedule. The beautiful photograph for this was taken by Rebecca Griffith Photography, and her website can be reached here.

Click on the image above to save and download the Desktop Wallpaper.
Click on the image above to save and download the Cell Phone Wallpaper.

Sweet and Savory Restaurant Birthday Rewards

Birthdays are great for celebrating with friends and family or simply just having a beautiful day off where you can relax on your own.  It’s the day where you get to be happy for another wonderful year of new experiences and new memories. So why not make the day a little sweeter? There are a couple restaurants you can go to for delicious birthday rewards both, sweet, savory, and everyone’s favorite word – free! So why not treat yourself on your special day at some these familiar places!

Starbucks

Most of the time everyone needs some coffee to start their day, and at Starbucks, you can get a free cup of coffee on your birthday. Simply sign up here and become a member of the Starbucks Rewards program, and you will receive a coupon close to your birthday for a free drink. You can order your regular coffee, a latte, Frappuccino, whatever you’re craving! It’ll give you the boost you need for a day of different activities during your birthday.

Denny’s

Known for their breakfast, you can have a tasty Build Your Own Grand Slam deal at Denny’s on your birthday. All you must do is sign up for their rewards program with a valid email address, and they will send you a coupon to use at any Denny’s. You can have fluffy pancakes, crispy bacon, and eggs made any way you like.

IHOP

If Denny’s isn’t your favorite, you can also get a stack of sweet pancakes at IHOP because one of the best kind of cakes to get on your special day is pancakes. Once you sign up for their rewards program with an email address, you will get a coupon on your birthday for free Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘N Fruity® Pancakes. You can get peaches, strawberries, or raspberries on your pancakes topped with some whipped cream!

Moe’s Southwest Grill

After eating a sweet breakfast, you are probably going to want something savory of lunch so why not head on over to Moe’s Southwest Grill. If you download their app or sign up for their rewards with an email address, you can get a coupon for a free burrito. You can build it any way you want with your favorite beans, rice, and choice of protein. Also, once you sign up for the rewards, you will get a free cup of their famous queso, which will go great with your free tortilla chips that come with almost every meal.

Chipotle

Of course, a lot of people like to go to Chipotle when they are in the mood for some southwest food. You’ll be pleased to know that you can get a birthday meal here as well. You can get a free burrito once you sign up for their rewards program through their app or with a valid email address. Get some Pico de Gallo in your burrito for some extra deliciousness!

Golden Corral

Maybe you want lots of options for breakfast, lunch, or dinner on your special day. If you sign up for the Golden Corral Good as Gold Club with an email address and your birthday you will receive a coupon to use at any Golden Corral. The coupon will let you have an all-you-can-eat meal at any time of the day. You can even get a little dessert if you still have room for it!

Chili’s

You might want some dinner at Chili’s instead. Once you are finished with your feast of their famous baby back ribs (or anything else from their menu of variety), you can get a free dessert on your birthday. Just sign up for their rewards program and fill out some information!

Dairy Queen

Ice cream is good and even better when you can have it on your birthday. If you sign up for Dairy Queen’s Birthday club rewards, you can get a coupon for a free Blizzard or Royal Blizzard. The cool thing about this coupon is that depending on when you receive it you can use it 7 days before your birthday, on your actual birthday, or 7 days after your birthday. So, you are free to get some ice cream to celebrate or keep for the next week and get some ice cream later.

Steak ‘n Shake

Maybe you want a dessert you can just grab and go since you have places to be on your birthday. You can get a special birthday milkshake from Steak ‘n Shake if you sign up for the Steak ‘n Shake eClub. They’ll send you a coupon close to your birthday so that you can get your shake of any flavor.

Smoothie King

For your birthday you might want something fresh instead of constant sweets. Something that has fruits or vegetables for a healthy alternative to your new year of being a brand new you. You can head over to Smoothie King for a free birthday smoothie! You must download their Smoothie King Healthy Rewards app and fill out some information. It’s nice to be able to take a break with something refreshing like a smoothie.

No matter how you celebrate your birthday, we hope you can enjoy some of these cool rewards. Have a stellar birthday and keep being the awesome person you were born to be!

Summer Wind Down: Last Minute Vacations

It’s the end of July…can you believe it?? 2 months have gone by and you feel like you’ve done nothing all summer! There’s still time to book that last minute vacation that will lift your spirits and won’t leave you feeling bummed out. Here are 4 cheap, last minute vacation ideas!

Hiking and Camping

What better way to spend your last weeks of freedom than by enjoying beautiful nature? You can find some amazing sites near the mountains, water, or wooded areas – whatever fits your style! There are so many camping grounds and hiking trails that you can find for incredibly cheap prices for a couple of nights.

Not sure what to bring on a camping trip? REI has a great camping checklist you can use here! Make sure you check out what activities there are to do at your local campgrounds, such as hiking trails, kayaking or canoeing, or even rock climbing. Besides these fun options, you can bring your own entertainment! Outdoor games such as cornhole, frisbee, and other sports are always a hit. Board games and cards are great for some time outside of technology. And don’t forget the s’mores!!

Home Rental Sites

If you want to get out of your own house for a few days, home rental booking sites are always a good option to experience a new place in a cost-effective, welcoming, home environment! There are quite a few companies that offer this service, such as Airbnb and Vrbo. Just figure out where you want to visit, and search Airbnb or Vrbo for great deals in that area.

If you have never used a place like Airbnb or Vrbo before, it is a service where homeowners put their properties up for others to rent for a few days on vacations or trips of any kind. They have wonderful accommodations and provide a cheap alternative to expensive hotels! There are plenty available in most places nowadays and many of them are less than $100 a night! If you have friends that can chip in, you can stay almost anywhere for dirt cheap!

Beach or Lake Trip

There are not many places more beautiful than a beach or lake at sunset. Before heading back to school in August, visiting the water may be the perfect way to escape and have fun. If you live near a beach or lake, it can make for the perfect day trip and hardly cost anything! If you don’t live close to a body of water, grab some friends and make a road trip weekend out of it.

Some exciting things to do out on the water include kayaking, canoeing, riding jet skis, or attempting to surf – if you’re brave enough! Most beach and lake locations have rental spots where you can rent various equipment for a couple of hours. Bring a volleyball and have some games in the sand, and a cooler for your drinks and snacks. You’re all set!

Theme Park

Theme parks may not be the most relaxing getaway, but they sure are exciting! A theme park doesn’t have to be a huge tourist spot like Disney World – see if there are local water parks, go-kart racing, or other attractions in your area! A theme park, whether large or small, will have tons of activities for you and your friends and family to participate in.

Whatever you decide to do, have fun and go soak up your last few weeks of summer!

Stuck Indoors? How to Get Around Without a Car

Not having a car can be stressful and limiting for some people. Cars are convenient in many respects. You can go anywhere you want, any time that you want to go. However, cars are essentially an expense as soon as they leave the dealership/lot. There are car payments, car insurance expenses, gas expenses, maintenance fees, and repair costs among other things that make owning a car a little less desirable. And besides, it is easy to get around without a car nowadays. Here are a few suggestions if you find yourself indoors with a destination in mind but without a vehicle of your own. 

using uber or lyft

In today’s society, transportation services apps such as Uber or Lyft have become popular. While these services can be expensive at times, they are effective in getting around from place to place!

Uber and Lyft technologies keep an extensive record of who your drivers are and the route that is being taken so you feel safe and secure with every ride you take. Uber and Lyft also come in handy when you need to be somewhere in a reasonable amount of time. The apps match the rider with a driver within minutes of ordering so you are not waiting around to get to where you need to be. 

walking

In addition to using Uber or Lyft to get around, using your legs to get to where you need to go works wonders for your transportation needs. Walking is a rather healthy option to consider when you want to travel but do not have a car, especially if your destination is not far away. If you do not mind getting a little sweat going, walking may be the best option for you. And if you are worried about getting sweaty, you could always bring a change of clothes with you on your trek.

Walking also gives you the ability to look around your surroundings and appreciate the scenery a little more. You may come across gems that you oftentimes pass by when you are in a vehicle. It also costs zero dollars and zero cents to walk from point A to point B so you can save a little money in the process.

public transportation

Taking the bus or the train to where you need to go is one way to get around town. Depending on where you live, this option might be beneficial for you. However, this may be confusing to those who may not utilize public transit on a regular basis. A couple of tips to effectively use public transportation would be to download your local public transit apps on your mobile device and to buy a bus pass. The public transit apps let you know the bus/train’s arrival and departure times and where exactly they stop. These apps are also updated in real time so you are never questioning where your means of transportation are at a given moment.

A bus pass is beneficial for people who use public transit because it ends up being cheaper than using Uber or Lyft services and significantly cheaper than owning a private vehicle.

carpool with a friend

Riding with a friend who has a car is yet another way to get around without one of your own. Interact with your friends and learn their schedules so you know who is available and who is not. Be sure to give your friend a few dollars for gas every now and then so your friends will continue to give you rides when you need them. Carpooling is also eco-friendly because there are less cars on the road polluting the environment. Be friendly to the Earth and be friendly to your friends!

The next time you think you are “stuck indoors”, think again. Use Uber technologies, ride the bus, get exercise by walking, or carpool with a generous friend. You may find that these alternatives may actually be better for you than owning a private vehicle in terms of overall cost, your health, and the environment. It is not the end of the world if you do not have a car so keep your head up, go out, and explore!