Easy Ways to Save the Dollar Bills

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College is all about freedom and splurging on things that you could never splurge on under your parents’ watchful eyes. But freedom usually always comes at a price. That price today is, literally, price! In today’s economy we have to reconsider everything we buy. Yup, sorry ladies! No more expensive boutiques or exclusive restaurants, it’s all about McDonalds and shopping at Ross and Target, ok, maybe not that extreme, but that may be the only option in the future.

There’s always a debate going on in my head concerning how I’m going to economize. On one hand I want to promote sustainability, but some of these sustainable products are just a little too darned expensive! But mostly, this economic crisis has brought about quite a few positive changes in my life.

I am one of those girls who loves to drive around the city, wind blowing in my hair and all that stuff, but ever since gas prices went up a few months ago, I turned my car in to my aunt and uncle in San Jose. Since then, I’ve started using our bus systems to make my way around the city. I had no idea they were so efficient! It’s easier using the public transport system than taking my car around everywhere, and it’s so much lighter on my wallet! I’m already paying a fee for MUNI so it would make sense taking the bus everywhere. I spend ten times more money on gas and parking when the bus gets me wherever I need to get at practically no charge, and I get there quicker, with my sanity intact (you know, not pulling at my hairs trying to find a parking spot).

San Francisco is a very diverse city, and I love experiencing different cultures. I accomplish this by eating out at different restaurants; Indian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Ethiopian, Italian, Mexican, Spanish-you name it, I’ve probably had it! And now, thanks to our crisis, when I think deep, I realize that I need to start cooking! I’ve eaten out so much I’ve barely used the kitchen in my home. So to help my situation, I started shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables (I bought local items, to go with the whole sustainability issue). Grocery shopping usually costs me $40 for about two weeks, that’s basically two or three meals at a restaurant!

There is a lot that can be done to conserve money given the state of our current economy. I just altered a few things in my daily routine and have saved hundreds of dollars this semester. You can too, just use the bus and cook!

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