Shopping for a Full Stomach and Full Wallet

College diet: ramen and a granola bar. Not exactly ideal brain food for the flourishing mind. There is hope though! It may take some time, but there are delicious options in your future.

With the exception of rent food is one of the biggest ticket item on the budget sheet (For help on creating one of those go to our Sensible Budgeting article). The majority of people waste a lot of money buying things from the freezer aisle or dining out everyday. There is one secret that can help limit your spending while filling your stomach. Learning how to cook!

Annnnnd about 50% of you just closed the tab. For those readers who haven’t ran, hear us out. Cooking is scary if you don’t know what you are doing and dishes are just as terrifying, but this one skill can save you a lot of money. There are only two categories of food you need to learn how to cook and you can survive off of essentially very little money. Breakfast and Stews are your big ticket items. Breakfast is cheap and it jump starts your brain, while stews are filling and can be produced in bulk for cheap.

Breakfast items like eggs and potatoes are relatively cheap. If you decide to splurge and add some bell pepper, onions and garlic to make a scramble or an omelette, it costs maybe 30 cents more per person. Just the items listed wrapped in a tortilla would cost less than 2 dollars for the entire meal. Now when you started adding in bacon and sausage, the price goes up to about 3 and change. If you use some bulk purchased kilbasa instead, you are still under 3 bucks. Now that is a tasty meal for cheap that only takes 20 min to cook.

Stews can range from the simple beef stew to the complex potato soup. Recipes are available at hundreds of different websites, so just pick one and go! The average cost will range from 8 bucks for the potato soup to 14 bucks for the beef stew, but these delicious creations can last days! We advise freezing them in small plastic containers, each container serving one person. That way you can always having one thawing in the fridge for the next day.  You can make a variety of different ones and always have a different stew thawing in the fridge, 20 bucks and you have 2 different dinners for a week. You might get bored of the same old thing, so learn as many different recipes as you can!

Lets not leave out the staple of any American diet, spaghetti. Like stew it can be produced in bulk and the sauce frozen. Thaw one out and boil some noodles which average 30 cents per person per meal.

In the beginning you may be stuck with only certain flavors and you will get bored of them, but eventually you will have a huge variety at your disposal and a lot of cash left in your pocket. The most frugal individuals can live on less than a hundred bucks a month in grocery bills, and your friends will love to come over. In fact getting them to leave can be a problem, especially if you read our next article on the World’s Greatest Potato Soup. Oh yeah, The Advice Guys also rule the kitchen.

Thanks for Reading!

If you have anything in particular you want advice on, email us at AskTheAdviceGuys@gmail.com

The Advice Guys are a collection of individuals from all walks of life. Their expertise ranges from Personal Finance, Nutrition, Fitness, Study Habits, Job Skills, Mental Well Being, Relationships, and Personal Communication Skills. 

 

Sensible Budgeting For College Years

“Welcome to adulthood! Here is a stack of bills and financial responsibilities you aren’t ready for.” If you are like most people, taking the plunge into the deep-end that we call independence was a bit of a shock. Whether you are rocking the solo life in a tiny apartment or are renting a house with a bunch of your friends, the whole experience can be a tad overwhelming.

Your first step, stop and breathe. Relax and take comfort in the knowledge that everyone else right there with you, and all you need to succeed is a little bit effort. Okay so now you are an adult, the first thing you need to do is figure out just how much money you have, and then figure out how much you are going to have to shell out each month.

We advise using an excel type document, because later you can have one of your nerdier friends create all kinds of custom charts and equations! And be nice to those nerdy friends, you are going to need them when your computer breaks or you can’t get an app to work on your phone. Plus they are like…cool…and stuff.

Now this is important, you have to take into account all the different transactions you are likely to make in a normal. The most common bills are rent, electricity, internet, water, natural gas, car payments, insurance, gas for the car, and groceries. Long list right? Well we aren’t done yet. For you bros who lift, protein shakes are expensive, include those. For you ladies who have a serious pumpkin spice addiction, your daily Starbucks bill should get its own category.

Now add all of those numbers up and subtract it from your income. That is what you have left for going out, grabbing a burger with friends, pencils, pens, fixing that thing on your car etc. If that number is low or negative, don’t panic. Just means we have to trim the fat so to speak.

Your bills wont change much, but you can have a couple less latte’s, a little less junk from the grocery store. Toy with the numbers a bit until you find a number you are comfortable with. There, now you have your budget!

That didn’t take terribly long and now you have some guideline on just how frugal you have to be in order to make it.

Keep an eye out for our next article:

Shopping for a Full Stomach and a Full Wallet

 

If you have anything in particular you want advice on, email us at AskTheAdviceGuys@gmail.com

The Advice Guys are a collection of individuals from all walks of life. Their expertise ranges from Personal Finance, Nutrition, Fitness, Study Habits, Job Skills, Mental Well Being, Relationships, and Personal Communication Skills.