Affordable Places to Shop During College

Conestoga College - Jasmine Marinelli
Jasmine – 1st year Public Relations student at Conestoga College

College comes with lots of positives but it can become expensive. Especially when you have to start paying for books, car insurance, phone bills, tuition as well as basic necessities. However, there are a few stores I know, that have helped me save a lot of money during my first year at Conestoga.

Plato’s Closet I’m a clothes gal, I obsess over clothes and have a huge wardrobe that consists of clothes I hardly wear. That’s a “me” problem, but I’m sure a lot of you like fashion. Going to the mall can be super expensive. Instead of going to the mall now, I occasionally shop at Plato’s Closet.

Plato’s Closet is a barely used clothing store that consists of the styles that are most popular. You can buy brand name jeans, t-shirts, purses, shoes, jewelry, accessories and even perfume and makeup for 50%-70% off! The best thing about Plato’s Closet is that you can sell your clothes to them as well! Plato’s is super affordable and won’t burn a hole in your wallet… unless you let it.

Wal-Mart – Honestly, what store is more affordable than Wal-Mart? I bet you can’t really think of one, because I know I can’t. You can buy anything and everything at Wal-Mart. But I shop for specific things at Wal-Mart. Mostly beauty products, writing utensils, snacks and necessities for my room (hangers, laundry baskets, picture frames). Wal-Mart’s prices are unreal, and you get to price match as well.

Beauty products like makeup, soap, shampoo/conditioner and facial cleansers are far cheaper than if you were to go to other stores. There are sales that go on weekly that can save you a bunch of money. As for writing utensils and school necessities, I buy all of mine here. Pen’s, paper and binders are what I have recently purchased from Wal-Mart, and they did not break my bank account. So, I definitely suggest taking a look around Wal-Mart if you’re someone that enjoys deals.

Dollarama – Dollarama is the most affordable store on this list. A dollar for a pack of six pens… and yes, they do last longer than a few weeks. Just because things are a dollar, doesn’t mean they are terrible quality. I mean, they aren’t the best quality but they do the job well. I probably visit Dollarama once every two weeks. You can’t get more affordable than a dollar to two dollars for items.

At Dollarama normally I get hair elastics, white board markers (for my Conestoga calendar), snacks, containers to hold my makeup brushes, cards, sticky notes, dog treats… really anything! Dollarama has anything you want to buy there for clearly a super cheap price. What’s also pretty cool about Dollarama is that you see items that you don’t even see in a regular department store. If you’re working on a project, or presentation I definitely suggest going to Dollarama. They have all the project tools you might be looking for, as well as coloured cue cards – which I am obsessed with. So, I definitely suggest shopping there if you want to stay within your budget, and shop for affordable school necessities.

There are probably many other stores that are super affordable for students in college. However, these are just one’s that I catch myself at. Especially when my bank account is not where it should be, and I have crazy expenses that have to be paid. Take a look at these stores and tell me what YOU think!

By: Jasmine Marinelli

8 Student Survival Tips to Eating Well

CSI Shirt Photo
Chrissy – Event Management – 3rd Year student

Let’s be honest, eating well is one of the hardest things to do, especially as a student. Life is so busy that it feels overwhelming to also have to try and eat well. Here are some tips to help guide your eating habits into a healthier pattern.

  1. Try to always pack a lunch and snacks – this will help you to not eat the fast food on or around campus.
  2. Meal prep – this is seriously a life saver. Devote a day of the week to do all of your meal prep for the entire week, then you will not have to worry about lunches for the entire week!
  3. Pack fulfilling lunches and snacks – sandwiches, salads, granola bars, fruit, etc. Pack stuff you know you will eat, but are still healthy. Try not to pack any junk like chips, chocolate and candy.
  4. Eat breakfast – breakfast is the most important meal of the day and fuels your body for the rest of your day, so please do not skip it! A healthy, fast breakfast is oats or granola, berries and yogurt.
  5. Skip the coffee – instead of coffee, try making a tea in the morning. It will save you money and time because you can skip the Tim Horton’s line!
  6. Smoothies – smoothies are incredibly filling and nutritious. Try finding different recipes online and you could have a different one every morning!
  7. Farmer’s Market – try and buy your vegetables and fruits from the Farmer’s Market. You can often find great deals. There are lots of different options such as the St. Jacob’s Market, the Kitchener Market and the Uptown Market to name a few.
  8. Balance – it is completely fine to treat yourself every once in a while, but just realize that every once in a while should not be every day, even though I know that is what I want to do most times!

 

How to Save Money during College

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How to save money during college – Chrissy (3rd year Event Management)

Saving money is probably one of the hardest things to do, especially during college. Luckily, I have found some tips and tricks to make saving money easier.

  1. Textbooks – One easy way to save money is to not buy new textbooks. Textbooks are surprisingly expensive, but there are some things you can do to get them cheaper. One option would be to buy them used from the bookstore. Textbooks are also sold used on Kijiji and Facebook Buy and Sell groups. If you do end up buying textbooks brand new, the bookstore offers to buy back textbooks for up to 50% of the retail purchase price. Watch out for posters around the campuses stating when the buyback periods are.
  2. Eating out – During college, it is very hard to find time to cook homemade meals and takeout becomes a much faster option. If you did not know, you can actually load money onto your OneCard and use it as payment at the different restaurants in Conestoga and some select off campus locations. Not only that, but you also receive 5% off any non-branded item at Chartwells locations, Pita Pit, Pizza Pizza & The Venue during the Fall 2017 semester.
  3. CSI Health and Dental Plan – A lot of students do not realize that a health and dental plan is automatically included in their tuition. If you are already covered under another insurance, you can actually drop out of that plan and get your money back. That is a whole $286 for the full year return!
  4. Awards, grants, scholarships and bursaries – Conestoga offers so many awards that can help greatly with the price of tuition. A lot of the time, if you qualify for an award, you will need to write out an essay. Although this sounds like it might take a lot of time, it is worth it to take that time out of your day if you end up receiving the award. Check under the financial tab on Student Portal and Conestoga Student Inc.’s website under scholarships for all of the opportunities.

Hopefully some of these tips can help you save up money during your years at college as I know they have come in handy for me! The smarter you become about saving your money and finding some deals, the easier it will be to navigate college!

-Chrissy