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

5 Apps Every College Student Needs to Have


Throughout my past couple of months in college I have used a lot of apps to help me during the semester. I’ve come to the conclusion that there are 5 important apps that every student at Conestoga should have on their smartphone.

The first one is:

  1. Twitter

Twitter is definitely an app that I suggest every College student should have. Conestoga has great twitter accounts that update you on what’s going on around school, potential opportunities and events. More specifically the Twitter handles I find the most useful are: @ThinkConestoga @ConestogaC and @CStudentsInc. I also use Twitter to connect with people in my class, send tweets directly to them, use it as a reference and for my own personal entertainment. You can follow non-school related accounts as well, such as your favourite celebrities, handles that tweet things about your interests, funny gif accounts etc. Overall Twitter is a great app.

  1. Apple Music /Spotify

If you’re looking for unlimited music of any kind I strongly suggest investing in an Apple Music or Spotify. Both apps are essential for those who like to listen to music and study. They are also well priced because we get student discounts! Instead of $10/month we can get it for $5/month. On Apple Music and Spotify you can download any genre of music that you’d like to listen to. If you don’t know what you’d like to listen to but are in some type of mood; both apps give you playlists with songs specifically for your mood. So, if you’re feeling happy, you can go through the “happy” playlist and listen to songs that match your mood.

  1. Facebook

Trust me, I know what you’re thinking… Who uses Facebook anymore? It may not be someone’s number one app to go onto but I have found it to be very useful during college. I use Facebook for a variety of things. I specifically use Facebook as a way to connect with people in my program. We have our own BPR Facebook group that allows each of us to get in contact with one another. I also have used Facebook to join the Conestoga ‘just accepted’ page so that I can see updates and important events posted on there. When it was the beginning of the semester and I didn’t want to pay a lot of money for books I joined a Conestoga’s used book page and bought a couple textbooks from upper year students to save money. Facebook is one of my go-to apps and definitely one I recommend to any college student.

  1. GasBuddy

Let’s talk about gas… Gas is getting so expensive I can hardly afford it. I have a Costco membership but I don’t always have the time to take a trip to their gas station. Trying to find good deals is hard because you never know which gas station is cheaper. I use the app GasBuddy to help me find the best deals on gas. It automatically tracks your location and tells you the best prices for gas that are closest to you. You can also report prices and write reviews on gas stations to earn points for the app. Once you’ve earned enough points you’re able to enter yourself in draws to win $100 in gas! After finding out about GasBuddy I never get ripped off on gas prices.

  1. Tim Hortons

Keeping this short and sweet. The Tim Hortons mobile app is something you need in your life if you go to Conestoga. This app allows you to order your food and drinks wherever, whenever, as long as you have loaded money onto it. No more having to wait in 20-30 minute lines before class. You can basically skip the line using the mobile order, and that is super essential, especially if it’s a morning class.

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

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!