Column: 13 tips for maximum penny-pinching at Mizzou

You don’t have to subsist on ramen to meet your budget in college...cold cereal also works.

Now that we’ve all gotten over the initial first few weeks’ excitement and seen our tuition bills, college doesn’t seem as fun anymore. But, as they say, education is invaluable. Everything else that comes with college life, on the other hand, requires cash. Cash that I don’t have. So I figured we could all use some helpful tips to save money at MU.

1. Start by dropping any classes that require a textbook. Textbooks are expensive. There is no reason why you should buy them if you don’t have to.

2. If you are not able to commit to step one, make friends with your classmates. Borrow their books during group study sessions instead of buying your own. If they protest, offer to repay them in smiles. Like education, friendship is invaluable.

3. If both steps one and two have proved a challenge for you, sit behind someone in class and read their textbook over their shoulder. This will also test your memory skills and help with the learning process.

4. Be sure to always cut through the Student Center. Take any free items offered by organizations, be they snacks, merchandise or even the rare energy drink in exchange for simply giving them your email address.

5. Replace the classes you dropped in order to save cash on textbooks with 8 a.m. classes, in order to get first dibs on the booths in the Student Center. Be sure to swing by again after class, and see if you can get second helpings!

6. Sell your blood and/or plasma. Check the Internet for sources. I am merely human and do not have time to find out where you can do this. Grow some independence and do it yourself. Like frugality, it’s a part of adulthood.

7. Sell your eggs or sperm. With all the radiation coming from basically everything these days, people are having trouble making babies. And because you clearly can’t afford to have one right now, you don’t need reproductive cells. They are tiny diamonds waiting inside of you to be sold for sweet, sweet cash.

8. Sexually active, but still want to be safe? Hit up the Student Health Center for free condoms. And because hair care products are expensive too, use the extra lube provided for hair gel. Condoms also make great party favors and can be used to make an entire zoo’s worth of balloon animals.

9. Avoid Memorial Union at all costs. There is a Starbucks. You will go there. You will pay an extra 60 cents for soy milk because you’re lactose intolerant. You will enjoy it. But you most certainly will regret spending $6 on a drink.

10. Avoid The Mizzou Store, especially on Black and Gold Fridays. You will be tempted to take advantage of the great deals and score some sweet swag. However, you already have plenty of Mizzou gear earned in steps four and five.

11. Hoard sugar packets, condiments, salad toppings and other prepackaged food items found at the dining halls for those late-night munchies after a study session. Nothing hits the spot like a tub of room-temperature marinara left over from Rollins Late Night.

12. For students living off-campus, utilities can take hold of a large chunk of your income. Save on the water bill by only showering at the Student Recreation Center. For an added bonus, people will assume that you are athletic and fit when they see you going to the gym every day and leaving sopping wet.

13. Buy two large pizzas at the beginning of the week. This should run you about $20. Store the pizzas in your fridge and have a few slices for dinner every night and cereal for breakfast and lunch.

Disclaimer: Neither I nor The Maneater condone stealing, lying or anything else illegal that may save you money. Please don’t actually eat only pizza and cereal. While they are delicious and cheap, they do not provide a balanced diet.

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