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Whether you are a University of South Florida freshman or graduate student, saving money on groceries is always essential for staying within budget. Staying on a budget allows you to concentrate on getting your education and avoid unnecessary stress about money.
As you attend USF, your free time may be limited, but you may save a lot of money each month by shopping around. Learn when your favorite stores have sales and buy store brand products when available. Publix usually has many products for BOGO (buy one get one free), which is great for things that you use a lot, and you may want to stock up on items during those sales. Aldi is located northwest of the University of South Florida campus and is a favorite for all who love getting the most groceries for the lowest prices.
Buying local is especially beneficial when purchasing food, including meats and produce. It helps support your local community, saves transportation costs which trickle down to saving you money in some cases. University of South Florida's Bull Market on the USF Tampa campus would be a good start to buying local. You may also want to check out LocalHarvest for other markets around the area.
BUY SOME ITEMS IN BULK
It may make sense to buy in bulk for some items such as paper towels, toilet paper, or your favorite rice. A membership to Sam's Club or Costco Wholesale may make sense for you if you plan to buy a lot in bulk. If you have roommates, you may want to put your money together on some items to share.
USE PICKUP SERVICES
During the pandemic, many started using the various pickup services and have continued to since then. Almost all of your favorite stores offer some type of service, whether you choose inside store or curbside pickup or home delivery through Instacart or Shipt. Although some of these services charge a little extra, in the long run, it may save you money by avoiding those impulse buys that we are all guilty of making. You can do your order from your apartment near USF or during a break between classes, then pick up or have it delivered at a time convenient for your schedule. This service allows you time to double-check your list for everything you need without the extras of shopping in-store.
MAKE A LIST
Similar to pick up services above, making a list and following the list helps you avoid the impulse buys of every grocery trip. Keep a notepad in your kitchen where you can write down things that you run out of as you notice them. This daily task helps you avoid forgetting anything by the time your grocery trip comes along. If an item isn't on your list, it doesn't make it in your cart. It keeps you organized and will save you money.
Trying to stay within a budget while also attending college can be stressful. We hope these tips help you save money on your grocery trips while living in your apartment near USF.