Tag Archives: saving money

5 Healthy Meals for College Students – Brought to You by BookRenter™ and ZocDoc

Filed under: College Life, Food, Health & Fitness, Money/Budget, Tips - BookRenter Team
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Eating well while you’re in school can be a challenge for a myriad of reasons: it’s expensive (I’m looking at you, Whole Foods, you temptress); there aren’t enough hours in the day for extensive prep time; and dorm rooms don’t usually have the necessary appliances to create that gourmet experience.

That’s why BookRenter partnered with ZocDoc to create five healthy, quick meals on the cheap to add variety and protein to your daily food consumption.

Each meal:
• Is less than 500 calories
• Costs under $3 per serving
• Takes 30 minutes or less to make
• Requires only a microwave

These quick and easy ideas are sure to satisfy your hunger pangs, wallet, and other limitations. So get to cooking!

healthy meals

5 Healthy Meals for the College Student – An infographic by the team at ZocDoc and Bookrenter

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Top 10 Savings Tips for Holiday Shopping

Filed under: Digital Interns, Money/Budget, Tips - BookRenter Team
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In the blink of an eye, the Fall semester has zoomed by! The only problem is that end-of-term papers, final exams, AND the holidays are now all jumbled into the month of December! The last thing we need to stress about during finals week is being broke after our holiday shopping. Here are my top 10 tips on saving this holiday season, so you’ll have one thing less to worry about.

1. Sign up for Email Newsletters: Most brands like H&M, CVS and Hollister Co. send out awesome savings to those on their email list. Some even send out savings every week so it pays off to sing up!

2. Check the Web for Savings: Websites like Retailmenot.com are awesome places to browse through savings. Just type in the store you’re going to shop at and they provide you with ALL of the coupons and savings available for that store at that time! It’s an amazing resource and a necessity during gift-shopping!

3. Show your Student ID: A lot of stores give a discount to students who can show a valid Student ID. These stores include Club Monaco, Apple, J Crew, and many more. So when doing your holiday shopping, make sure to ask if they give a student discount and always have your ID handy.

4. Join Rewards Programs: You know when you’re checking out at a store and the sales person asks you if you’d like to join that store’s rewards program to receive savings? SAY YES! Having a rewards card can mean A LOT of savings for you! Plus, it’s free! Godiva, American Eagle Outfitters and Best Buy offer great rewards programs that can really help you out for the holidays.

5. Follow Brands on Facebook: Stores like Bath & Body Works often post up offers on Facebook that are only redeemable through Facebook. Whether it be for a free product or a discount to their store, it’s worth it to “Like” the brands you love. BookRenter offers free gift cards and coupons during promotions and contests, so check back to our Facebook page next month!

6. Make Your Own Gifts: Who said that you need to buy gifts? A great personal gift can be a box of homemade holiday cookies. This will save you a lot of money and also is very sweet around the holidays.

7. Claim Your Credit Card Rewards: Most credit card companies offer a rewards system based off of points. Check your point status and you might realize you’re due for a reward.

8. Earn FREE Gift Cards Online: A GREAT way to save your money during the Holiday Season is to earn free gift cards online! Just follow my tips on how to do so in this video I have previously created and you might not have to even touch your savings this year!

BookRenter- Making Money Online

9. Don’t Be an Impulsive Buyer: If you walk into a store and immediately buy a product without any considerations, you might be losing big bucks. Which brings me to my last tip….

10. Compare Prices!: Make a list of all of the items you wish to buy for the Holidays and then look around. Check out a few different stores, see how much the item costs on Amazon. Don’t purchase something in the very first store you see it in. Compare prices in a few different places and go for the one that saves you the most!

So heed my advice and this Holiday season you can be stress-free!

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5 Years. $200,000,000 Saved.

Filed under: Company Updates - Social Community Manager
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That’s right, it’s our birthday!

Five years ago, a 28-year-old guy named Colin Barceloux took the rather disruptive idea that he’d come up with as a student mailman at Santa Clara University and launched the very first online textbook rental site. He picked the exceptionally straightforward name of BookRenter, bought the URL, and brought Tikiman here on board to be his mascot and ever-present student advocate. Not one to pass up a golden opportunity to save a buck…or $1,000, students started renting their textbooks in droves.

The next four years flew by, and while it’s been a whirlwind, we never lost our focus on the relentless pursuit of helping students save money so they can better afford college. Just last month, we were thrilled to announce that in the five years since Colin started BookRenter, we have saved students a whopping $200,000,000.

We want to take this opportunity to THANK YOU for renting with us as we quickly re-cap these first five years.

BookRenter 5 years

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How to Save as a Poor College Student

Filed under: College Life, Money/Budget - Social Community Manager
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Every college freshman experiences financial issues. Going to college for the first time can feel like being on cloud nine. You’re floating along, going to parties, going out to eat, spending all the money you saved from the summer before or all the money Mom and Dad sent you off with, when suddenly – the money and the cloud are gone and you’re left sinking into a finance issue, with a bank account sinking as well.

Don’t be ashamed. It happens to almost all of us incoming college students, so here are a few helpful tips to keep you on that financial cloud nine.

Find a job.

This may sound obvious to those who worked during high school, but for those who did not need to, this may seem like a last resort. You will make money and new friends with your co-workers, gain good real world experience, and create new opportunities for yourself.  Look for places where you have the possibility to move up, or that have benefits for college students.  I currently work for a grocery chain in the Midwest known as Hy-Vee. Hy-Vee offers a 401K plan for everyone ages 19 and over.  This is the kind of benefit I am talking about.

Find the right bank.

Look at the banking options you have around you. Check out the savings account and checking account options. Which one has the highest interest rate? Do any of them offer start up or joining benefits? I highly recommend starting out with a checking account. Once you’ve accumulated around $500, start a savings account, which usually have to be started with a $100 deposit. Start a monthly automatic transfer of a small sum from your checking into your savings.  This way, you’ll be automatically saving money and not even thinking about it.

Create a budget.

This may seem like the solution to all your problems. “Oh I’ll just start a budget and stick with it. No problem.” It is actually a lot harder than it seems. First, take a look at the things in your life that are costing you money: driving, eating out, groceries, going out with friends, rent, utilities, etc. Then, take a look at how many hours you work during a week. This may seem overwhelming, but once you know where all your money is going, where you can cut back, and where you can afford to give more, you will feel much more confident in your financial situation.  Make a list of all things you cannot live without, and then plan out how much you can put towards these items each week.  Remember; do not plan on spending all your paycheck on these things every week. You will want to have a little “random” fund set aside in case of emergencies or something comes up.  If you’re planning on creating the savings account with the automatic transfer of money, do not forget to budget that in either.

 Take advantage of your options.

If you attend school in a big town, like I am in Iowa City, take advantage of the buses. Many times, the university’s bus system will be free, which could save your gas money for the week.

Look for coupons online and at the nearby grocery store. I am not recommending becoming an extreme couponer, just think about what you’re buying and where you can afford to save.

Find the free shows downtown or go to the park and play Frisbee golf with friends! Activities that are free usually tend to be a lot more fun for you and your pocketbook.

Jump into your new financial situation with confidence and knowledge, and have a great time doing it! Check back monthly for more blogs about finances and other situations that every college student is going to want to know about.

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Cheap & Snazzy Dinner Dates

Filed under: College Life, Money/Budget - Social Community Manager
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profile of girlBy guest blogger Tiana Bouma
Tiana is a senior at University of Oregon double majoring in Political Science and Journalism with a focus in magazine. Her hometown is now Bend, OR but she graduated from high school in Danville, CA. After graduating from UO, she plans on traveling and working for National Geographic. During her spare time, she enjoys music, reading, sports and movies.

Let’s face it – enjoying great food in the company of awesome people is a fantastic way to spend a few hours. But footing the bill for the tasty drinks and drool-worthy food can be difficult – especially since anything besides Top Ramen is a delicacy to most college students.

It’s already hard enough to fork over the insane amounts of money that are necessary to cover our college textbooks and school tuition without the temptation of treating ourselves once in awhile. So to help myself out, and hopefully a few of you as well, I have compiled some ideas on how to enjoy that dinner date out on the town without having to pull from your “Post-graduation vacation $$” jar.

Happy Hour

One aspect I am always looking to save on is the price for drinks on a nice dinner date since buying a few good drinks can usually end up doubling the price of a dinner. A lot of restaurants also offer appetizers and specific dishes, sometimes half-size, for lower prices during happy hour. You can find a Happy Hour any night of the week if you know where to go and have explored all of your restaurant options. To add a little spice to your dating life, try going to a new Happy Hour at a different restaurant every time you go out, make it a bucket-list item.

Websites & Coupons

There’s an ever-growing list of coupon and deal websites that restaurants use to entice new customers.  Groupon and Livingsocial are two popular websites that I have seen offer deals such as 2 for 1-dinner entrée coupons at local steak restaurants and “Buy a meal get a beverage or dessert free”. These hidden gems can provide you with a chance to try a place that may have previously been unknown to you or out of your price range.

Make A Meal to Go and Take A Hike

Although hiking isn’t necessarily required for this tip on how to save on dinner dates, sometimes it can be nice to go a little farther away then a city park if possible. In the coming warmer months, it can be romantic and sweet to take the usual dinner date somewhere in the open air and spend an evening enjoying nature and maybe even stargazing. To make the picnic, you can always order take-out from your favorite place to eat or visit a local grocery store. My usual weekly picnic includes a sourdough loaf, avocados, sharp cheddar cheese, turkey, prosciutto, salami, and a bottle of wine. I have spent many great nights lying on a blanket in the middle of a field laughing the hours away.


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