Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Super-size and Save

Although America is facing an obesity epidemic because of it's need to super-size portions, you have to admit super-sizing has some merits. The cost to quantity ratio is just too good to ignore sometimes. As much as I would LOVE to have a discussion about America's waist line problems..this is a site dedicated to poor college students, and not college student discussions.

I love cold green tea. It's very refreshing, and has 0 calories. Normally, I purchase a bottle that contains only 2 servings, or approximately half a liter of tea, for about $2, plus tax. A lot to spend on a liquid, right?

Well, I went to my neighborhood supermarket one day, and found a whopping TWO liter sized bottle of the same tea from the same brand! And the news gets better! It was only FOUR dollars! Did I really just get 8 servings of my favorite green tea for only $2 more? Yes I did! This two liter sized bottle will last for days, and means I just saved $6!

Super-sizing has its time and place, and when it concerns my favorite, usually overpriced beverage, I give super-sizing a resounding thumbs up!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Poor College (and High School) Students

This Poor College Student is involved with his school's admissions office, and volunteers for events during our annual yield season when we try to convince accepted students to enroll in our school.

For students who can't come for one of three different overnight programs, we offer a day program that lasts for the month of April. During this day program, students are staffed at a table to answer any visiting admitted students' questions, and takes admitted students to the dining hall for a free lunch to talk more in-depth information about the school. Though I the dining hall isn't the best place in the neighborhood to eat... it would be a free meal if I volunteered for the program.

I signed up for every single day that I was available.

Note to any Poor High School Students out there, go visit the schools that you were accepted to and maybe they'll give you a free lunch!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Brunch or Baby

Poor college student really needs to see someone about managing money/time/hunger. This post may sound familiar as the same poor college student had to decide between money and birth control. Only hunger won.

A few months ago, I had only $50 dollars in my account. I wasn't going to have any money till the weekend, and it was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving break. A dear friend asked if I wanted to get brunch at Community Food and Juice - sometimes delish, always pricey. However, I also needed to buy birth control, which was a hefty sum of $40.

Poor college student knew what she needed to buy but alas...hunger prevailed.

There are many lessons to be learned:
1. Prioritize your finances: You're friends will give you a bowl of cereal if you are hungry, or you can get a bagel which only costs $1. There are some things money can't buy, but in this case, money buys you your birth control.

2. When desperate, your friends are there for you: I learned after the fact that my friends would have loaned me the money for my bcp if I asked, because they too know how important somethings in life are.

3. Don't drink and eat without thinking: I drank heavily the night before, and as some people know about me, I love a huge hangover breakfast. I did not think about my bcp until after the fact, after charging about $20-odd dollars to my account. Huge d'oh.

Drunk pangs of hunger can never trump true necessities. And thinking before eating can save you from a month of trauma!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

How to win at Chipotle

Do you like Chipotle? The delicious cilantro-lime rice, excellent beans, meat cooked to perfection, and the flour tortilla that wraps all of it together?

And the guacamole? Oh, the guacamole. Sooooooo good. "Made from fresh avocados, hand mashed, three times a day", like they say. But who likes to pay an extra $2-something for it, on top of a $7 or $8 burrito?

Chipotle is so good, but you can end up paying a lot more than you have to and then falling uncomfortably into a food coma afterward. That is what happens when you get a burrito (or even a burrito bowl) with (or even without) guacamole, but it doesn't have to happen. You can eat exactly what you want and pay less and feel great when you're done eating. You can win, bean and cheese burritos aside. You can win.

Here's how you can win at Chipotle.

1. Ask for two tacos (I like soft tacos).
2. Specify that you want one vegetarian, one with meat of your choosing (I like chicken).
3. Get rice on both tacos, and beans on one, peppers and onions on the other. (Or both ingredients on both tacos- I don't think it matters)
4. Ask for the meat on the tacos with beans and rice. This is important!!! Meat must only go on ONE taco!
5. Move on to toppings. I like to get everything: salsa (mild), corn, sour cream, cheese, and lettuce. Get the generic toppings on BOTH tacos. Then ask for guacamole on the other, only-veggie taco. This is important!!! Guac must only go on the taco with NO MEAT!
6. Pay. Make sure that the cashier knows it is two tacos vs. three (which costs $8). It is under $6 and I'd have gotten everything I wanted at a good quantity.

Under $6 for meat AND guacamole? WIN-WIN! How did this happen?

Guacamole comes free in vegetarian tacos, so if you keep one taco meat-free, you don't have to pay for the guacamole you get on the veggie one.

You may think two tacos will not fill you up, as I thought before I switched from burrito bowls to two tacos. But, surprisingly, it does. If you like eating burrito bowl style, you can dump the contents of the tacos into a bowl, too. Then it's like you got a burrito bowl with free tortillas! For under $6!!!


You are welcome.