Financial aid and a college food budget | 02.02.10
Today in our Financial Aid Forum I received the following question:
Next year as a sophomore our son will not have a meal plan at the college.
How much do you budget for apartment cooking?
How do you come up with a budget?
This is a great question that probably affects a lot of students. If you live on a college campus you probably have a meal plan which you pay for as part of your room and board fees. However, if you live off campus you are probably responsible for buying your own food and cooling for yourself. This could get expensive if not managed properly so it is important to setup a strict budget for yourself.
My suggestion would be to find out how much the meal plan at your school costs and use that as a guideline. Divide that number by the number of weeks you will be away at school and living on your own. That will give you your approximate weekly budget. Do a test shopping week to see if your weekly budget is too much or not enough and adjust as you see fit. Also, learn how to be a coupon clipper and stock up on items when they are on sale. Doing these two things can save you a ton of money in the long run.
The good thing is that both leftover Stafford loan funds, private student loan funds and most scholarships can be used towards any education-related expense including food.
Does anyone else who has been there have other ideas on this topic?
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