With two years to go and two years behind me, one thing I for sure have learned from going to college is that food is very important. Staying up late studying and waking up early for classes really does a toll on the human body, which for some reason oddly makes us crave food. When the money starts to get a little low towards the end of the semester you will really wish that you knew how to get more of “a bang for your buck” when you go shopping. I’ve been there and done that, and trust me you will appreciate money that you save once it starts adding up, plus you can show off to your parents that you know how to grocery shop better than they do. Unless your mom is one of those crazy coupon ladies, then you can’t beat them.

1. Apply for MVP and VIC cards

If you don’t know already the MVP card goes with Foodlion and the VIC card goes with Harris Teeter. When it comes to these grocery stores having deals such as buy one get one pizzas, these cards will automatically help you out with applying these deals at the checkout line. What most people don’t know though is that if you go online and apply your card to an account with your VIC card not only do you get the regular savings, but your get these “super” savings the store will have. So if you do end up getting a VIC card make sure to apply it online and get those super deals.

2. Coupon.com

Recently I have learned about this website, and honestly I have never been so excited before in my life about coupons. This website not only offers up the $500 plus in savings every week and has their coupons categorized, but you can easily print them out right there in your dorm or apartment. This website also has an app for your phone so you can always check on new coupons being sent out daily.

3. Buy in bulk

There is nothing worse than drinking your very last soda during a long study night or running out of your favorite Nature Valley bar right before class in the morning. One huge way you can get around events such as these, is to you would be to make sure you either buy in bulk or stock up.

4.Look out for special offers

Harris Teeter will often offer deals such as “triple coupons, as long as they are a dollar or lower”, or “double coupons, as long as they are three dollars or lower”. You may think its crazy but if you buy one box of Kellogg’s cereal and you have a coupon for one dollar off on the cereal, with triple coupon week you just bought cereal for a dollar. Some stores also have items, which they sell under their brand for a lot cheaper than big brand items. So if you’re not too picky with where your food comes from you can easily save money buying store brands, no matter the store.

5. Do the math!

So often Harris Teeter and Food-lion will have competing deals with things such as sodas. When it comes to Harris Teeter they will have the “buy three get two free”, while Food-lion will have “buy three for nine”. Most people would go with the deal at Harris Teeter but what you also have to think about is that a twelve pack of sodas at Harris Teeter easily cost around $7, which means after buying three you have spent over $20. Where as at Food-lion, you could be getting six-twelve packs of sodas for the same price as five-twelve packs from Harris Teeter. So in the end, you might want to brush up on that algebra from high-school, it will save you money.