Summer spending is a weakness for most students. Actually, let’s face it, it doesn’t have to be summertime. College life is a strain on the wallet! Use some of these tips to save money while your focus is on school. These suggestions may also save you time and effort, which is rare with budget-friendly hacks. But here we go:

1. Use Quizlet, Not Notecards

“But it helps me to write it down!”

Listen, I get this completely. It’s true for me, too. However, this is a major lifesaver if you don’t have time to make 70 flashcards in one night. People will have made your study material into flashcards already… and then some. Quizlet is a website that makes it possible for you to access it. If you want to save Study Sets for later, you can just log in with your Facebook account so the website knows it’s you. So much time saved, trust me. And money.

It helps that there are options to not only use the flashcard interaction, but you can play games to help you remember custom content that you need to learn quickly. If you can’t take yourself seriously playing games, they have practice tests as well. There are so many options to adjust the study sets to be exactly what you need. For example, if there are words you don’t yet have definitions/translations for, there’s a little option to see the suggested answer based on other users’ flashcards. I could go on about how great the text-to-speech and practice activity customization is, but I’ll spare you my inner-nerd. Quizlet is so great that it’s used globally by students, guys.

2. Stock up on non-perishable food items

Things will not always go as planned, so it helps to have a constant supply of snacks. Also, this will stop you from buying from various places with different price ranges as opposed to from one affordable location. Besides, you know what you like. And your friends will appreciate it, too.

3. Get a cheap book bag… or two

The tiny amount of things you have to carry around at all times is refreshing. It separates high school from college. Another difference is that you will have different classes on different days, so if you want to make things easier on yourself, get two super cheap book bags. Have them ready for today and tomorrow. It may still save you money to have two bags vs. one overpriced bag. Bonus: You don’t have to use the second one for school supplies! Or at least, you can hope.

4. Know your meal plan choices

Recently, I had to make a schedule for myself so that I was at each dining location at the right times on the right days to get my “free” meals. I was honestly concerned I would spiral into debt otherwise. Credit cards are a necessary evil, sometimes.

5. Get some sleep

I would be lying if I said I was proud of my sleep/wake times. I have an app on my phone that reminds me in the morning what they were (Samsung Health). If you save yourself some sleep, you won’t need so much caffeine. Then, you’ll save money on drinks or, if you’re like me, caffeinated chocolate. Yum.

6. Look for freebies everywhere

They will have them at the post office, the grocery store, almost anywhere if you look hard enough. Don’t be afraid to stock up on food or supplies.

7. Get friendly

Money can’t buy you friendship, but friendship can get you money and favors. Be nice and resourceful at the same time. Just be sure you can help them out, too.

8. Know your library/health office resources

My university’s counseling office has things in the lobby for free use like adult coloring pages, period supplies, health bars, and sometimes even dry shampoo samples. They smell great, too! The library can have de-stressing material.

9. Look through old stuff and find cool new uses

I have an old black pillowcase that I don’t need right now, but let me tell you how helpful it can be for covering the window next to my bed for naps. I just tuck it into my blinds near where I lay my head and I’m good to go!

10. Invest in good supplies to go in the cheap bag

You want them to last, because replacements cost money over time. Plus, if you love the stuff inside that cheap bag, you’ll look forward to using it more often. Then maybe you’ll work harder… fail less classes… and save money again!

11. Find a monthly mail gift program

If you are someone who tends to treat yourself to fun things on a regular basis, this is a great way to satisfy this habit without being impulsive. The price should be consistent each month, and you won’t be as likely to go out and buy a bunch of extra things for yourself. Decide what you tend to spend money on impulsively most often. Look for a monthly gift box to subscribe to which serves that niche.

12. Convert all your coins to dollar bills

It will now be easier for you to put it in the bank to save!

Was some of this relevant to your college life? How do you save money at your university?