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finances, food, free stuff, printables, shopping

Honest Meal Planning (+Free Printables!)

May 31, 2016

Orphan Survival Guide - Honest Meal Planning (+ Free Printable)

Meal planning is the key to eating healthy and cheaply. But it takes a little work and motivation that can be hard to come by when you’re busy or infected with brain cooties. Sometimes it’s just easier to run through Starbucks on the way to work and pick up a tea and sandwich to last the rest of the day.

Eating out every day isn’t good for your budget or your health, but it’s so convenient when you’re in a rush.

Planning and preparing your meals ahead of time can help curb impulsive restaurant trips when you don’t have time to make food on your way to class or work. And incorporating grocery store ad cycles into your meal plan is a great way to try new recipes and keep your spending down if you’re on a limited budget or food stamps.

I know firsthand how hard it can be to motivate myself to cook and plan for the week. After many failed attempts at meal planning, I’ve learned to stop being so ambitious about it and start being honest with myself.

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college, entertainment, free stuff, shopping

15 Reading Apps for Students

September 24, 2015

orphan survival guide - social media - reading apps for students

When I started this series, I intended to have reading and book apps in the education post, but I just had too many. They warrant their own post. Plus, I am still collecting reference sources for the big masterpost. So. Reading!

I had an early Sony Reader back in the day and swore that tablets wouldn’t replace it–but then I got an iPad through my first college and suddenly had more convenient access to books and class uploads and fanfic. Now my beloved reader is sitting in a box collecting dust. But more than half of my tablet and phone time is reading now, across a variety of apps.

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college, finances, free stuff, resources, shopping

School Supplies Stock-Up Price List

August 7, 2015

orphan survival guide - social media - school supplies stock up price list and giveaway

When I moved into my new apartment last week, I had three laundry baskets of clothes, ten boxes of books, four storage tubs of yarn, and seven boxes of office supplies.

School supply season is my weakness, even more than day-after-Halloween candy sales. I have multiple boxes of notebooks and comp books and note pads, many of which have one or two pages written in them but are otherwise pristine. I’m working on my organization problems and hoarding tendencies, so I haven’t bought any school supplies this season yet. But I know a good bargain when I see one.

A quick glance at the studyblr community would lead you to believe that every dedicated student has the expendable income to buy Stabilo pens and Moleskines and Macbook Airs (and the time to study 16 hours a day). Greek life Pinterest boards are full of college “essentials” lists that include Kate Spade planners and dry erase calendars and white noise machines.

Few students–especially adult orphans–can afford such extravagances. And really, do you actually need that stuff to study?

In this post, I’ll go over how I spend less than $30 on school supplies each year and still manage to create a school supplies hoard in my office.

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finances, free stuff, greatest hits, shopping

The Ultimate Guide to Textbook Shopping

January 16, 2015

orphan survival guide - social media - the ultimate textbook shopping guide

There is no reason anyone should go to the campus bookstore. Ever. For anything.

Not for a book, not for a hoodie, not even for pens. Everything there is marked up beyond belief, and you can easily get the same items for huge discounts–or even get them for free.

You don’t have to be an extreme couponer to get a better deal somewhere else. I will show you the easy way to save hundreds of dollars on textbooks each semester.

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