Words by John Peter Himor
Photos by Meghan Sevilla
It goes different for all of us, but university life, in general, can be very stressful. The one thing that binds all of the students from any university together is the crazy workload that we all need to balance while keeping sane during those hellish years. There are those thick readings for that one class, the project proposals for your org, and maybe even the reviewers for that tutoring gig. Sneak in some hours for exercise and a healthy social life, and you’ve got the schedule of a sleep-deprived college student!
And, under all of this stress, here’s another complicated thing to bring into the mix—baon and budgeting!
Budgeting your baon isn’t easy, especially if you’re living in a dorm or apartment away from your family. It becomes extremely difficult to sustain a complete and balanced diet. However, it does not take a fortune to have a full stomach every day while you’re in university. Luckily for you, we have assembled five easy tips to help you master the craft of the kuripot and madiskarte student.
5. Scout your area for the cheapest eats.
175 Noodle Stop in Area 2, UP Diliman offers cheap ramyun noodles.
One of my biggest mistakes during my first weeks in college was solely relying on the cafeteria for lunches. Whatever place you study in, chances are that there are cheaper places to get more food while spending less money.
Make it a point to explore your university and nearby places for any hidden gems with cheap offers. For example, there is an eat street called Area 2 at the University of the Philippines – Diliman which is lined with food stalls and hole-in-the-wall restaurants that offer meals for as low as P25. Here you can have ramyun noodles, shawarma, and the gipit student’s favorite: siomai with rice!
4. Take note of the student meals and discounts.
Daily student meals at Cafe Via Mare.
If you really cannot avoid eating at malls or fancier restaurants, try asking the restaurant if they have any student meals or discounts available. Usually, establishments that are near or inside school premises offer such discounts because they expect some university students to be regular customers. Cafe Via Mare at the Toyota Asian Cultural Center in UP Diliman, for example, offers P70 student meals such as pork adobo and fried pork chop.
3. Bring a baunan.
Bring easy snacks or store your leftovers with your handy baunan.
Even if you live far away from home and/or you cannot prepare your lunches beforehand, it is important to bring a food container or baunan to school for several reasons.
One, you can use it to prepare cheap and healthy snacks like fruit slices so you don’t have to buy from the cafeteria anymore. Two, if you’re not a heavy eater, use the baunan to store your leftovers which you can still eat for later. And three, avoid using paper boxes altogether by using your baunan as your plate. Help save the environment!
Food containers are essentials, okay? Just don’t lose them and risk being disowned by your Tupperware-loving mama.
2. Opt for water.
Bring your water bottle everywhere you go!
In a tropical country like ours, water is your best friend. Instead of spending extra for those pricey juice drinks, just have a refillable water bottle that you can bring along with you around the campus. Usually, there are water fountains or dispensers in every building which are easily accessible. Water keeps you hydrated, has zero calories, and most importantly, it’s free!
1. Budget your way around the week.
Plan your weekly expenses by keeping a journal.
Whether you’re a crazy rich Asian or crazily broke, planning your finances ahead is awfully important if you want to save up some cash. A good habit is to manually write down all of your possible expenses for the day every morning, and faithfully sticking to it throughout the day! In the list, you may also allot a small portion of the budget for your savings. At the end of the day, track down your expenses. If you overspent or if you have extra cash, you can adjust the budget accordingly for the succeeding days.
It takes a lot of self-control and determination to say no to milk teas or maybe that extra rice, but as gipit students, we have to make some sacrifices!
Those are our 5 easy tips t0 help the kuripot students out there in saving some money and getting by! Do you have any tipid tips that you want to share? Comment them down below!