Budgeting

Healthy Summer Snacks

Summer is finally here and with the bright sunshine and rising temperatures come the numerous invites to summer barbecues and parties. You can still enjoy these events without sacrificing your healthy eating habits! Swap out a few of the traditional summer snacks for these healthier alternatives.

fruit salad1.Fruit salad
Most berries are in season during the summer so take advantage of this and try a fruit salad. They’re super quick and easy to make and are sweet without the worry of artificial flavors and sweeteners. Simply slice up your favorite fruit and mix them together in a large bowl. Popular options are star fruit, kiwi, watermelon, mango, and strawberries.

 

turkey burger2.Turkey burgers
You can’t have a summer barbecue without a grilled burger. Try swapping out the traditional beef patty for a lower fat but equally satisfying turkey burger.

 

frozen greek yogurt

 

3. Frozen Greek yogurt
Trade your ice cream for frozen greek yogurt to have the same taste with much less fat.

 

 

 

 

green tea

4. Iced Tea
Iced teas are a great alternative to sugary drinks. Try green tea with a sprig of mint for freshness or honey for a sweeter drink.

 

 

 

 

angel food cake

 

5. Angel food cake
Between birthdays, graduation parties, and Independence Day, there’s bound to be a situation where desserts are a must. Angel food cake is a healthier alternative to most cakes because it has a very low fat content but still tastes great.

 

 

What are some of your favorite swaps to maintain healthy eating habits? Let us know in the comments below!

5 Best Stores for College Students

Whether you are running low on groceries or need textbooks in a pinch, this list of the 5 best stores for college students  will definitely help you out in times of distress!

1. Target

This one may be a bit obvious but Target will nevertheless remain number one on my list. This glorious palace of red is a one stop shop where half of your paycheck mysteriously disappears during a trip for “just a few things”. You can walk in only needing paper towels, but you will walk out with trail mix, 3 dresses, a necklace, a mop, candles, and the complete second season of “The Office”…and probably no paper towels. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  Shop now: www.target.com

Targetwww.target.com

2. Forever21

Oh Forever21, how I love thee. Let me count the ways. There are so many nice things you can find here at such low prices. Say it with me: two dollar cami’s. (Don’t worry, guys, there’s a men’s section too!). Shop now: www.forever21.com

Forever21www.forever21.com

3. Marshall’s and TJ Maxx

I cannot stress how much I LOVE shopping at these two stores. Every shopping trip is like a mini treasure hunt. You never know what you’re going to find there. They have a little bit of everything including clothes, electronic accessories, home decor, groceries, and books. Everything is marked down way below retail price which makes it easy to find nice things that guys and gals on college student budgets might not usually be able to afford. Shop now: www.marshallonline.com and www.tjmaxx.com

TJ Maxx & Marshallswww.tjx.com

4. eBay.com

Okay so this one isn’t exactly a “store” but it sure comes in handy in a pinch. You can find literally anything you will ever need on eBay (I personally use this site to find art supplies for class) at much lower prices. Some of these items are brand new while others may be used, so it takes a smart shopper to find the hidden gems. Shop now: www.ebay.com

eBaywww.ebay.com

5. eCampus and Knetbooks.com

If you need textbooks (who doesn’t?) but are not a huge fan of the price tags, check out these stores and sites. You can save up to 90% on textbooks as well as rent or sell used textbooks. You’ve read the blog, now go check out the rest of the site! Shop now: www.ecampus.com and www.knetbooks.com

eCampuswww.ecampus.com

Love Always, Pinterest

Pinteresthttp://www.kbkcommunications.com

Being introduced to Pinterest was the best and worst thing that has ever happened to me. I have, however, learned how great Pinterest actually is.

1. Recipes. FEAR NO COOKING PAN! Pinterest has been proven to help turn you from Ramen Noodle Nancy to a 5 star chef in just a matter of minutes. Pinterest is full of endless amounts of fast, easy, tasty and healthy step by step instructions of recipes that will taste like a party in your mouth. It’ll be impossible to go back to eating microwave dinners after scrolling through your timeline.

CAUTION: you may possibly burn down your building in the process of attempting to be the next Betty Crocker, don’t worry your friends will thank you when they see all the cute firefighters.

2. Appearance. You can easily spruce up your dorm room with quick simple D.I.Y crafts, put together outfits for the week, and makeup/hair tips to help you look “natural” in your 9:00am class so you could catch that cutie’s eye without looking like you’re trying too hard. Who said you can’t be Fabulous on a budget?!

CAUTION: If your D.I.Y. crafts end up looking like a kindergartener’s art project…give all the credit to your roommate!

3. Dream Wedding. In the world of Pinterest, planning out every last detail to your dream wedding while you’re still single is totally normal. If you want to have the best and most memorable wedding ever you’re going to need to prepare 4,5,6 or heck maybe 10 years in advance, darling it’ s never too early. Besides who needs to pay thousands of dollars for a fancy wedding planner when you have a Pinterest account?! With the money you save from not hiring a planner you can use it for your dream honeymoon which you can also plan on Pinterest. *hint, hint*

CAUTION: Mentioning your Pinterest wedding board on the first date is not the ideal ice breaker, you may just end up walking back to campus alone.

Pinterest is the ultimate survival guide of living on a budget. You can be super hip without having to move back in with your parents. Be careful, you might get hooked.

Pinteresthttps://about.pinterest.com

Check out our eCampus Pinterest when you have some free time: www.pinterest.com/ecampusdotcom/

The Brighter Side of Winter

every day I'm shovellin'

If you don’t live under a rock, you’ve probably noticed that this winter has been particularly harsh thus far. So if your plans have been ruined and your classes have been cancelled—AGAIN—here are a few ways to stay sane while you are cooped up indoors waiting for the blizzard to pass.

  1. Don’t feel bad about cancelling plans.

This one is important. If you made plans with someone before a snowstorm, don’t feel bad about changing or postponing said plans. Remember, your safety comes first. If you must drive in this weather, be sure the roads are safe and make a list so you can get as much done in one trip as you can.

 igloo

If something were to happen when you were out getting milk and bread, be prepared to build an igloo for safety in the case of an accident. This basic skill could save your life and even if there was no accident, practicing in the backyard could lead to hours of worthwhile fun.

  1. Learn a new skill

Between Pinterest and StumbleUpon, it’s easy to find something new to learn. Maybe you’ve always wanted to crochet a scarf. Or play the harmonica.

ice fishing

You could even learn how to go ice fishing, I hear Eskimo’s do this a lot in their free time why not try it out and see what the rave is all about.                                                                                   

  1. Catch up on homework

Okay so this one isn’t actually enjoyable but hey, it needs to be done. If you’re an assignment or two behind, now is a good time to catch up.

sockssocks

If your fireplace is running low on wood, you could always use that homework assignment your professor gave you last week. Staying warm or doing homework? I think we know the answer.

  1. Skype your family

Your parents are probably worried about you, as parents often are, because of the severe weather. Take some time to let them know you’re okay and while you’re at it, let them know what you’ve been up to lately.

faceplant

Like how you’ve become a famous YouTube star from sledding down a hill on your campus, then flying up 15 feet in the air and planting your face into the snow.  The Today Show has already contacted you about a guest appearance – mishaps in the snow aren’t so bad.

  1. Hang out with your friends

Just because you’re staying in doesn’t mean you have to be alone! Call up some friends in town or around campus and have some fun.

 undie

You could have a movie night, play some board games or participate in a philanthropy event! Every year, my campus hosts an undie run, you show up and donate your clothing to a homeless shelter. Then you get to run across campus in your undies, doing good and having fun all in one!

 

5 Unique Uses for Your Textbooks

wallpaperNot sure what to do with the textbooks you’re now finished with? Well, you can either sell them to eCampus.com for cash, check or 20% back for in-store credit. Or, if you’re just looking for an excuse to flaunt your creative proclivities, you can try these five ideas that will have your friends wishing they were as resourceful as you.

1. Dorm room Wallpaper: Take down your John Belushi and Pink Floyd posters and let yourself stand out from the crowd. Creating wallpaper from the pages of your old textbooks is sure to transform your inane décor into an indelible ambiance. I personally recommend textbooks from classes such as Art History, Biology, English (Norton’s Anthology), and even Cartography, to name a few.

2. Hidden Book Safe: For the nefarious-minded readers, the uses for this are a no brainer. For the rest of us, this can be a good place to hide your spare cash or other small, valuable belongings like jewelry. For fun, try hiding a smaller book inside of your hollowed out bigger book. Awww, how adorable. Learn how to DIY here.safe

 

3. Invisible Book Shelf: Put your books on a shelf without the shelf. Wow! Stare at the picture long enough and it’ll begin to make sense.

4. Bookcrossing – Send your books on a journey: Remember “Where’s George?”—the service that tracks the location of certain $1 bills? Well this is like that, but with books. If you no longer want a book, send it on a journey and see where the wind takes it. Hell, if it makes an interesting enough trip, you can retrace its path and interview the people it’s touched along the way and then write a Pulitzer Prize-winning book about the journey.

5. Origami: Envision a flock of beautifully crafted cranes suspended harmoniously over your head. Folding paper into beautiful shapes is a great way to palliate your boredom and focus your Zen. Get creative with what paper you’ll use for each design. I like the idea of folding a crane from that Ornithology textbook collecting dust on my shelf. (This book would also be amazing for the wallpaper mentioned above).

Hopefully I’ve covered every possibility of what to do with your textbooks once you’re finished with them. Have any other ideas? Let us know below!