If You Want an Inexpensive Breakfast…

Who doesn’t like a good breakfast platter? Please, find me one person who doesn’t. Even vegans can enjoy vegan pancakes and fruit. Breakfast is one of my favorite kinds of foods. Eggs, pancakes, waffles, french toast, yum! The exception: I’m not one for the breakfast meats. No sausage or bacon for me. Go ahead, call me weird. I’m used to it.

Luckily for me, there is a rather inexpensive cafe right across the street from my school called Brown Cup that serves breakfast food all day long. And it actually serves food that tastes like it would cost more in New York. If I am craving an egg platter or pancakes, I go there. For $4.50 (plus tax), I get two eggs any style, home fries, and toast. For $4.00, you get three plain pancakes, and for just a $1.50 more, you can make them strawberry, blueberry, or chocolate chip. (Banana pancakes are only $1 extra.) This is way less expensive than any diner you’d go to and the taste is nothing less than great.

If you’re in the area, I suggest you go to Brown Cup for breakfast food, or for it’s plentiful options of sandwiches and salads. You can make your own sandwich or salad, too! It also serves soups from Hale & Hearty, which are dee-lish! If you’re feeling lazy or don’t have time to pick up food, Brown Cup is also on Seamless.com, a website in which you can order food online for delivery (or take out).

Brown Cup is located at 334 8th Avenue, close to the corner of W. 27th St, in Manhattan.

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Deals on Meals (and Other Great Things!)

I must say, New York has just about any kind of food you can think of, thanks to it being the “melting pot” of America. Take a walk down Bleecker Street in the heart of Greenwich Village and you will find an array of places that would eat your money alive if you’d let them. Especially as a college student, it is hard not to want to enjoy these places, but, as a broke college student, it is even harder to say goodbye to half of your paycheck on one night out.

Fortunately, there are some great deals that can be found here in the most expensive city in America. I already talked about Groupon in Looking Nice at Half the Price, but there are also other digital coupon sites that you might be interested in.

LivingSocial is very similar to Groupon in that it gives you heavily discounted prices on your favorite restaurants, getaways, activities, fashion, etc. It seems to me that LivingSocial focuses more on activities and products rather than restaurants. If you want a great deal on food and drinks, you should probably check out Groupon more often. But that’s just my opinion!

Also very popular in the food and drinks category is Tenka. Tenka is a bit different than Groupon and LivingSocial in that it does not require you to pay for the deals in advance. As stated on it’s website,

Tenka lets you redeem great local deals without the burden of paying upfront. Simply add a Tenka deal into your ‘Pocket’ (our smartphone web app), walk into the business and redeem the deal with your smartphone. If you like the deal, share them with your friends and earn money for getting them into the store.

Sassy Steve

To state the obvious, the holidays are coming up and it’s getting colder outside. This means I need to dress warm when I go outside, but of course still while looking good. It’s a good thing New York in the winter makes me love cold weather fashion! Want to look even more cold weather chic? Click here to get inspired.

To state the obvious-to-me, I really need (want) winter wedges. And I found the perfect ones! It was quite a splurge, though, especially for shoes I won’t be wearing nearly everyday. Despite buying them for 25% off, they were not a bargain. (25% really isn’t that much anyway.)

My Steve Madden Annnie Wedge in Taupe Suede

Standing tall at 5’1.5, I like to have some more height when I go out to social events. The Steve Madden suede Annnie wedges are comfortable, fashionable, and make a little one like me much taller! I purchased them in taupe color (they look more gray to me), but they come in black and olive green, as well.

Check out them out on Steve Madden’s website.  With a 4.8/5 rating, it’s hard to go wrong with them! For those of you who like animal-inspired shoes, take a look at the Annnie-L; they come in Leopard and in Black Pony.

Steve Madden Annnie-L in Black Pony
Steve Madden Annnie-L in Leopard

Looking Nice at Half the Price

How many people can turn down a great deal when they see one? Not many.
How many people are willing to buy much of American Apparel‘s clothing for full price? Not many.

Thankfully, I can now dress myself like a hipster without paying the full price. Groupon, a digital couponing site, had a coupon for the swagalicious brand and you better believe I grabbed it!

Groupon offered a deal in which $100 worth of American Apparel merchandise was yours for just $50. Getting 50% off a $100 purchase? Yes, please! Now I can buy those $82 black Disco Pants (don’t judge the name) I’ve always dreamed of… They go with everything! #dreamcometrue

Check out Groupon for awesome deals near you! It has offerings for everything from clothing to restaurants to spas to vacations! Oh, the possibilities!


Chai Tea Latte = My Alternative Life Source

Okay, okay, I admit it!
Starbucks probably eats up almost half of my spending money for the week… 

I don’t know about you, but it’s not uncommon for me to get the mid-afternoon slump of fatigue (welcome to college), which means I’m on the prowl for caffeine! Since I don’t like coffee, a favorite energizer for me is the chai tea latte from Starbucks, which I can get at the location in my school’s cafeteria. 🙂

A tall (“small” in Starbucks’ fancy language) cup contains about 70 milligrams of caffeine, and for someone who doesn’t have caffeine too often, this is just enough. Plus, that’s a lot to pack into a 12-ounce cup for tea alone! It has almost as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. A grande (medium, 16 oz.) cup contains 95 milligrams of caffeine, while a venti (large, 20 oz.) cup contains about 120 milligrams.

[Chai is a rich, black tea that has distinct spices in it which make it very flavorful. For more information, click here.]

If its a warm day, or I just want a cold drink, I get my chai iced, which I find just perfect. I know some people who only drink their chai tea lattes iced. The regular, hot version is delicious, as well, and it actually keeps me full for a little while. Though, that may just be because I drink it slowly because it’s so hot; the iced ones are hard not to drink quickly!

 Iced Chai Tea Latte from Starbucks

I like to get mine made with skim milk, but you can also order it with 2%, whole, or soy milk.

Average Budget for a College Student

Adding discretionary spending subtracts mucho dinero from wallets everywhere. And that is exactly the grand lifestyle of the average college student!

Looking for breakdowns of how typical college students spend their own money, I found that 40% of their spending goes towards recreational purposes while 49% of the students surveyed have a part-time job, garnering their own income. Students attending college in New York City most likely hold a higher percentage in that area.

In this infographic, studies done by Westwood College demonstrate one of life’s greatest mantras: work hard, party harder! (Click on the image for a larger view.)

Monthly Money

Ding, Ding, Ding! It has come to my attention that I spent $370.23 during the majority of October. Recreational expenses only, excluding rent.

When my dear mother informed me of this lovely information (thanks, Mom), I took a look at my recent bank statements (thanks, Chase Online Banking). It seems I have been spending that general amount every month of this semester so far, albeit it’s only been three months so far. However, I also looked at my spending while I was in school last year and it practically mirrored what I spend now. Well, at least I’m a consistent spender! (And that doesn’t include cash spending! Yikes!)

I asked my friend, who goes to Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, what she and her friends spend monthly on miscellaneous things (excluding integrated university costs like housing and meal plans). Most of her friends are on a meal plan, which, in my opinion, plays a big role in spending. Being on a meal plans means that their spending on off-campus food does not nearly amount to the spending of students in the city without a meal plan. (Then, everything is off-campus.) To prove my point, she said the approximate monthly expenses of she and her friends in Lancaster were $100-150.

Another friend who goes to Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, has a different situation. “I don’t have a meal plan that covers my meal costs so if you were to include meals on campus and other expenses such as social events and shopping it’s more like $400. Its kind of a necessity to splurge because I eat vegan most of the time, and that food tends to be more expensive,” explains friend número dos. Healthy items are not always the cheapest. A salad for lunch in New York will usually run you about the same amount my friend pays in St. Louis, $7-10. While some healthier choices may be more expensive, many students are willing to make that sacrifice to better their eating habits.

I have a feeling much of this blog will be about food, since that is where the majority of my money goes. Look forward to raves about chai tea lattes from Starbucks and the necessity of the “half-sandwich.”