TCU Daily Skiff Orientation Issue 2004
Frog Fountain
Limitations to extravagances help

By Stephanie Seitz
Skiff Staff


Heather Spexarth looks frustrated as she opens yet another box of macaroni and cheese. For the past four years, it has been an all-too-common meal. In college, she has moved into an inexpensive house, avoided shopping and taken part-time jobs to get by. But like many college students, even these measures will not provide her with extra money for luxuries. Like milk. Or butter.

“Saving money in college is like trying to ride a bike with no wheels,” said Spexarth, a senior history major. “Spending $10 on a meal doesn’t seem so bad,” she said.
It is these small expenditures that make budgeting so difficult.

But for college students, who generally rely on part-time jobs or family support to get by, budgeting is a must. And at TCU, students have many opportunities to limit their spending on daily activities.

Many students see food as the area most important to budget control. Val Lund, a senior communication studies and Spanish double-major, curbs spending by trying to limit herself to one meal a week in restaurants.

Students Sara Blackwood, a junior art history major, and Tara Tibbetts, a second-year communication in human relations graduate student, also said they try to stay out of restaurants and cook at home.

Other students said buying in bulk is a good way to keep food costs down. Shelby Ann Sutcliffe, a junior chemistry major, and Josh McNamara, a freshman accounting and finance double major, said shopping at Costco or Sam’s is a great money-saver.

For freshmen, who are automatically charged $1,000 a semester on their dining card, eating on campus is an obvious choice.

“Why not swipe the card and eat for free?” said freshman Stephanie Sherwood, an advertising/public relations major. McNamara said, “by forcing yourself to eat on campus, you can save money by avoiding expensive places you might go with your friends.”

Taking advantage of on-campus entertainment can be just as helpful as eating on campus. Sherwood said art exhibits in Moudy are inspiring, fun and free. And many even serve snacks. She also credited supporting Horned Frog athletics as another type of free entertainment.

The University Recreational Center provides many activities that are free or inexpensive for students. Sherwood said she is always taking advantage of the workout facilities and the swimming pool. Tibbetts, the graduate student, said using the URC instead of joining a different gym saves her a lot of money.

Even when students venture off campus, the TCU name can cut prices. Many restaurants in the area offer discounts for TCU students. Chains, like Boston Market and Fresh Choice, and locally owned restaurants, like The Ionian Grill and Perrotti’s Pizza, all participate in this service.

Some restaurant owners said the discounts are not always used. Joe’s, Pizza, Pasta and Subs in Trinity Commons offers a 20 percent discount, but owner and manager Joe Lusha, said students rarely ask about discounts. Management at the Ionian, however, reports that their discount has brought in some TCU students.
Most movie theaters offer matinee prices at night for students, a discount many students use regularly. “The movie discount is the best!” said Lund.

Even boutiques and stores offer student discounts. From tanning salons to art supplies and camera equipment to clothing, there are many Fort Worth businesses that give 10 to 15 percent off their prices when students show their TCU identification cards.

Dry-cleaning seems to be one field in which businesses around TCU are especially competitive about providing discounts. The four closest dry-cleaners to TCU — Park Hill Cleaners, Brothers II One Hour Cleaners, Circle Cleaners and Carleton Cleaners — all offer discounts.

For many students, using discounts is a way of life. “I refuse to pay full price if I don’t have to,” said Amanda Grantham, a senior Spanish major. Blackwood said she takes advantages of TCU discounts everywhere as well.

Saving money with discounts and taking advantage of free entertainment might afford students the opportunity to replace some of their mac and cheese meals with more glamorous foods.

“You don’t have to have tons of money to be truly happy or social,” said Lund.
Restaurant Discounts:
Boston Market (10%)
Denny’s (20%)
Fresh Choice (15%)
IHOP (15%)
The Ionian (10%)
Joe’s Pizza, Pasta and Subs (20%)
Perrotti’s (varies)
Red, Hot & Blue (buy one, get one free)
Rosa’s (10%)
Quizno’s (10%)

Shop & Store Discounts:
Asel’s Art Supply (10%)
Brothers II One Hour Cleaners (25%)
Carleton Cleaners (varies)
Circle Cleaners (10%)
Fort Worth Camera Supply (10% film/supplies)
Park Hill Cleaners (25%)
Pinc & Blu Jeans (15%)
Salon Classique ($10 off one month)
Perfect Touch Massage (10%)
Most movie theaters

Free Entertainment:
Kimbell Art Museum
Amon Carter Museum
Fort Worth Botanic Garden
Fort Worth Water Gardens
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (Wednesdays)
Kino Monda Film Series
6:30 p.m. Wednesdays
RTVF Film Series
7:00 p.m. Thursdays
 
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