Being on a budget at times can be stressful, especially in college. From buying textbooks to going out with friends saving money can be a challenge. The next time you head to the grocery store or go out to eat, keep these tips in mind to keep your wallet full.

1. Shop in Bulk

Places like BJ's, Costco & Sam's Club are great places to buy bulk. Essentials such as toilet paper, paper towels, water and deli selections are usually cheaper and the same quality. Monthly coupon books are sent with customized savings on items you buy the most. Membership prices range from $45 - $55 for the year.

2. Meal Prep

You don't have to get super healthy and portion out grilled chicken breasts and broccoli. Meal prep can be for anything. It saves you time throughout the week on cooking meals and reduces the urge to go out to eat. By buying weekly at the grocery store and planning what meals you will eat, you will save a ton of money and reduce food waste. 

3. Snack Beforehand

Unless you're hitting up Costco, make sure to snack before you go. Grocery shopping when hungry can cause unnecessary food purchases and snacking while shopping. If you feel you might get an urge, bring a pack of gum or mints to curb your hunger.  

4. There's an App for That

Literally, there is an app for everything. Stores such as CVS, Stop & Shop, Shoprite, & Wegman's all have apps that provide coupons, weekly circular, rewards etc. Stop & Shop has a great reward system where every $100 you spend, you receive $0.10 off a gallon of gas at either a Stop & Shop gas station or Shell Station. If you and your roommates go, your bound to hit the $100 mark in one trip. Cartwheel by Target is also another great way to get percentages off on your favorite foods as well as household necessities. 

Food delivery apps such as OrderUp & Foodler sometimes offer deals with local restaurants if you order through the app. This is a great way to get your favorite dishes at a lower price. 

5. Store Brands

Okay I get it, we all have our bougie moments. I'll admit, I only eat Heinz ketchup, Jif peanut butter, and use only certain types of coffee creamer. Some things do taste different but it all depends what you grew up on.

But while I won't change what brand ketchup I eat, I do buy store brands whenever possible. Items such as frozen veggies, waffles, baking ingredients and canned goods are offered at lower prices for their store brand version. For my bougie friends, name brand products do go on sale, you just have to be on the lookout. 

6. Saving at Restaurants

I love going out to eat. In fact, my favorite thing to do is to try new restaurants. I like fancy places, hole-in the walls and everything in between, as long as the food is good. While I try to avoid chain restaurants because they can be overpriced with mediocre quality of food, there are ways to save at all restaurants. Instead of ordering a Coke or Pepsi for $2.50 (without free refills), order water instead. Water is free and better for you. If your group insists on getting soda, get a pitcher for the table instead to cut costs. 

Another way to save at restaurants is dine at places that offer student discounts. Many college-town restaurants offer a percentage off of your meal or deals throughout the week to bring students in. 

7. Shop at Cheaper Grocery Stores

Whole Foods is cool but it can be expensive, especially for simple, essential items. Shopping at stores like Aldi's can really stretch your dollar. Aldi's and Trader Joe's are owned by brothers and have similar products. They offer deep discounts for quality products that sometimes are better than name brand products.