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ISSUE 116 VOL 17 PUBLISHED 4/18/2003

Every penny counts

By Megan Sutherland
Contributing Writer

Friday, April 18, 2003

We came to college to get an education, both academically and socially, but part of the reality of college is a sudden lack of money. We are “poor college students,” as the saying goes. Everyone is on a budget. However, it can seem that it costs a lot of money to have a good time. But this is not necessarily true, and I have compiled a list of ways to make every dollar count, or, for some of us, every penny.

Cheap Juvenile Entertainment

Sometimes it is fun to act like a kid again. With all the responsibility classes entail, it is fun to let loose. If you haven’t lost the child within, here are some ideas to try out.

Hide and Seek. This was a mainstay of the playground in elementary school. It can still be fun if you have an imagination and can think of your own twists to add. You can play in a store or a campus building, like your dorm (assuming you are not entirely obnoxious). Play on teams, and the winners pick a punishment for the losers.

Scavenger Hunt. This is not just for freshman bonding. All you have to do is think of an eclectic list of strange objects to find and wander around looking for them. This could also be morphed into Bigger and Better, where teams of three to five begin with a small object like a paper clip and go door to door to get something bigger and better. For example, you trade in the paper clip at the first house for a fork, then at the second house the fork is traded for a book. And so on until you end up with an old copy machine and become everyone’s new best friend.

Truth or Dare. You probably stopped playing in fifth or sixth grade because the kids in junior high told you it was no longer socially acceptable. However, since you live on a hill in a small town, you now know the true value of creativity. Truth or Dare is a guaranteed good time if you put strange thoughts in the form of a dare or an offbeat question. At 2 a.m., this is amusing.

In-Town Activities

There are also plenty of things to do off campus that will not burn a hole in your pocket.

Walk into town for pastries and coffee at Goodbye Blue Monday, Ideal Café, or the bakery. All of these restaurants offer a wonderful selection of coffees, cookies, and other baked goods at very reasonable prices.

Eat dinner at Hogan brothers, and listen to live music performed just a few feet from you. The food is cheap and of good quality, and several students from both Carleton and St. Olaf play live music there.

Share a pizza from the Pause and rent a movie for $1.00. There is a huge selection of movies at the Pause, and pizza is cheaper from the Pause than most anywhere else you will find (and very delicious).

Take a trip to the Cave. The Cave is Carleton’s live music venue/pub. It is very cozy and friendly and provides cheap beverages and snacks. The best part is that a Carleton ID is not required, and the entertainment is free of charge.

Try on some clothes at Ragstock. The clothes are cheap to begin with, but even if you’re just browsing, it is fun to try on retro clothes and relive the glory days (or maybe not so glorious).

Travel back in time with a visit to As Time Goes By. This shop specializes in rare and used books. The books are cheaper than at the St. Olaf bookstore and provide a good way to squeeze in some pleasure reading.

Admittedly, there is no way to completely refrain from spending, but it is quite easy to spend wisely and still get back quality goods and services. Get creative.

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