Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is that intern pay is not nearly stellar, if you’re lucky enough to be getting any at all. Trying to squeeze the most out of your limited budget takes a little creativity, but with a few simple adjustments you can step away from that ramen diet and enjoy yourself every now and again.
Shopping- Grocery shopping can quickly add up if you’re not savvy and careful about what you buy and when. Shop sales, and keep an eye on circulars to stock up on essentials when they come on sale. Non-perishables are perfect for hoarding, and if there happens to be a good deal on meat or vegetables, considering cooking up a big batch of soup or sauce and freezing it in portions for later. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as thawing out some home made soup for a hearty meal without all the work required for cooking.
Cooking– Can be a royal pain in the ass, and will quickly frustrate you if you don’t make things easy for yourself. Set aside a day on the weekend or an afternoon after work to cook up a big batch for portioning and freezing. Soups, stews, and sauces make great portionable meals that just require pasta or rice for a complete meal. Salads of all sorts, smoothies, and wraps are also great. You can toss items in an oven and go about your business while they cook, an invaluable kitchen tool. Also, items like couscous, grits, and oatmeal just require hot water and make a good side dish or breakfast.
Eating Out- Eating out for evey meal can quickly eat through your weekly budget, and make you fat. Take a step back and add up how much you”re spending on eating out, and you’ll be shocked at how much you’re blowing on subs a week. Try to make eating out a reward or something special. For the rest of the days, make yourself a big salad or sandwich at home to bring in. If you hit a sale at a grocery store, you can stock up on frozen dinners super cheap, which make a good alternative to eating out. When you do go out, make it worth it and find a good eat through one of many review sites like Yelp, Urbanspoon, or your local newspaper.
If you avoid eating out and familiarize yourself with your kitchen, you can save a ton of money. Not only are you lining your pockets, but your gut will thank you as well.