Think about it. How many times have your friends invited you to go out to eat or casually shop around, yet you had to decline because you fear not having enough money to get what you want.
For me, the worst thing is entering a store or restaurant hoping to purchase some new clothes or food and walking out feeling defeated by either the giant bill in your pocket or leaving empty handed. Shopping and eating out on a college student budget can be difficult, but it is possible.
I am the queen of shopping with very little cash in my wallet. I can honestly say I have mastered the art of being extremely frugal when it comes to shopping, dining out and even getting pampered. If you want to leave each shopping and dining out experience with a smile on your face and some extra cash in your pocket then listen closely.
There are a few local consignment shops in Costa Mesa that I visit regularly. One of my favorites is DeeLux, which is across the street from Orange Coast College at Harbor Boulevard and Adams Avenue.
DeeLux buys and sells gently used clothing and offers new clothes at lower than retail prices, including discounted American Apparel.
Another shop that I enjoy buying and selling at is Buffalo Exchange at The Lab on Bristol Street between Bear Street and Baker Street in Costa Mesa. They have a wide range of styles for both men and women and sell the same clothing articles as most retail stores but at much cheaper prices.
I also find myself regularly shopping at Fashion Young, a little store next to the Bella Terra shopping center on Edinger Avenue and Beach Boulevard in Huntington Beach. This place has become popular over the last few years because it sells quality clothing at a dramatic discount. In fact, I have found the same exact clothes for more than 75 percent off the retail price while shopping here.
Being pampered is also something everyone should be able to do but sadly, most salons charge a lot for a cut and color. But listen to this — I came across Toni and Guy Hair Academy by South Coast Plaza on Bristol Street and Sunflower Avenue a few years ago while a friend was attending school there.
They only charges $20 for a haircut and give students with a school ID 50 percent off. They offer discounted cuts and colors done by students while their supervisors are constantly checking their work. So don’t worry, you will not leave with a bob if you only asked for an inch off. I recently got an ombre and cut, which looked flawless, and yet my total was under $70.
Now that you have some extra cash in your pocket and are styling with a new outfit and do, it’s time to go out to eat.
My favorite place to go is Full Moon on Harbor Boulevard just a few minutes from OCC.They offer lunch and dinner specials which cost less than $11. The specials come with either a California, spicy tuna or crunch roll as well as a small dinner salad, your choice of vegetable tempura, chicken, or beef, a side of rice and miso soup. Honestly, you cannot beat this price for the variety and quality of food they are dishing out.
Their rolls and other menu items are also relatively inexpensive compared to other sushi places I have visited.
Another one of my favorite places to dine is a small pho place on the corner of Talbert Avenue and Brookhurst Street in Fountain Valley called Pho Banh Mi & Che Cali. They offer a variety of Vietnamese specialties including different pho bowls and banh mi sandwiches for $2.50 to $5. I always end up getting the chicken pho bowl because it is an additional 50 percent off so I only end up paying less than $4 for myself.
I have never been disappointed while dining here because of the amazing quality of food and extremely friendly staff.