In these tough economic times, UCF students dish out thousands of dollars a year on increasing tuition costs and housing alone. We could all use a little relief when it comes to spending, and keeping as much money in our pockets as we can. Here are ten easy ways to keep the financial weight off your shoulders.

1. Water Instead of dishing out five or six bucks for a package of bottled water, try getting a jug. It’s less then a $1, and if you still need your H2O to go, reuse an old bottle or squirt bottle and you’re good to go!

2. Coffee – For those Starbucks addicts out there, if you have the will power, making your coffee at home can save you a bundle. Plus, you can still get your flavor fix since they sell Starbucks brand at your local grocery stores. Even Dunkin Donuts has jumped on the bandwagon, and is now carried in stores.

3. Gas – Before you start driving around town looking for the cheapest gas, go online and visit Simply select your location, and they’ve already done the research for you! Doing this can save you a pretty penny in the long run.

4. Soda – To all those caffeine addicts out there, don’t waste your money spending almost two dollars for a 2-liter bottle of soda. The generic alternatives are less than $1, and it’s hard to tell the difference in taste!

5. Tanning – Before you get a membership at a tanning salon, don’t forget about all of the great offers they have for prospective customers. Almost every salon gives away a few free tanning sessions to new customers’, and some even offer an entire month free! So before you pick a place to settle down with, enjoy exploring and getting a nice golden tan while you’re at it. Plus, if you’re really dedicated, you could always hit up one of the off campus housing complexes that offer residents access to their tanning beds for free. Most places are pretty lax about it anyways.

6. Alcohol – If you’re heading out to the bar, check the cover charges and specials of a few places before going out. For example, ladies drink free on Tuesday nights at the Orlando Ale House in Waterford Lakes and Knight Library across from campus has $2 pitchers and wells ever Tuesdays night.

7. Movies – With expensive movie ticket prices and the cost of snacks and refreshments going up, why not sign up for the Regal Crown Club? Since you’re spending plenty of money already, at least this way you can earn points towards free soda, popcorn, and even tickets! Also, UCF has free movies on the plaza in front of the new Arena once in a while. Even Winter Park has free outdoor movie nights, just look up “Popcorn Flicks in the Park” or go to to see what’s coming up.

8. Coupons – Don’t be afraid to whip these bad boys out. The UCF Student Union has stacks of coupon books that have some really great deals. My personal favorites are the ones for Jeremiah’s Italian Ice and Smoothie King. It’s always great to get $1 off a smoothie, or get a free 24-ounce smoothie when you buy a 32-ounce. Trust me, there is a coupon in there for everyone!

9. BO-GO – Every week, Publix has Buy-One-Get-One free offers on your favorite items. This week in particular, they had Bo-Go Rainer Cherries and Star-Kist Fillet Tuna in the cans. Cereals also tend to be on the frequent Bo-Go list, so watch out for these special offers!

10. Books – These days people tend to forget about their good old-fashioned public libraries. If you are a carnivorous reader, save your money on buying new books and hit up the local library. The Alafaya Branch Library is located on Colonial and Alafaya towards the 408 and is completely free.