7 Ideas for a Spring Break Staycation

Spring Break is right around the corner—do you have plans yet? Not everyone can afford to fly somewhere warm for a week. Instead, grab some friends and plan a “staycation” right in Boulder. Below we’ve got a few ideas on how to have a frugal Spring Break Staycation without breaking the bank.

7 FREE Ideas:

  1. Attend an author reading/signing at a local bookstore.
  2. Rent movies from the library and have a movie night at home (try picking a theme: documentaries, foreign, thrillers, mysteries, etc.).
  3. Graduating soon or want a summer internship? Craft your resume and get your references lined up.
  4. Visit www.meetup.com to get together with other like-minded people who also want to hang out.
  5. Throw an old-fashioned game night and play your favorite board games (Monopoly, Twister, Scrabble to name a few).
  6. Check out the Buff Bulletin board, Boulder Weekly, and The Daily Camera for free cultural events.
  7. Get your finances in order; work on a budget, sign up for mint.com, track your spending. Visit cumoneysense.colorado.com for more ideas on how to get your money organized.

to do list

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Winter is Coming–5 Meal Ideas to Keep You Warm

by Danielle Meltz, Student Blogger

Now that I’ve made it to my junior year, the cheap 25 cent packages of ramen noodles no longer cuts it as a hearty (or very healthy) winter meal. While trying to figure out how to balance cooking and school is not an easy task, soups are a nutritious and cost efficient way of making it through the winter. The best part is that most of the ingredients for these recipes can be bought in bulk making them super cost efficient, especially if you share with your roommates.

Equipment needed: slow cooker (crock pot), knife for chopping, spoons for stirring, large coffee mugs, microwave

1)      Slow Cooker Beef Stew

With only a few ingredients this meal is every busy college student’s dream. Drop the ingredients in a slow cooker before class or work and come home to ready-made dinner. The best part about stews are that you can pretty much throw in anything you want. Can of beans you bought a few months ago, but haven’t wanted to eat? Throw them in!

soup

2)      Spicy Chili

The same idea as the slow cooker stew, but with fewer ingredients and more of a kick. As tempting as it might be to grab that chili in a can while browsing through the grocery store, there’s really no better way to go than homemade chili. This recipe has saved me numerous times when I want one meal to last me through the weekend. Not to mention, you can get a second meal idea out of this recipe by turning chili into Sloppy Joes for lunch.

 

3)      Caramelized butternut squash

squash
If it’s covered in butter and sugar does it still count as a vegetable? Probably. Mix up squash, sugar, salt and pepper and bake it for 50 minutes for one of the best winter meals around. Growing up my family always used this recipe as a side dish, but I’m pretty sure it fulfills the requirements of a whole meal as a college student.

4)      Pumpkin Pie French Toast

Yes, you read that right. Two of the world’s greatest things have joined forces. Pumpkin takes over yet another food item with this magical fall treat. With a total cook time of 10 minutes, the options of this meal are endless from breakfast to a midnight snack.
french toast

5)      Cake in a mug

If you haven’t had cake in a mug yet, you’re definitely doing college wrong. This wonder of a recipe has made my all-nighters far more enjoyable. Just throw some flour, sugar, cocoa powder, butter and Nutella into a cup, pop it in the microwave for 1 minute and you’ve got yourself the best snack any college student could ask for.

The biggest struggle I’ve found in college is managing to balance school, work, and the occasional laundry and grocery trip. These recipes are so great because they can last you a while and the meals make the best leftovers. Learning how to cook can be easy and fun–and doing it on a budget is even better!

 

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