Has your money run dry just a little too soon this week? Check out our tips on making the most of that last $20 you have stashed in your sock drawer.


Ease back into the school week by getting a little escapism through a movie. Many towns have theaters that show older movies for just $1-$2. Check out that movie you wanted to catch but couldn’t swallow paying $13 to see in theaters. The cheaper theaters usually show movies that are a few weeks away from being released on DVD. If your town is missing the great dollar theater staple, try renting a movie from Redbox and grab your nearest and dearest along with some popcorn for an in-home movie experience.


It’s breakfast smorgasbord night. If you live in a dorm, prepare to dominate the community kitchen for awhile. Head to the cheapest grocery store in your area and split the cost of a half-carton of eggs, bacon, pancake batter and syrup with a few friends. Depending on how many other hungry students you can rustle up, expect to pay about $5. Don’t automatically buy the cheapest pancake mix; look for one that requires adding the fewest ingredients. Be sure to change into your pajamas once you make it back indoors!


To celebrate hump day, it’s time to hit the local coffee shop. Locally owned cafes tend to have more interesting atmospheres, but if you’re craving name brand coffee, go for it. Prices are generally pretty comparable. Buy one drink, and prepare to make it last. You’re here to socialize and get out of the house/dorm, so don’t go on a caffeine bender. Look for a cold drink that will allow you to keep it longer so you don’t end up sipping a lukewarm cappuccino. Take some homework or a study buddy, and enjoy the calm atmosphere.


Thursday is a good day to organize, study for upcoming tests, and basically get your life in order after a long week. This will leave Friday open to some more entertaining activities, but still lets you repair any damage you inflicted on your place since last weekend. That said–you can still have a little fun with it. If you’re in the dorm, throw on some music, open your door and meet new people and chat with friends who live in your hall. If you have an off-campus apartment or house, it’s definitely time to jam out to the most embarrassing boy band/Spice Girl songs in your library while you do the dishes and do some advanced preparation for next week’s history exam.


Now that your room/house is sparkling clean, you won’t be too embarrassed to invite people over to celebrate the beginning of the weekend. Save a $5 bill for tomorrow, but blow the rest on snacks and drinks of your choice. If you’re craving some dinner, Taco Bell will feed most appetites for under a dollar and keep your delicate budget intact.


Time to pack up and head to your local attractions. Are you within 50 miles of the world’s largest corn statue? Have you not had your picture taken with the crazy statue of a squirrel a few towns over?  Grab some Google Map directions and be on your way. Eat lunch from a gas station—nothing says ‘adventure on a budget’ like hot dogs that may or may not have been rotating under a heat lamp since 4 a.m. For longer road trips, this will also give you a chance to refuel and take any bathroom breaks.

If you’re a history, art or music buff, check around your area for local museums that cater to your passions. Many museums don’t charge students for entry. Some will have set days they don’t charge, so be sure to check their website or call before you go.