The Millenial’s Guide to Not Going Broke

A few simple tips to save money and time.
A few simple tips to save money and time.

 

So here’s the deal – I’m in America, where every dollar I spend translates to 65 bucks back home (India). As an Economist who is wrapping up the last months of school, and gearing up to pay back student loans – being smart about money matters.

Here are a few tips that I found helpful:

  1. I shop at Whole Foods sometimes and it doesn’t kill me.

    You know Whole Foods – with its green glistening aisles of organic food that tell you to sign over your first born with every purchase.

    But you can escape with a good credit score if you buy from the bulk bins instead of the already packed lentils, rice and other grains.

    Hear me out:

    Grains like Quinoa, as well as breakfast staples like oatmeal are a bit cheaper when you buy the same amount in bulk. Plus they replenish those little tubes faster than the pre-packaged bags of food in the aisles, so I guess it’s win-win here!
    See: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/blog/whole-story/buy-bulk-health-it

    All Credits to Whole Foods Market.
  2. Thank GOD for UBER Pool Passes.

    Ever since Uberpool started, I have been saving so much money travelling in Boston – but they made it even better! Now there’s a pass that you can use in Boston that makes commutes much cheaper than the T!

    So the T costs me 2.10 between stops, whereas the Uber pool with the PoolPass costs me only 2 bucks anywhere within the radius it plies in.

    It’s not only cheaper, it saves time and it’s so much more convenient!

    Link here: https://newsroom.uber.com/us-massachusetts/july-pool-pass-ride-for-a-penny-all-month-long/

  3. ALL YOU CAN EAT

    There’s this amazing Indian buffet called Shanti (in Boston) which even some foreigners swear by. It’s great Indian food for 10 bucks and all you can eat!

    It’s really hard to find good Indian food that cheap out here!

  4. Frozen Veggies are actually kinda great!

    Another grocery shopping tip: I love to cook but cleaning up is a pain – so pre-cut frozen veggies are my lifesavers now. Frozen peppers, onions, corn, beans – you name it! I buy these from trusty old Trader Joe’s since the quality is great (also they have combinations of veggies mixed by purpose – like Asian Stir Fry Mix ). I save so much time AND money (since these are usually 3 bucks a bag at most, while 2 whole peppers may cost 2 bucks each!)

Saving money is an art, that needs constant refining. You don’t have to hustle to be honest, but I love saving on these little things, so that I can treat myself to good dinners and good things on a student budget.

It works out.

An Indian Abroad : The hungry student’s packing list.

If the name of my blog isn’t a big enough hint, let me tell you that I am the nerdiest food lover you will ever meet. I try weird food subscriptions, substitutions and recipes – all to please the palate.

Since I was moving to the United States, I really had to get realistic about the various spices, tools and kitchen equipment I had acquired over the years. (Thanks Mom and Dad!) Some stuff just wouldn’t work here since the power requirements were different, and I had to adjust my cooking style to fit a tiny kitchen, where clean up would be my job too. Hello shortcuts and one-bowl dishes!

In retrospect, maybe I should’ve carried a few things here, and left a few out. I guess a list would be helpful to a future student coming to the US and save him/her a lot of time and anguish.

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An Indian Abroad : The hungry student's packing list.

1

A Flat pan or Griddle

Jul 20, 2016
A Flat pan or Griddle

For pancakes, roti and paratha.

I rarely make roti at home, since I buy the frozen packs from haldiram's - but you still need this to reheat them and make them taste right.

2

Besan

Jul 20, 2016
Besan

Gram Flour - really important for cheela making and kadhi

3

Chilli Powder

Jul 20, 2016
Chilli Powder

I've found that the chilli powder here isn't as fiery as the one back home.

4

Haldi

Jul 20, 2016
Haldi

Obviously.

Use it for face packs, haldi doodh, and for flavouring food.

5

Hing

Jul 20, 2016
Hing

Important for tempering dals, kadhi etc.

6

Kadhai

Jul 20, 2016
Kadhai

Get a nice, non-stick one with a lid.

You will use it for maggi, sabzi and chicken.

7

Pressure Cooker

Jul 20, 2016
Pressure Cooker

Saves a hell lot of time. Can cook rice (pulao, biryani, plain), dal, chole, khichdi.... the list is endless.

Ask mom for a demo.

8

Salt Pepper Sugar

Jul 20, 2016

Just enough to tide you until you go for your first grocery shopping.

9

Toor Dal

Jul 20, 2016
Toor Dal

The easiest dal to make. I make this ahead and freeze if I don't plan on eating it. With rice, it is the easiest and healthiest meal I can think of.