Unofficial Orientation, Winter Edition: Cost-Saving Tips

Welcome to wintry Wesleyan. (Finally.) In line with our typical annual Unofficial Orientation Series in the Fall semester, below is one more blog-vomit of campus lore.

Garnered inexpensively from Google Images.

Textbooks are Expensive!

Some professors are awesome and require no textbooks, or just a few cheap ones. Other professors don’t do that. NSM classes can be brutal, at no fault of the professor. If you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on books each semester, some of the following might be cheaper options:

  1. Check the Library catalog. I’ve been doing this for years now myself, and haven’t paid a nickel for textbooks since 2012. The Library sometimes has texts online and many professors put hardcopies on reserve at the Reserve Desk. If the Library has a book but it’s checked out to somebody, consider asking your professor to have it put on reserve. This option often requires you budgeting your time well, because there will probably be three other people competing for the same book the night before class, but it is also the cheapest because it’s free.
  2. is a website set up by Wes alum Peter Frank ’12 that functions as textbook exchange for Wesleyan students. If another student is selling the book you need, you’ll probably get a great deal. If not, the site tries to find you the best deal on a variety of online discount bookstores (Amazon, Chegg, etc.). As a bonus, you can use the site to sell your books back to somebody else later to offset the costs. You can read all about it here.
  3. Get used books or rent from Broad Street Books. Used books at Broad Street usually sell out fast, so this post is probably too late for that. Renting a new one, however, still gets you half the cost.
  4. Share with a classmate. If you know somebody else in your class pretty well and can work out a schedule to share the book or study together, then this is also a cheap option. That can get dicey though, especially around midterms and finals.
  5. Don’t do the reading.
  6. Other class materials (arts supplies, etc.): if a class requires materials that are not textbooks, departments sometimes (sometimes!) have small funds available to provide materials for students on financial aid. Talk with your professor or advisor.

Essentials of Living

Please use soap, at least every once in a while. A few recommendations on where to get that kind of stuff:

  1. Weshop is overpriced and has a very limited selection, but you can use points rather than cash…
  2. Rite Aid is within walking distance. It’s on Main Street, down by the intersection with whatever Church Street turns into. Both CVS stores and the Walgreens are a brief car ride (or a very long walk, I suppose), but they’re there for those of you with obstinate brand loyalty. I would not call Rite Aid cheap, but it’s not Weshop.
  3. Price Chopper is also a short car ride away, but slightly cheaper. It is on Washington Avenue, about a mile west of campus.
  4. Goodwill is out by Price Chopper if you desperately need clothes or a Halloween costume.

Oh Gods I Just Can’t Eat Usdan Again Tonight

Everyone has that kind of day on occasion. When you really want to eat out but don’t want to spend twenty bucks on dinner, I direct you to these two posts. A quick run-through of the cheaper options.

  1. Neon Deli (beware Fran).
  2. Marcos Deli (the lesser-known Deli, great for the Rises).
  3. Iguanas Ranas (authentic Mexican).
  4. Athenian (not-at-all-authentic Greek; actually just a diner).
  5. Ford News Diner (also, shockingly, a diner).
  6. Illianos (only if you get pizza).
  7. Klekolo (coffee shop).

. . .

This post was hacked together somewhat last minute, so please chime in with suggestions in the comments. Both suggestions on what to cover and how to save money are welcome. Good luck to all in the coming semester.

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7 thoughts on “Unofficial Orientation, Winter Edition: Cost-Saving Tips

  1. claire

    Thai Gardens and Typhoon are very pricey for dinner, but have super cheap lunch specials. Crust is also great and very cheap–and the drinks are reasonably priced.

  2. Do Your Homework

    Neon charges $13+ for a sandwich, Marco’s has been closed since the summer, and Iguanas Ranas is just about as authentic as Taco Bell. Come on, Wesleying staff.

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