Shaving down food expenses for the college budget

Where to find  cheap deals and coupons near and around campus.

At some point during college, you’ve gone to check your bank account balance only to see you’re broke. With no Diamond Dollars left and a used-up meal plan, what’s a starving person to do for dinner?

If you have at least $5 left in your wallet and access to a computer, you have nothing to worry about. Here are some free websites that want to help you find some great deals:

When you get to its website, enter your school and cell phone number. When you find the deal you want, click the “send to cell” icon, and it’ll text you the deal. For $5 you can get a 6-inch meal deal from Subway on Cecil B Moore Avenue, a hoagie at Richie’s or a crepe and drink from the Crepe Truck. You can save $5 at the Fresh Grocer, get a free fountain drink at Maxi’s, a free size upgrade at Saxby’s, two free spring rolls at Koja Grille and more.

It’s easy to sign up, just go to the website and enter your city and e-mail address. You’ll receive its “Daily Deals” straight to your inbox – each guarantees 50 percent off. Get a $20 meal for $10 at a Center City restaurant or get $100 worth of spa services for $50. The downside: The deal isn’t always for food.

This website is very similar to Groupon. Enter your city and e-mail address, and you will get its deals sent to your inbox, as well. It also guarantees 50 percent off. On Feb. 9, the deal was to get a $20 purchase for $10 at Scoop DeVille and Maron Chocolates on Chestnut Street. Some past deals were for Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Skydive Philadelphia.

GrubHub is an online menu and ordering business and is great when you’re sick of eating Temple Garden on Friday nights or want to try new types of food. Simply enter your address, and it lists all the restaurants that will deliver to you and their menus. Some places offer coupons, and if you order online through GrubHub, the restaurants will waive the delivery fee.


Twitter finally has more of a purpose than pointless – and excessive – tweet updates. If you search for just about any fast food joint or restaurant on Main Campus, you’ll be able to find a variety of deals. Saxby’s is offering a buy-one-get-one-free deal for vanilla lattes on Valentine’s Day. There are various drink deals at the Draught Horse and some giveaways from Dunkin’ Donuts, too.

There are many online sources to score food deals and giveaways – you just have to know where to look. Google is a great way to start if you search the right phrases. Nobody likes getting excessive junk e-mails every day, but with the deals these sites offer, it may be worth the spam. Quick tip: always be on the lookout for Jimmy John’s – it’s notorious for giving away free subs in random places on Main Campus.

Nichole Baldino can be reached at

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