In New York City, you're going to pay at least $10 for a Long Island Iced Tea. For $10, you can buy a jug of Carlo Rossi or an 18-pack of Natty Ice, and you can nix the tip. Even at cheap college bars, you're bound to pay a cover charge to enjoy Nickel Nite, and even though you're basically drinking for free, you have to tip on every round. Instead of having a big bar night this week, have a liquor potluck, and invite all of your friends to come over with that random bottle that's been collecting dust for months. You'll get drunk without spending a dime, and won't have to wait 20 minutes for an overwhelmed bartender to take your order.
Sure, gas prices have plummeted. But you can save even more! Do you and your friend always have to take separate cars on a rendezvous? Figure out a carpool schedule that's fair for everyone. Do you frequently start and stop your car? That wastes gas, so keep it running when you're parked in your friend's driveway for a minute while she finds her keys. Obey the speed limits and traffic laws — braking hard and accelerating too quickly will eat gas like a premenstrual Ricki Lake at Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. Oh, and get your engine checked regularly. A faulty car has to work twice as hard to get you where you're going.
It's great if you and your pals don't have to go strictly tit for tat, but the phrases, "Oh, I'll get this, you can get the next time," "I know you've had a rough week. Let me buy you a drink," or "If I order a pizza, will you have some?" are going to get you into trouble. So is saying you'll put the bill on your credit card if everyone chips in — you're bound to end up overcompensating for someone. Sharing is great. Just make sure you're not getting the raw end of the deal.
DVR or Tivo
I'm pretty much obsessed with Lost, but I know if I miss it, I can catch up on abc.com over the weekend. So I also know that if you miss Nip/Tuck, The Office, or G's to Gents, you aren't going to die. Say you spend $10 extra on your cable bill each month for DVR: that's $120 a year, just to be able to fast-forward through commercials.
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