Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Staying in touch is easier than you think!

Now that the year is quickly coming to a close you might be worried about how you can stay in touch with your new friends. I know from first hand experiences when friends move away, it's hard to keep in touch with them. You both get busy with your separate lives and don't have the time to catch up with each other. Nonetheless, it's important to keep in touch with friends. Here are some ideas for keeping in touch with your buds.

1.     Call often. Simply pick up the phone and call whenever you can - it doesn't have to be a long phone call. Just a quick 5-minute call can get you caught up with each other
2.     Email or chat online. Make sure you exchange e-mail addresses before you leave campus, and you're all set. Just remember to send them a message with what you have been up to!
3.     Skype. With Skype, you can video-conference with people who live far away from you for FREE by connecting through your camera and microphone on your computer.

Here are some other tips on keeping in touch:
·      Don't wait for your friend to make the first move. Who knows how busy she is, or if she/he is waiting for you to message them!
·      Use internet social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter as means to stay in touch with what your friends have been up too

For more information on how to stay in touch with friends from university or college, check your schools alumni page for more information and tips. Click here for more information from Brock University.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Roommates 101

I find that the biggest concern that all incoming first university and college students face, living in residence is “will I get along with my roommate?” The answer, you wont like each other all the time, you just have to respect each other.

I know I went into my residence experience with such high hopes that my roommate and me were going to instantly be best friends who were going to do anything and everything together. I couldn’t wait to meet my roommate and start experiencing university life together. Once I moved in and we started living together, my dreams were shattered quickly!

I soon learned that my roommate and I had completely different schedules we were total opposites. She was a night owl and didn’t wake up till mid afternoon, I liked to go to bed at a decent hour so I could wake up early.

We frequently clashed on all kinds of issues but then we both realized that we needed to stop forcing ourselves to being “best friends” and just respect both of our needs for the year while we shared a room.

However, we both made it out alive from our shared room experience and now that we don’t share a space we have actually become best friends. We have grown so close and sharing a room was the first step in forming our strong friendship.

I know, once you move in to residence, and you initially don’t get along with your roommate your pairing can feel like a life sentence. I found some great steps on adjusting to living with a roommate at Parent Central and will help ease the transition into dorm life and sharing your living space with a total stranger.

Other tips for adjusting to life with a roommate:

·      Create roommate rituals. Give yourselves a chance to get to know each other better by establishing regular roommate get-togethers like going out for dinner, watching a movie or favourite TV show and celebrating each other's birthdays.
·      Be respectful. Make sure you both display common courtesy and empathy towards each other and each others things. Make sure to take down and communicate your roommate's phone messages. Be sensitive to how your roommate feels about girlfriends or boyfriends staying overnight. Offer some encouraging and supportive words when roommates are anxious about their first big test or term paper.

Until next week,

xo xo, your how to girl!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Food to Feel Good About: How To Make a Delicious Meal for Around $11

Now that everyone knows where to shop for the cheapest prices on groceries, it is now time to make a satisfying, delicious and very inexpensive meal that will please any starving student!

The recipe that I am sharing today is Eggplant Parmesan Lasagna! This is probably one of my favourite meals to make for my roommates and myself; I usually make it on a weekly basis. The best thing about this recipe is that it is inexpensive; one meal of Eggplant Parmesan Lasagna can feed four people for around $11.

This dish is so flavourful, saucy and gooey with cheese you wont believe this was the cheapest meal you made or one of the healthiest. This recipe is also vegetarian and gluten free friendly.

My friends, you can now stay away from the ramen noodles and the KD and enjoy a meal you can feel good about eating.

If you click here, you will be taken to a video of my roommate Bailey, making my recipe of Eggplant Parmesan Lasagna. Enjoy and bon appetite!

Until next week,

Xo xo, your how to girl 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

No Frills or Full Service Grocery Stores? Who Can Save a Student More Money?

As a University student it is hard to find the money out of your budget to purchase good and healthy food without blowing the bank. To save money on your grocery bill I’m sure you have even switch supermarkets from the grocery store with all the bells and whistles to the bargain no-frills type of grocery stores to save a buck. Your new grocery-shopping tactic might actually not be saving you money, you could be paying more for your groceries and you don’t even know it!

A couple of weeks ago a segment aired on City News Toronto, where reporter, Jee-Yun Lee, along with savvy shopper Kimberley Clancy of Frugal Shopper, set out to three grocery stores to see which would have the lowest bill. Lee and Clancy went to The Real Canadian Super Store, Wal-Mart and Food Basics where they purchased the same basic food items like bread, muffins, orange juice, fruit, meat and milk to test the overall price.

To my surprise, they discovered that The Real Canadian Super Store was the cheapest grocery store for everyday items with a total bill of $63.61, Wal-Mart bill was $66.88 and biggest upset was the no frills store, Food Basics who racked up a bill of $76.40 on every day items. That is a difference of $13 between the Real Canadian Super Store and Food Basics order totals. That difference in money can really add up over time, especially for starving students.

Next time you are out grocery shopping make sure you think about where you are going and look at the prices of your food. Also, look in the flyer for more food saving ideas.

Finally a few quick tips I use before going to the grocery store:
§  Eat First. The food will look less appealing when you are full and you will resist impulse buying of food that just  “looks good”
§  Use coupons. I don’t sit through the flyer section of the paper and clip every coupon, but on the way into the store I take a look at the flyer board and if I see something I am buying this week, I will take the coupons.

      Until next week,

      xo xo, your how to girl!