Commuters find themselves to be smart shoppers

Thanks to overcrowding on Quinnipiac University’s campus and the recently imposed rule barring senior residency, many students are now living off campus, forced to live like true adults.
With worrisome financial responsibilities, students are now learning how to budget their money for necessities, such as food and electricity and other, more frivolous items, such as clothes and CDs.
The smart shopper has found that there are several ways to save money while living off campus.
“The Super Stop and Shop scan saver card is my best friend,” said Sara DeMayo, a senior and vice president of finance for the Student Government Association. “And I save coupons.”
A quick trip to the customer service counter at Super Stop and Shop, which has two locations on Dixwell Avenue in Hamden, will land the newly stingy consumer a free scan saver card. When swiped through the checkout register the card acts as a collective coupon and deducts a set price of several items.
At the Dixwell Ave. Stop and Shop the aisle next to the juices features most of the discounted items all in one place. While coupons are useful, the scan saver card is enjoying blossoming popularity.
Ryan Jones, a junior at Quinnipiac who moved to a Wallingford apartment because of crowded campus life, has other tricks besides the scan saver card to save him money at the grocery store.
“It’s the generic brands all the way,” he said, with an appreciative smile. “And I never looked at coupons the way I do now.
You know you have to pay rent to live somewhere,” he continued. “But paying for food is the hardest thing about living off campus.”
Other stores are just plain inexpensive counsels DeMayo, who frequents Xpect Discounts in North Haven.
Instead of scanning prices into a computer, each item is hand labeled and entered by hand into the register allowing the store to offer low prices than regular food chains.
Besides studying and sleeping, many Quinnipiac students favor shopping at the many stores around Hamden. However, paying full price is not always necessary. DeMayo is a fan of TJMaxx, a clothing and decorative store located on Dixwell Avenue. Selling brand name items and discount prices is a big seller with DeMayo.
“My roommates and I make a trip out of going,” she said. “We have found a lot of good deals.”
Other stores offering discounts can be found in the Westbrook and Clinton Outlet Shops.
While saving money outside the home is important to those living off campus, there are many ways to save money inside the home.
“I am very conscious of making bills low,” said DeMayo. “We are so stingy. My roommates and I chase each other around turning off lights.”
Jones also feels the strain of having to pay for bills, something students who live in the Quinnipiac dorms do not have to worry about.
“You get used to basic cable, eating less and taking shorter showers,” he said.
While having to carefully monitor finances is a drawback, those living off campus have more freedom and fewer rules. So did Quinnipiac do the new commuters a favor?
“It is preparing the senior class to go out into the real world,” said DeMayo. “If Quinnipiac hadn’t kicked us off, it would have been a shock to learn how to live on your own and manage your finances all at once.”