Posts Tagged ‘budget’

An Ode to Chicken: Chapter 4 — Finding Delight in Cheap Eats

Monday, August 2nd, 2021

My favorite food has been, and most likely will always be, chicken. 

I love chicken there is no denying that. My attempts at being vegetarian in the past have all failed at the sight of chicken tenders. It’s America’s favorite protein and the key to my heart. It’s chicken

Growing up in a family of five, there were many nights my parents didn’t have time to prepare a meal. Juggling full-time jobs and three kids, there were many evenings that we called upon our favorite cheap and easy restaurant: The Flying Chicken. The unsuspecting little restaurant, with orange walls and just a few tables, was known for selling out quickly, with only a few chickens left at the end of the day but only if you were lucky. 

Another favorite of mine in Chicago: Brasa Roja. When The Flying Chicken closed its doors for good, this is where we satisfied all our cravings. 

Pollo a la brasa, or grilled chicken, is something Colombia has mastered as a country. With perfect golden skin, every piece is just as juicy as the next. Although it might seem simple, Colombian grilled chicken is an art in itself. The chicken must marinate in a mixture of spices like oregano, thyme, cumin, and cilantro before being grilled to perfection. It’s a tedious process with results that are worth it. 

When my father would bring home white plastic bags filled with huge styrofoam boxes, I knew what was coming: pieces of roasted chicken sitting atop white rice, chunks of potatoes, and arepas made from corn flour stuffed with cheese. My brothers and I fought for whatever remained, always unsatisfied with the amount given. 

Although chicken might seem to be the focus here, the real point of what I’m talking about is how food does not need to be fancy to be considered “good.” Pollo a la brasa, albeit underrated and difficult to perfect, is not fancy food. It’s simple food that is meant to be eaten with your hands and an abundance of napkins, with oil stains collecting on the front of your shirt. Despite this, it remains one of my favorite meals because of the amount of flavor packed into a $12 styrofoam tray. 

The traditional way of cooking pollo a la brasa. Although seems like rotisserie chicken, it is considered grilled. 

I’m not saying expensive food isn’t good; I work in a restaurant with high prices and amazing meals. But, expensive food is not always attainable for college students. This has led to me exploring the hidden restaurants tucked into corners on empty streets or exploring local grocery stores for good eats. 

On the nights where I am desperately missing pollo a la brasa, I take myself to the grocery store and pick up the next best thing a rotisserie chicken. The possibilities of rotisserie chickens are endless: chicken salad, tacos, burritos, buffalo chicken dip, sandwiches, and more. All for $10. 

The flavor might not be the same, but no one said you can’t doctor up a rotisserie chicken to your own liking! Personally, I love to shred mine. Then, when I’m ready to eat I’ll season it according to what I’m craving. This is a great way to not only get the most out of what you’re paying for but also being able to experiment with a wide range of different recipes. Like I said before, the beauty of chicken is chicken. It’s easy, versatile, and cost-friendly. Don’t be afraid to prepare it in new ways! Your options are endless from fried, baked, seared, and stuffed chicken. Whatever you’re heart desires. Just be sure to share, and remember: all food is good food. It doesn’t have to be fancy, expensive, or covered in spices you can’t pronounce to be considered tasty. Take delight in the cheap eats, and share the deliciousness with others! 

If you’re curious about pollo a la brasa, I recommend trying Tio Pio! They have a great roasted chicken that is similar in flavor to the real deal. Check out the coupon below for a delicious burrito from them! 

By: Allegra Ruiz

Allegra Ruiz is a junior at New York University and she is from Chicago. She studies English and is minoring in Creative Writing. In her free time, she enjoys journaling, reading books and essay collections, and cooking for her roommates. Currently, she lives quietly in New York. 

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC, from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.


The Decision Making Process

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Now that the goals for a trip are set up, it is time to get into the gnitty gritty details on how to plan for the trip!  So the question being raised now is where should I go?

Deciding where to go

Now, this is normally not a hard question to answer because people usually have destinations in mind when they want to travel, but what about those who have no idea where to travel?  What about those who don’t think they have enough money to travel?  Well, here are some tips to consider:

-There is always the option to travel locally.
-Make sure the travel plans are within a reasonable budget.
-Use goals to help decide where to go.

For those who have never traveled before, the first suggestion I will give is to travel to somewhere close by.  Whether it is only fifty miles away or just to the next state over, short distance travelling is also travelling.  Travelling a short distance allows people to get a feel on how it is to travel.  If your hometown is New York City for example, travelling to Long Island and staying there overnight can give one a new outlook on how different somewhere so close can be.  Even going to Philadelphia and checking out their town hall and market can be an amazing travelling experience!

For those who wish to travel some longer distances, it is important that the location is within budget range.  Being a college student strictly increases the financial impact that money has on travelling.  When planning for a trip, one must always take into account how much money is available.  Realistically, it is near impossible to plan a trip to India with only two-hundred dollars.  Travel costs, accommodation costs and food costs are some of the obstacles that might get the way.  My rule, although not always applicable, is to add two-hundred dollars to a trip costs after making it.


Remember the goals list?  Use that to help create the best personal plan.  A list of goals is the first step in creating the skeleton for a good travel plan.  It is the foundation and first step in creating a good travel experience.  Don’t forget that Tripadvisor is a great tool when looking for places to go.

Deciding where to go will ultimately depend on the individual.  Do not forget that although travelling can be a great adventure, the process will have some expenses on way or another.  Traveling takes time, effort and energy.  As other issues are delved upon, it will greatly impact the trip and help solidify the need for planning.



This was written by Gary Chen of Stony Brook University

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Starting a New Adventure

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

For the past decade, tuition across the spectrum has been increasing every year globally.  Over the past three years alone, college tuition has increased on an average of 3% a year! Although many college students are saving all those pennies and quarters to pay for their college tuition, it doesn’t mean there should be a ban on globe-trotting.  Travelling is one of the best things that a young adult can do for themselves.  As people get older, settle down, get a job and have more commitments to fulfill, traveling becomes harder.  Young people should seize their youth and travel to their heart’s content; many articles have shown that one of the biggest regrets dying people have is that they never got to travel while they had the chance.

College Funds can even be found in cookie jars!

Every inch of this earth holds an experience of a lifetime that can help meld one into their perfect future self.

Travelling to foreign lands can be a real eye opener to all the different things the world has to offer.  Like being tossed straight into the fire, travelling throws people into the heart of culture hotbeds different from home and forces them into new situations.  Finding new friends, uncovering new flavors, and scaling mountains higher than skyscrapers are only some of the situations which might be encountered!  Such experiences are memories that many travelers hold dear for the rest of their lives, even to their deathbed.

Having been a poor college student myself, I know the very troubles that might come along with travelling.  Accommodation, food and travel costs can take a heavy hit on a college student’s wallet.  On top of that, with the heavy course load that comes along with being a college student, students may be discouraged with their ability to travel.  In the end, these problems are nothing more than excuses.  With proper planning and guidance, traveling can be done without breaking the bank.

The process before traveling can be as daunting as travelling itself.  Still, with hard work and proper preparation, travelling is well within the average college student’s grasp.  These series of articles will show some of the best means and methods I have discovered on my travels to get the most college savings even while travelling the world.  Having traveled to South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Japan this year alone as a college student, I have learned not only important lessons which to build my life upon but also some of the most efficient ways to travel.


Gary Chen Stony Brook University

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Interested in more deals for students? Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter to get the latest in student discounts and promotions  and follow our Tumblr and Pinterest. For savings on-the-go, download our printable coupon e-book!