On a college budget, it's tough to find the extra money to enjoy a night out or even a meal that doesn't come wrapped in plastic. I'm here to tell you that armed with your student ID and a little bit of knowledge, there are plenty of places where you can save a few dollars.
Here are a few spots where you can eat, shop and relax for less, with and without a student ID. (Oh, and don't forget to check the Indy each week for coupons.)
Bring your ID
Carmike Chapel Hills 15
1710 Briargate Blvd., 531-5142, carmike.com
The regular movie-ticket price is $7.50 after 6 p.m., but flash your student ID and you pay just $6.00.
Multiple locations, chipotle.com
Maybe you like tacos, or maybe the classic burrito is more your style. It doesn't matter — your student ID will get you a free drink to go with whatever you order on the menu.
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
30 W. Dale St., 634-5581, csfineartscenter.org
On the third Tuesday of every month, the FAC offers free museum admission to the general public. If once a month just isn't enough for you, a $30 student membership offers admission anytime, plus discounts on theater tickets.
Multiple locations, samsclub.com
Stock up on snacks, school supplies, laundry detergent and whatever else you may need. A student membership costs $40 and includes a $15 Sam's Club gift card, plus an extra membership card. Since the store specializes in bulk items, you can split the cost and the goods with friends and roommates.
Multiple locations, subway.com
Here's one reason why it's important to always ask about student discounts: Not all Subway restaurants participate in the program. Walk into the right store with your student ID (specifically the one on West Uintah) and get 10 percent off your meal.
Discounts for everyone
Arc Thrift Stores
Multiple locations, arcthrift.com
Find clothing, housewares, vintage items and Halloween costumes for a bargain price. Items have one of five colored tags to indicate the price and on Saturdays take 50 percent off most items. Also keep your eyes open for Salvation Army and Goodwill stores. They both offer the same types of items at comparable discounts.
900 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-9815
It's not so much a discount as it is a cheap way to have a little fun. Grab your piggy bank and spend an afternoon playing the original Duck Hunt, Skee-ball, Dance Dance Revolution or pinball. Games range anywhere from a penny to a dollar.
5050 N. Nevada Ave., 5885 Barnes Road, costco.com
A bulk warehouse similar to Sam's Club. Costco doesn't offer a discount for students. But at $50, memberships cost only a little more than at Sam's Club. And since the Nevada Avenue location is closer to UCCS, CC and the downtown PPCC campus, it might be more convenient for you.
The way Groupon works is simple: Go to the website and sign up using a local ZIP code. Every weekday, you'll be e-mailed a different "groupon" for a discount at a local business. If enough people buy the coupon before midnight, the deal "tips" and the coupon is valid; otherwise the deal is off and no charges are made to your credit card. Whether or not you buy the deal of the day, the daily e-mails are a good way to learn what local businesses (especially restaurants) are out there.
901 N. Academy Blvd., pictureshowent.com
For those who can wait to see a new release until it's not so new: Tickets at the Picture Show are $1.50, and 75 cents on Tuesdays. Feeling brave? Take your leftover cash and splurge on a dollar hot dog.
925 N. Academy Blvd., platoscloset.com
The store's radio ad says it all: Find men's and women's name-brand clothing for a fraction of the cost. For an even better deal, clean out your closet and take in a bag of clothes in exchange for some cash. Keep in mind that the store only accepts gently used items in good condition.
5012 N. Nevada Ave., #160, 593-0900, xsthreadz.com
The locally owned version of Plato's Closet. Take in your gently used clothing and accessories and walk out with cash or store credit. The store carries everything from pre-teen to adult plus-size clothing, depending on availability.
As a volunteer Coach and Mentor in my third year at The First Tee of…