Applicant #4: Nathan Scott

Nathan Scott is a 25-year-old from Washburn.

Nathan's video application:

Nathan online:

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Nathan's current situation:

I'm a 25-year-old chef who lives in Washburn, Maine. I'm currently writing a cookbook, and I host my own series of televised cooking segments called the Open Kitchen (airs weekly on WAGM-TV). When I'm not on the kitchen set filming, I enjoy spending my time outdoors. I canoe and kayak, enjoy skiing and snowshoeing, and even have a little vegetable garden in the backyard. I also enjoy spending time with family and friends, watching TV, playing the piano, and writing my daily blog: thetrialstribulationsofawannabeauthor.blogspot.com.

Nathan's blog post:

As a chef and – perhaps more to the point – as a 25-year-old male, food occupies my thoughts pretty much all of the time. And like most college-aged adults, I have made it my mission to eat as much food as possible, while spending as little as possible. It's a system that I've named “Dinner on a Dime,” and today, I'll share some of those money-saving tips with you.

Nathan's Top 4 Money-Saving Tips for Dorm Room Dinners:

#1. Forget about name brand products. Those are for people with careers – people with disposable income and some form of decorative cupboard or pantry in which to store all those name brands. You're in college – you probably don't have any income, let alone a decorative cupboard or pantry. (I know when I was in college, my food was stored in a milk crate under the bed...) So when you go to the store, make your purchase decisions based upon the products' unit prices. Chances are the store brands will be a lot cheaper. And remember, the highest priced items are often placed at eye level, so be certain to look at the tops and bottoms of each display case for the best deals.

#2. Be sure to avoid those vending machines. Aside from the fact that most vending machines offer thoroughly unhealthy foods, they're also very expensive. For example, the average markup on those gumballs you like so much is 1,200-percent. Allow me to repeat that – 1,200-percent! So, if you can't live without your daily sugar fix, then go to the candy store and spend the $3.50 on that 2-pound bag of gumballs. Otherwise, choose a healthier (and oftentimes cheaper) snack like an apple, yogurt, or whole-grain pretzels.

#3. Coupons are a great way for everyone to save money. And with websites like Coupons.com, CouponMom.com, and MyCoupons.com, it is easier than ever to clip coupons. Plus, if you're a college student, your friendly neighborhood campus library is yet another excellent source of coupons. All you need to do is buddy-up with one of the librarians. Then, ask that librarian to set aside the various coupons and inserts from the numerous newspapers the library receives each day. Not only will you have a great supply of coupons, but you might just make a lifelong librarian friend.  

4. If you live somewhere near Mom and Dad, stop by for dinner every once in a while. It's a great opportunity to catch up with the 'rents. (You'll appreciate it in retrospect...) Plus, let's be honest here – dinner at Mom and Dad's is basically a free all-you-can-eat buffet! It's win, win.

Well, those are my top four tips for dining à la dorm room. Not only are they simple to implement, but they will also help keep both you and your wallet nice and full. If you have tips of your own, drop me a line. I'd love to hear how you are doing “Dinner on a Dime.”

Nathan