So one thing your estimates expenses for your study abroad trip shows that is off the charts is the cost of food. Mine alone was over $7,000 for the school year. Yah, shoot me in this face. Nearly gave up when I saw that. The GOOD news though, you can cut those expenses doen by a lot if you just follow my tips.
- DON’T go out for every meal of the day. Sure weekends are okay, have a nice lunch with your friends or dinner and so is going out once during the school week, but not EVERYDAY. Food in Japan is costly. Best believe it.
- DO make your own food, especially if you place of stay has a kitchen. And if you’re a college student there, best believe that you’re going to become a chef of making pasta (spaghetti). And I’m not going to lie, supermarkets there have a great selection of sauces. So WHY is this going to become your favorite food? Well, because it’s cheap.org. 100 yen (1.20 US about) for the dry pasta and the same price for the same. FYI, even though some of those packets say “for up to two people”, in reality they go for about 4-5 meals. You can stretch it. LOL.
- DON’T stick to one grocery store. Truth is, there is probably another grocery store out there that sells the same thing you’re trying to find, but for a better price.
- DO pregame before you go to the club. It’s cheaper to buy some vodka in a big bottle and split the price with your friends. Clubbing takes quite a bit of money, for example, to cost to get there and back, an entrance fee, etc., so yah pregame. Unless ladies you’re confident you can get a guy to by you drink(s) then LEGGO.
Top Places to shop: Keep in mind this is for those studying at ICU, but most of these stores are popular all over Japan
- 100 yen shop (equivalent to the 99 cents store)
- Gourmet City
- Don-qi-hote (Kind of like a Walmart)
- Seiyu (Walmart)
- Local Shops
All I have to say is be weary of your money. In Japanese terms it may be cheap, but in regards to your currency probably not.
Best of luck to you in Japan!