Tag Archives: West Lafayette

Getting to Chicago for Thanksgiving

2 Nov

www.purdue.edu/mymoney

Whether you are heading up to Chicago to see family there for the Thanksgiving holiday, planning on going to the airport to fly elsewhere, or just feel like hitting the Windy City instead of seeing family, Chicago is a common destination! However, getting there can be a challenge. Whether you’re visiting short-term or using it as a way to get further from Purdue for a little while, you probably want to do it the cheapest way possible.

Note: For the airport travelers, the Indianapolis airport is closer to Purdue but flight prices may differ greatly between the airports!

I’ve gone ahead and listed a few of your options for transportation on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday returning. Some of the numbers I’ve listed below are for a specific weekend, which I’ve noted, so you’ll want to double-check your travel dates to verify the prices.

Amtrak 

Amtrak Station

11/23: Departs from Lafayette at 3:45 p.m., arrives in Chicago at 5:45 p.m.($36)

11/27: Departs from Chicago at 5:45 PM, arrives in Lafayette at 9:57PM ($36)

Total Cost: $72 and up

Total Time: 6 hours, 41 minutes

Don’t forget about how you’ll be getting around once you get there. Whether it’s arranging a pick up from someone there, using local transit, or walking you’ll need to be prepared! If you plan to use the bus or subway (which you’ll need if the airport is your destination), you will definitely be spending extra on that and should budget accordingly. The Chicago Union station is right by downtown so you can reasonably walk to destinations if that’s the goal.

Driving

2 hours from West Lafayette to Chicago (122.5 miles)

2 hours from Chicago to West Lafayette (122.5 miles)

Gas: National average at $2.20/gallon

Total Cost: $27.50 and up plus parking

Total Time: 4 hours

If you’re averaging 20 miles/gallon, it will take about $27.50 in gas to get you to and from Chicago. However, this does not include paying for parking or any driving you may do around the city. Parking runs anywhere from $3-$15/ hour depending on the time and place you go. There are some parking lots in the heart of the city that offer flat rates for the entire day on the weekends, but you really have to search for these good deals and (as an effect of this) could use up even more gas and money. There are several apps that you can download on your phone which can help you compare parking prices. Sometimes the difference in a block is as much as $20!

The upside of this option is that you can split it with friends. Not only do they provide some company and navigation on the drive in, but they can also split the gas costs (and parking if you’re hanging out together).

If you’re catching a plane ride out of Chicago, remember that parking can cost you big! Daily parking is $35/ day if you don’t use one of the economy lots which are between $10-17/ day.

MegaBus

 MegaBus

11/23: Departs from Indianapolis at 5:00 p.m., arrives in Chicago at 7:30 p.m. ($49)

11/27: Depart from Chicago at 12:30 p.m., arrives in Indianapolis at 5:15 p.m. ($49)

Total Cost: $98 and up

While MegaBus might be known for their fares as low as $1.00, that’s not the case for the Thanksgiving weekend where prices are significantly higher than usual. On top of this, the route to Chicago leaves from Indianapolis. If you drive the hour down you’ll need to pay for parking and gas. You might be able to snag a ride with a friend who is going down to visit family, but ideally you’ll throw a few dollars their way to help with gas since they are likely going out of their way. Much like the Amtrak option, though, don’t forget to take into account your transportation costs once you get there. If you’re driving yourself, going straight to Chicago might be the better bet for Thanksgiving weekend.

Lafayette Limo

Lafayette Limo

Leave Purdue Memorial Union Follett’s Purdue West Arrive at O’Hare Airport Leave Chicago Arrive Lafayette
4:30 AM 4:40 AM 6:40 AM CST 8:00 AM CST  12:00 PM
10:30 AM 10:40 AM 12:40 PM CST 2:00 PM CST  6:00 PM
3:30 PM 3:40 PM 5:40 PM CST 7:00 PM CST  11 PM

Lafayette Limo cost $60 for a one-way ticket to O’Hare Airport and $110 for a round trip back to Lafayette.

There are some considerations to keep in mind when travelling with Lafayette Limo. Once you are in Chicago you will need to consider other transportation options from the airport to the city, if you are planning on staying in Chicago. Lafayette Limo has strict pick-up and drop off times. This could keep your Chicago visit to a tight schedule. Lafayette Limo is mainly used as a transportation method for Purdue University students traveling to home during peak times (before and after each semester) which creates limited space during peak times. On top of battling students trying to return home, the Limo may be full of luggage. A packed ride to and from Chicago has the potential to put a damper on one’s trip. Though, during these peak times you can rent Lafayette Limo and have a safe ride for your group. You can find more details about renting Lafayette Limo through their website online. If you’re planning on going to the O’Hare airport, the shuttle service might save you if you would have to pay for parking otherwise.

Of the four options above, which do you think you would be most likely to use? Is your choice completely based on the prices? Or do you have another method of travel you like to use for traveling to Chicago? Let us know if you do!

Frugal Date Ideas for the Fall

13 Oct

www.purdue.edu/mymoney

So, you’ve met the boy or girl of your dreams here at Purdue and you’ve finally struck up the courage to ask them out. The only problem is that you’re a college student and money is tight! Fortunately, there are plenty of low to no-cost date options that won’t make you look like a cheapskate. And they’ll probably be flattered by your creativity.

Have a picnic

A picnic is a great alternative to having dinner at an expensive restaurant. You can purchase food on campus (at Fresh City Market, perhaps?) or take the bus to Meijer or Wal-Mart for your picnic needs. Get creative! If you have food lying around your dorm or apartment, make a meal out of it! Don’t let it go to waste. Then, all you need is a cozy blanket and a shady spot to share a meal.

Take a walk or bike ride together

The campus is beautiful this time of year and there are plenty of grounds to explore. You may also want to branch out. Happy Hollow Park in West Lafayette has plenty of trails. Taking a walk together is a great way to spark up a wealth of conversation. If you both have bicycles, you may consider riding your bikes together.

allen leaves on dirt path  text overlay: Frugal Date Ideas for Fall

 

Exercise together

This option may not be everyone’s cup of tea; however, the Co-Rec has plenty of fun options. You don’t have to lift weights or run on the treadmill if you’re not up for it. Explore the rock climbing wall together or go for a swim. You don’t have to break a sweat if you don’t want to!

Share a group date

Pizza, anyone? Group dates are a great way to cut costs because you can split the bill. This is also a good way to get to know one another without the awkward silences, as you will have friends there to help you out!

Plan a study date

If you met your dream guy or girl in a shared class, perhaps you could schedule a study date. Not only is it free, it’s beneficial to your academic career! You could find a nice spot outdoors and enjoy the sunshine, or hit up a library together.

Volunteer together

Who could say no to cuddling with cute animals on a first date? Volunteering together is a great way to give back to the community and get to know one another. It also looks great on a resume. Almost Home Humane Society and Natalie’s Second Chance are great places to volunteer, but maybe puppies and kitties aren’t your thing. That’s okay! There are plenty of ways to get involved in your community and give back. You may want to contact the Lafayette Urban Ministry, as they are always looking for willing volunteers!

You don’t have to break the bank to win over your soul mate. Asking someone out is nerve-wracking enough without worrying about how you’re supposed to afford a five star meal. Being a college student will pay off eventually, but right now, we all understand the struggle. Do you have any foolproof frugal date ideas? Let us know below!

Saving Money While Having Fun on the Purdue Campus

29 Aug

www.purdue.edu/mymoney

txt-bell-tower

Looking for something to do on the weekend but running out of money? Try some of these fun activities available on Purdue’s campus to keep you entertained while saving money.

Purdue Student Union Board Events

The Purdue Student Union Board (PSUB) is a student run organization that provides students with different activities throughout the year. Most of the time the events they put on are free and involve getting free food! These events are a great way to meet new people, have fun, and save money. For a list of events take a look at their website as events change from semester to semester.

girl walking on Purdue campusExplore

This is always an interesting way to spend a few hours. You can either walk around campus and visit places you have never been or take a walk across the bridge and see what downtown Lafayette has to offer. Or get in your car and see where the road takes you. You never know what you might find while exploring. Have you ever been to Purdue’s Horticulture Park? Definitely worth the short drive (or walk if you live in McCutcheon or Harrison hall).

Having a hard time deciding where to go on your adventure? Every time you come to an intersection while walking or driving, take out a coin and flip it. If it lands on heads take a right and if it lands on tails go left. Let fate decide your adventure!

Flicks at Fowler

Every few weeks PSUB will show a movie in Fowler Hall located in the Stewart Center (or on Slayter Hill when the weather is nice). Students can get in for free when they show their Purdue ID and general admission is $4. Not only do you get to see movies for free but they are fairly recent movies. Visit the PSUB website for dates and movie titles.

Trivia Night

Another event PSUB puts on for students is a trivia night which takes place in the Union Commons or Pappy’s Sweet Shop. Your Purdue ID is usually required to participate. They even give away prizes to the top team!  So grab your friends and test your knowledge on 90s, sports, television, and more!

girls on rowing machinesCoRec

Looking for something a little more active? Try going to the CoREC. You get in free with your Purdue ID and they have everything from weights and treadmills to a pool and rock climbing wall. You can even join an intramural team if you are willing to pay a small fee. You then get to compete in your favorite sport with different teams.

These are just a few of the options for free things to do on Purdue’s campus. There’s always lots being offered so be sure to keep your eyes open and try something new!

Share your favorite ways to have fun in the comments below!

Summer Is Here! … Now What !?!

11 Jun

Raysha Duncan, Financial Aid Administrator
www.purdue.edu/mymoney

Splash park

Summer is less than a week away and I am excited! Are you? I know I know it has felt like summer for some time but the first official day of summer isn’t until June 21st.  Are you looking to save money on activities, spend time outdoors, or find indoor activities when the weather isn’t stunning? The Greater Lafayette Area is brimming with outdoor activities during the summer from parks to trails to outdoor performances. You can visit the Lafayette-West Lafayette website here to get more information on all the outdoor activities this summer.  I’ve gone ahead and summarized some of the activities below.

Lafayette/West Lafayette/Tippecanoe County Parks

West Lafaeytte ParksLafayette alone boasts 17 parks. Some of these parks have trails, some parks have pools, most of them have picnic shelters, and some of them are just soccer fields with a concession stand. Not to mention there are 12 more parks just across the river in West Lafayette! There are 3 sizeable parks with hiking trails in West Lafayette (the Celery Bog Nature Area only is 195 acres!) for hikers and casual nature lovers to enjoy. But in my opinion, the most diverse parks lie outside of city limits in Tippecanoe County. The Tippecanoe Battlefield in Battle Ground, Indiana, features a lot of history, including a monument in honor of the Battle of Tippecanoe; it’s also the start of the Wabash Heritage Trail.

Wolf Park

Located in Battle Ground, this park is a sanctuary for, you guessed it, wolves. It’s also home to coyotes, foxes, and bison. They have limited Photographer taking pictures of a wolfhours (1PM – 5PM Tuesday through Sunday) but it only costs $8.00 for an adult, $6.00 for children 6-13, and free for children under 5 to get into the park. There’s a BUNCH of fascinating events happening over the summer also, including Howl Nights every Friday and Saturday where guests have the opportunity to see the wolves in the evening and hear them howl, something you can’t experience during normal business hours.

Outdoor Art Trail

If you’re into 3-D art, this is the walking tour for you. Scattered across both Lafayette and West Lafayette are dozens of outdoor art pieces that you can walk around and see. There’s even a handy online map for routing out your own personal trail for the day. More information on the art pieces (like Candy Change’s “Before I Die” murals here in West Lafayette) can be found online to give you some background on what you’re going to go see.

Prophetstown State Park

Not only is this one of Indiana’s newest state parks, it’s also full of fun activities to do this summer. You can hike, ride your bike down the bike trails, camp, or even swim for a small fee in the Family Aquatic Center. Also close nearby is the Farm at Prophetstown, where you can take a tour of a horse-powered farm and learn about agriculture.

…but what if it’s raining?

Raining on WindowThere’s still plenty to do around the Lafayette area indoors too!

-Visit some of the area’s art galleries or take an art class (glass working, anyone?)

-Check out the area’s nightlife. Whether you’re a pub or a coffeehouse kind of person there’s something for you. Most places offer live entertainment on Friday or Saturday nights too.

– Love all things vintage? Head to downtown Lafayette and check out all the antique stores on the “Antique Trail”. (Or pop over to the Tippecanoe Mall to completely avoid the rain and shop both vintage and major retailers – the vintage store Hot House Market!)

 

What are some of your favorite things to do in the Greater Lafayette Area during the summer? Let us know in the comments below!

Summer Is Here! … Now What !?!

16 Jun

Raysha Duncan, Purdue Alumni
www.purdue.edu/mymoney

Splash park

Summer is less than a week away and I am excited! Are you? I know I know it has felt like summer for some time but the first official day of summer isn’t until June 21st.  Are you looking to save money on activities, spend time outdoors, or find indoor activities when the weather isn’t stunning? The Greater Lafayette Area is brimming with outdoor activities during the summer from parks to trails to outdoor performances. You can visit the Lafayette-West Lafayette website here to get more information on all the outdoor activities this summer.  I’ve gone ahead and summarized some of the activities below.

Lafayette/West Lafayette/Tippecanoe County Parks

West Lafaeytte ParksLafayette alone boasts 17 parks. Some of these parks have trails, some parks have pools, most of them have picnic shelters, and some of them are just soccer fields with a concession stand. Not to mention there are 12 more parks just across the river in West Lafayette! There are 3 sizeable parks with hiking trails in West Lafayette (the Celery Bog Nature Area only is 195 acres!) for hikers and casual nature lovers to enjoy. But in my opinion, the most diverse parks lie outside of city limits in Tippecanoe County. The Tippecanoe Battlefield in Battle Ground, Indiana, features a lot of history, including a monument in honor of the Battle of Tippecanoe; it’s also the start of the Wabash Heritage Trail.

Wolf Park

Located in Battle Ground, this park is a sanctuary for, you guessed it, wolves. It’s also home to coyotes, foxes, and bison. They have limited Photographer taking pictures of a wolfhours (1PM – 5PM Tuesday through Sunday) but it only costs $8.00 for an adult, $6.00 for children 6-13, and free for children under 5 to get into the park. There’s a BUNCH of fascinating events happening over the summer also, including Howl Nights every Friday and Saturday where guests have the opportunity to see the wolves in the evening and hear them howl, something you can’t experience during normal business hours.

Outdoor Art Trail

If you’re into 3-D art, this is the walking tour for you. Scattered across both Lafayette and West Lafayette are dozens of outdoor art pieces that you can walk around and see. There’s even a handy online map for routing out your own personal trail for the day. More information on the art pieces (like Candy Change’s “Before I Die” murals here in West Lafayette) can be found online to give you some background on what you’re going to go see.

Prophetstown State Park

Not only is this one of Indiana’s newest state parks, it’s also full of fun activities to do this summer. You can hike, ride your bike down the bike trails, camp, or even swim for a small fee in the Family Aquatic Center. Also close nearby is the Farm at Prophetstown, where you can take a tour of a horse-powered farm and learn about agriculture.

…but what if it’s raining?

Raining on WindowThere’s still plenty to do around the Lafayette area indoors too!

-Visit some of the area’s art galleries or take an art class (glass working, anyone?)

-Check out the area’s nightlife. Whether you’re a pub or a coffeehouse kind of person there’s something for you. Most places offer live entertainment on Friday or Saturday nights too.- Love all things vintage? Head to downtown Lafayette and check out all the antique stores on the “Antique Trail”. (Or pop over to the Tippecanoe Mall to completely avoid the rain and shop both vintage and major retailers – the vintage store Hot House Market just moved in in May!)

Top Ten Places to Eat Lunch Under Ten Dollars

22 Oct

Raysha Duncan Purdue University Student and Peer Counselor
www.purdue.edu/mymoney

I love having other people make me food, but I hate the price that comes with it. When I go out to eat I want good food and a lot of it, but I like to keep the price as low as possible. I’m sure all of you college students can relate to not wanting to pay a lot for food but still getting to enjoy your food.  My Top Ten restaurants in the West Lafayette area list is focused on what I enjoy: massive quantities of delicious food for cheap.

1-4: Giant Burrito Distributors

Big Bean Burrito

Big Bean Burrito

Here in West Lafayette alone we have 4 burrito restaurants (ranked in order of my personal favorites) Qdoba, Moe’s, Chipotle, and La Fiesta Burrito. The best thing about a burrito restaurant is that you get A LOT of food for a pretty good price. The big bonus at Moe’s and La Fiesta Burrito is the unlimited free chips and salsa with your purchase. Qdoba and Chipotle offer chips and salsa as separate side items.

5&6: Sub Shops

There are a lot of sub shops in the area, but I only really like two of them: Subway and Jimmy John’s.

Both have great aspects about them:

subway sub

subway sub

Subway: $5 foot-long months, huge variety of sandwich combinations, and unlimited topping choices. Jimmy John’s: that SMELL, delicious giant pickles, classic sandwiches, and their freaky fast service.

Subs are a pretty generic food option; but, there are lots of sub choices, lots of flavor, and lots of food. As college students, we are focused on getting the most bang for our buck, and you definitely get this at either of these delicious sub shops.

7: The Oasis

calzoneThis little shop in the Union has odd hours (they close at 3 on Fridays and aren’t open on weekends). But it is SO good and you get a lot of food. Each sandwich/wrap comes with a pickle and either a bag of chips or a piece of fruit. Now that’s a well-balanced meal! They have a lot of options for wraps/sandwiches as well. They are even kind enough to offer vegetarian options and *star* them on the menu. This year, they’ve started offering gluten-free wraps for a small charge, which is really nice for those with gluten allergies.

8: Von’s Dough Shack

Located right next to Von’s Book Store, this tiny shack serves up HUGE calzones. They have 40 different options listed on their menu and a variety of sides to choose from. The last time I ate lunch there, I was so full I didn’t eat supper that night. Now, that’s a restaurant that’s worth paying for.

9: Packing Your Lunch

paper packed lunch

paper packed lunch

It’s not very cool, but it is economical, and it’s what I do almost every day. Packing your lunch costs you what you would usually pay in groceries, a few extra minutes in the kitchen, and possibly the price of a lunch box and/or portable food containers. The start-off cost is more than ten dollars, sometimes, but if you divide it over every day that you pack your lunch, you are saving a TON of money.

10: KFC Buffet

The lunch buffet on Mondays is even cheaper than the rest of the week! Plus, it’s an all-you-can-eat buffet; you can literally eat until you are completely stuffed. The Colonel’s chicken really is the best too. One sneaky student even pointed out that you could potentially sit there all day and eat while studying…  Just an option to keep in mind…

kfc chicken

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