Monday, May 23, 2016

Couponing for Beginners - By Masataka Yoshikawa

Couponing for Beginners

Masataka Yoshikawa

If you are looking for ways to save money while studying at Michigan, couponing is a great way to save money on your grocery bills. It seems simple (and it is), but it takes a little getting used to. Tips in this blog post will give you a boost if you’ve never tried couponing before.

First thing first, you have to know that there are two types of coupons. One is a manufacturer’s coupon and the other is store coupon. The name says it all. The product’s manufacturer, like the manufacturing brand of Colgate for toothpastes, issues the manufacturer coupons. Retail shops, like CVS, issue store coupons. You can get effectively add the discounts by using these two coupons together. This is called stacking. For example, now, Colgate has a $0.75 off manufacturer coupon for toothpaste (the coupon can be found on their website.) CVS also has a $2.50 coupon (store coupon) for a selected Colgate toothpaste. You can buy the Colgate toothpaste, regular price $3.75, at the price of $0.50 by using these two coupons together. Here what you should keep in mind when couponing: 1) coupon are usually specific to a product so be sure to read and match up the coupon carefully 2) only one store coupon and manufacturer’s coupon can be used for an item, and 3) not all stores have store coupons. 

Stores like Kroger don’t have store coupons. However, you can combine manufacturer coupons with sale items. This takes a little bit of planning, but usually it’s rewarding. The best way to find out what items are on sale at Kroger is to visit This website updates discounted items in Kroger and matches up available manufacturer coupons with the specific item. You may also view the Kroger’s sales flyer online at or with the flipp app, which allows you to preview the sales flyers of multiple store and create your shopping list.

There are various methods to obtaining coupons. One method is to print from the site Another method is to get coupons from the Ann Arbor News’ Sunday newspaper. Coupons are only inserted into the Sunday newspaper. You may purchase a Sunday newspaper at any local gas stations, pharmacies, and Kroger. You don’t necessarily have to buy a paper every Sunday. You can find out what coupons will be in newspapers for the week from the website like You can also get coupons directly from the brands that you use. An example of this is the Colgate deal above where you can print a manufacturer’s coupon directly from the manufacturer’s site. The most recent method of obtaining coupons is with the store’s mobile app. Kroger’s mobile apps offers a limited selection of manufacturer’s coupon on their mobile app.

You can also save even more money with rebates. Ibotta, Mobisave and SavingStar are a few of the most beneficial rebate apps available today. For the rebate app of ibotta, you can easily review the rebate items available. Then you may purchase the specific item, and take a picture of the receipt to submit it on the app. Once you accumulate $20 or more of rebates redeemed, you can cash it out as a gift card or transfer cash to your PayPal or Venmo account. SavingStar and Mobisave work in the similar way.

If you are interested in finding out more about couponing, you can go to, where current coupon deals and how-to guides are posted daily. The website has great tips for couponing beginners. It is best to start couponing simple and at a comfortable pace. Start with a simple purchase of a sale item and match it with a manufacturer’s coupon. In our to respect for other shoppers and your wallet, always remember to only buy items you need, not just because you can get a great deal. Once the semester starts, you will be too busy for anything outside of the school, so use this free time during the summer to learn how to coupon and become a expert by the start of the semester. Happy couponing!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Finding Your Unique College Experience - Jiahong Min

Finding Your Unique College Experience
by Jiahong Min
Photo Credit: University of Michigan College of Engineering
When asking about college, the first thing that comes to our mind is probably finishing up assignments, studying for exams and getting high GPAs. However, here at the University of Michigan, there are plenty of ways to make your college experience a unique one.
Two years ago when I first transferred to Michigan, I was looking for an adventure. I wanted to do something that I would never do after I graduate, and then I met the University of Michigan Solar Car Team.
Every two years, the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia welcomes teams from more than 20 countries to race their solar electric vehicle across the continent, an epic 3000 kilometer journey through the desert. The University of Michigan Solar Car Team has been a top performer in this race since 1989, with five top three world finishes.
I joined the team in my junior year and worked on the aerodynamics of the team’s latest vehicle: Aurum, a one-seater electric car with its body covered in solar panel as the source of power. In the summer of 2015, I took my involvement in the team one step further by being part of the race crews who built the car piece by piece and eventually headed to Australia for the World Solar Challenge. .
The race was an once-in-a-lifetime experience. We started in Darwin, a northern city in Australia. It was hot and humid, with human-sized termite hills scattered around the road. As we travelled south, plants started to vanish and the terrain opened up. Crosswind and ‘willy-willy’ (small tornado) struck us violently without any mercy. During the day, we battled with other teams, passing each other back and forth. During the night, we camped next to the road, performing repair and maintenance on the car under the dusky light from our portable lamps. The night in the outback was truly amazing. We saw thousands of stars, and the lights from our opponents’ camps right down the road.
We eventually arrived fourth at the finish line in Adelaide, just five minutes behind the third place over a five day race. The result might’ve been disappointing but it didn’t keep me down. I saw the car started as a random spark of idea on a whiteboard to an insanely efficient machine piercing through the desert at 100 kilometer per hour. There were so many emotions inside of me at that day that I could not describe with language.
So that was my college adventure. At the University of Michigan, there are plenty of ways to start yours too. Here are my suggestions.
Maize Pages is a great website to check out all the student organizations on campus. The number and diversity of the organizations on this campus is so huge that I’m sure you will find one that interests you. During welcome week of each school year, student organizations will gather around the central, north campus diag, and the palmer field to show off what they have. It’s a great chance to meet with them. Be sure to check your email.
If you want to go somewhere beyond the campus or even the country, both LSA and College of Engineering have international programs that allow you be become an exchange student to foreign universities across Europe, Asia and many other places. It’s a great chance to experience different cultures and make friends across the globe.

For engineering students, be sure to check out the Multidisciplinary Design Program (MDP). It allows you to earn credits or even a minor for your commitment in any student project team such as Formula SAE, Baja Racing, Human Powered Submarine and the Solar Car Team. There are also projects funded by faculty members and companies that you can find on the MDP website. The hands on experience these projects provide can be extremely useful for your future career.

Monday, May 9, 2016

How to Find a Job on Campus

How to Find a Job on Campus
By Zhengxi Tan

Working as a student on campus can be one of the best experiences you could ever have in your life. You will gain some invaluable practical skills that you probably would never have from in-class lectures and textbooks. Plus, an on-campus job is a great way to get involved in college life since you will have the opportunity to meet your peers and college staff as well as familiarizing yourself with different aspects of your college. I will share my experiences of finding different jobs on campus and hopefully this blog will provide you with useful information to help you land an on-campus job.
UM Student is THE website you must visit when searching for an on-campus job. A plethora of student jobs are posted on this site and all jobs are nicely categorized so that it makes your job search very easy. A quite amount of jobs require you to submit a most updated resume. If you are a freshman or don’t have a resume for any reason, don’t panic! The Career Center is always there to help you! You are welcome to visit with any job or career related questions and the location (in the Student Activity Building) is very easy to find on GoogleMap.
If you don’t find a perfect match on the website I just mentioned, that’s totally fine. Pay close attentions to emails you receive, especially at the beginning of every semester. Many department will be recruiting for open positions and those information will usually be released via emails. For example, the University Housing department is one of the biggest employers of student jobs. Whenever the department wants to recruit, you will receive emails containing the relevant information. So do check your emails and read them carefully!
For those who want to work as an Undergraduate Instructor Aide or a research assistant, there is no better way to get that position than connecting with your professors. I worked as a research assistant in the summer of 2016 within Emergency Medicine at UM. So I can tell you that once you perform well in class and stand out from your peers, it is highly likely that the professor will be impressed and you don’t have to get through the competitive selection process in order to work with him/her.
Don’t give up even if none of the methods above eventually works out. Be proactive and start networking! This has been proven to be the most effective way to land the job your want. If you already have a desired position in mind, google the employers and email them directly.