Let’s be honest, being a college student isn’t cheap. Since Student Publications doesn’t pay much, I had to fi nd ways to ball on a budget. I’m here to share some ideas and experiences, so you too can get outside and not break the bank.

Whenever you wake up (I started at 12 p.m.) breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so grab that pizza you left out overnight. That’s not a real meal, you say? I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over the wind in my ears from this high-speed, low-drag lifestyle.

Hike Noon - 1 p.m.

Finish off that Red Bull on your desk and strap on some athletic shoes or boots. Don’t forget any spare change and pick up any you find during the day too: You’ll need it. Now get in, we’re going hiking.

I checked out Low-Hollow trail in Weldon Peete Park. It’s a solid two-mile hike, so you can get your steps in to convince yourself that you’re healthy even if you eat a whole cake while crying in your room later. The trail is pleasant and gives you a view of the aptly named Barren (like my soul) River.

Humane society 1 - 3 p.m.

After taking a pleasant morning walk, take a short drive to the Bowling Green Humane Society. You can talk to some of the volunteers and play with the animals. I spent some time with Grizzly the dog. He’s been adopted now, but there are plenty of animals that need some love. Just because the wild college student is miserable doesn’t mean the animals have to be. I recommend volunteering; it’s genuinely fulfilling.

Lunch 3 - 3:30 p.m.

There is such a thing as a free lunch, you just have to get creative. I went out to Sam’s Club. If you hit every free sample, you get appetizers, a main course and dessert. You’re welcome.

Read 3:30 - 6 p.m.

Now that I had worked out, helped the animals and enjoyed a nice meal, I decided it was time to relax. I visited Half Price Books. You can grab any book and find a seat. Nobody is going to stop you. I hear the “why not just go to the library” complaints. Because nerd, I’m not supposed to read a whole book for free in Half Price Books.

Dinner 6 - 7 p.m.

Let’s cap this day off. Remember that spare change? Hopefully by now you have a dollar or two. Head on over to the hungover or pre-hungover college student’s best friend: Waffle House. You can get a $1 burger at Waffle House, and they’re pretty good for a dollar. I know I promised free, but I defi ne free as when my bank account numbers don’t drop.

You may think what I recommend wasn’t particularly exciting, but Bowling Green is what you make out of it and even I, sultan of salt and kween of the cynics, had a good time, without spending anything but the change I found while I was out.