My friend Jie recommended the following blogs:
I also came up with some more ideas for saving money*:
- Subsist mainly on free food, such as that broadcast over MIT's vultures mailing list for free leftovers in Stata. (I have friends who actually do this.)
- Befriend the admins in your building so that they text you about free food before they send out the free food announcements.
- To fill in other gaps, join as many research groups as possible. Many of these are likely to provide a free lunch or snack. Tangentially collaborating with research groups in other departments will keep the level of suspicion low.
- To fill in the rest of the gaps, meet a succession of older people with jobs to date on sites like OKCupid* and go on 1+ dates with each of them. Act very poor but charming during the whole dinner; if you are lucky they will pay. (This assumes that these sites contain a large number of people willing to take me to dinner, and that these people do not communicate with each other.)
- Invest in a sewing kit and a set of patterns. Attend corporate talks and get as many free t-shirts as possible. Stay after the talks to get the leftover XL's that nobody wanted to collect fabric for making pants, dresses, handbags, etc.
- Hang out in each T stop and befriend the T operators so that you can get free public transportation. ("Sorry, X--I can meet you in Porter Square, but I'll have to leave there between 9 and 12. If you want to stay later, we can meet at Government Center.")
- Sell your furniture and move out of your apartment. During the week, sleep on a cot in your office. On the weekends, spend the night with hard-partying friends who think you're staying over just because the T stopped running. If this is unsatisfying and you would like a bed to sleep on, date a couple of people at once and spend your time between their apartments. (Befriending some empty nesters with spare rooms/beds should also work.) Either that, or convince your advisor to buy a group bed for one of the offices.
- Become friends with freegans.
* Most of these are untested.
** Thanks to Eugene's peer pressure and my own curiosity I had an OKCupid account for 2-3 days (not for this reason!!), during which time I met some colorful people and decided it was best to leave the site.