British Columbia

Learning how to live well on less money in Vancouver

Vancouver Community College is known for teaching trade skills, but now the school has launched a "Live for Less" campaign to help students save money for their future.

Vancouver Community College is teaching students to be frugal with their cash

Vancouver fashion designer Sofia Gobbato shows off an upcycled t-shirt - just one way students can save money. (Elaine Chau)

"Live Well for Less". That's the mantra that staff at Vancouver Community College is encouraging their students to study up on.

The school has launched a series of video tutorials designed to help students on a budget get some of the luxuries they didn't think they could afford.

College spokesperson Kate Chandler says it's the school's business to support its students, as well as offer education and training.

"Any way we can support our students, or offer some kind of service or information that makes life a little bit easier for them, is something we're absolutely on board with."

Upcycled clothing

Sofia Gobbato graduated from the college's fashion program recently and has since become a local costume and fashion designer.

Gobbato is among those who have shared their tips with students, in her case explaining how to "upcycle" a simple t-shirt into something new and fashionable.

On mobile? Click here to watch Gobbato's guide to upcycling a t-shirt

"I think every student struggles with affordability," she said.

This series is kind of a great way to challenge me to come up with ideas to give clever tips and tricks on how to not pay through the nose on ways to customize your wardrobe."

Cheap recipes

Culinary instructor Shelley Robinson stirs up some cheap and easy chicken stock. (Elaine Chau)
For instructors like Shelley Robinson, a Chopped Canada winner and Top Chef Canada contestant, the series is an opportunity to share about the importance of eating well.

Robinson teaches in the culinary department, and is passionate about eating healthy on a budget.

"A lot of our students are working with a very small amount of money to feed themselves and possibly even entertain on a limited budget", says Robinson.

"I really want people to cook, even if they're not culinary students, because I feel that's the best opportunity to get the best quality food. Your dollar goes a lot further that way."

Robinson shared a simple easy one-pot roast chicken recipe to get cash-strapped students eating well, on the cheap.

On mobile? Click here to watch Robinson's recipe for a cheap one-pot roast

Staff at Vancouver Community College are still looking for more thrifty tips and tricks to share. Anyone wishing to contribute can share their ideas to the college's Facebook page.