Amit Chakma may have unwittingly created Western homecoming’s more rebellious, younger sibling by moving the official event to October 21, but he definitely didn’t make it the cheaper alternative.

If you looked at your bank statement after FOCO weekend and cried purple tears you are not alone.

With the cost of spirit clothing, alcohol and food, two homecomings really add up financially for students. Since FOCO was centred around the spirit of rebellion, what better way to rebel during actual homecoming than to save your money for next years’ $600 textbooks instead?

To see if it was possible to keep my green while staying purple at FOCO, I set my spending cap at $40 for the day and headed out into the wild, wild, Westurnt.

Follow these tips and you can save your student dollars for the official HOCO.

Outfit: $15.99

Bring on that mustang logo.

Half the fun of homecoming is getting to dress like you may have gone to the football game your team might have played today.

Western Homecoming
Purple goes with anything when it’s HOCO time.

The only two places near campus that offer any Western-affiliated clothing are the Book Store and the Purple store, and they know they’re the only options. Clothing ranges anywhere from $30 for a tank top, to over $100 for a sweater, and as much as $50 for a pair of jean shorts with a little “W” on them.

Dazed, confused, and personally offended by a pair of shorts, I headed straight for the back and found a white T-shirt with a purple W on it for $15.


Other students also had a hard time finding outfits on the cheap.

Western Homecoming
Purple cups, purple clothes… Prince would be proud of Micaela and Emilia.

To save money, third year students Micaela Hanley and Emilia Szczepkowski suggest wearing clothes that you can rewear – just plain white and purple.

Alcohol: $8.00

Many FOCO goers followed the sage advice from third year student Timothy McWinning: “Buy a lot of alcohol and you’ll have a good time.”

Western Homecoming
You don’t need cognac or fine wine for HOCO – be budget-wise. #McWinning!

Most people I spoke to spent between $40-$100 on alcohol this year – a cost decidedly out of my price range. So I contacted my foreign friend Old English and we worked something out.

Students Justin Daniel, Jose Ochoa, and Jose Valvate suggest using the classic money saving technique of drinking your friend’s alcohol. Their advice?

Western homecoming
Good advice? Drink someone else’s beer!

“Stop spending your own money. Other people are going to spend their own money and buy more alcohol than they can take, so you can drink the rest of it.”


Food: $5.65, Food colouring: $3.50

Nothing’s certain in life except death, taxes, and trying to inhale an entire pizza when you’re drunk.

Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day (and there is nothing I want more in this life than to eat breakfast for every single meal), I decided on a sophisticated breakfast menu to fuel me and my friends throughout the FOCO festivities.

Western homecoming
FOCO pride tastes better than it looks!

Purple pancakes… Sans syrup because I’m not perfect and forget things.

Furniture: $0

FOCO is homecoming’s unexpected younger sibling, so naturally it’s going to have some surprising costs.

Furniture, according to fifth year students Nick Rogowski, Travis Riddle, and Josh Ramage is one of them. After a rough day of HOCO, you need a place to come home and crash in comfort.

“When you get back the only thing you want is a nice chesterfield in the middle of the living room,” said Ramage. The trio said they spent $300 alone on alcohol and furniture.

Western homecoming
These guys know that the key to any good homecoming is coming home to a nice chesterfield.

According to Rogowski, the investment helps woo the ladies as well.

Maybe next year I’ll invest in that ottoman.

Done and done cheap

The total damage for the day was roughly $33, and a desperate need for a nap and a pancake.

Turns out you don’t need to spend upwards of $50 to have fun on homecoming, as long as you don’t mind drinking sub par beer, eating freaky alien pancakes, and wearing the same cheap T-shirt everyone is wearing.

These tips are sure to help you with Western’s official homecoming this weekend, just make sure you remember to wear a jacket… and buy syrup.


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