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Wellness > Health

Easy Meals So You Don’t Blow All Your Dining Dollars!

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bucknell chapter.

I started off this year by heading to Walmart to grab a few essentials: olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon/lime juice and chia seeds. These 5 ingredients are the bases for each meal I have everyday and last way longer than you think. By having these in my designated communal kitchen cabinet, all I have to do at the start of every week is grab a few things at the store and begin my meal prep. Here are some of the super easy and healthy meals I make to avoid spending my money on mediocre cafeteria food!

For breakfast, I like to give myself two options: one for the days I don’t have time to make myself a whole meal and I have prepped in advance, and another for the days I have time to make a bigger, tastier meal to sit down and enjoy.

Chia Seed Pudding, Prep on Sunday Nights

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Go to Walmart for a package of mason jars, and start your prep!

In each jar I put 2 tablespoons chia seeds and ½ cup your choice of milk (I prefer almond milk)

Stir, let sit 10 minutes, stir again. Wait an hour or so until thickened into a pudding-like consistency. Add whatever flavoring you want (I use Nutella) and stir! Get your fruit of choice, dice it up, and toss on top of each jar. Store in the fridge until it’s time to eat! The best part is that it lasts all week.

Avocado Toast, Make the Morning Of


Pre slice sourdough bread and store in the freezer. Mash avocado and mix with salt and lime juice, top with sliced cherry tomatoes and feta cheese. Pair with a peach or other fruit on the side!

With each of these two meals I like to have the option of a hard boiled egg on the side for extra protein. You can buy them pre boiled and peeled or do it yourself during Sunday night prep. I also try my best to buy my groceries locally. I recommend the $8 sourdough from the Lewisburg Farmers Market!

For lunch, I have two options that I can quickly whip up before class or grab from the fridge which I have already made.

Kale Caesar, Quick Make 

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Remove the kale leaves from the stem and rip apart into your bowl or get pre chopped in a bag

I prefer pre packaged and cooked grilled chicken (quick and less risky than cooking it myself)

Add croutons, tortilla strips, or nuts to add crunch. Top with parmesan and caesar dressing. 

Quinoa Salad, Cook and Prep Beforehand  

Cook your quinoa and let cool. Toss with your diced cucumbers and cherry tomatoes. Top with feta cheese and italian dressing 

For this meal I like to dice all my vegetables and cook my quinoa beforehand because lunch is not a meal where I have a lot of time. Once all the prep is done, this meal can be stored in the fridge so you can grab a scoop whenever you need a quick lunch. I also like to add chicken sausage on the side of this meal for extra protein! This can just be thrown in the airfryer or microwaved as most brands sell them pre cooked. 

For Dinner, I like to give myself more time to enjoy preparing and eating my meal. I recommend turning on your favorite music and relaxing while you cook. If necessary, these meals give you time to sit down and get some work done while they are cooking, but I suggest using this time to focus on yourself rather than work. 

Buddha Bowl, Pretty Simple Make

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Cook your quinoa either beforehand or while you are preparing the other ingredients.

Cook your protein of choice. Roast pre cut butternut squash, rinse and drain chickpeas. 

Put quinoa and arugula in your bowl and top with the rest. Use an avocado or other creamy green dressing and serve!

Autumn Salad, Take Your Time and Enjoy

Cook your quinoa either beforehand or while you are preparing the other ingredients. Roast pre cut butternut squash and brussels sprouts. Cook apple chicken sausage. 

Toss together with dried cranberries, goat cheese, and a light sweet dressing. Serve with brussels sprouts on the side.

Both of these meals are pretty flexible, so add whatever else you want! 

These meals are not only healthy but reasonably inexpensive when you are preparing them to last you throughout the week and in comparison to buying individual meals at your dining options on campus. I also recommend sharing these meals with friends! My friends and I do our grocery shopping together and then take turns cooking and doing the dishes. Not only are these meals tasty, but they encourage me to get out of my room and be productive outside of academics and extracurricular activities. 

Meal Ingredients Description Ingredients  Description
Breakfast -chia seeds-milk-nut butter-fruit Chia Seed Pudding -sourdough bread-avocado-tomatoes-feta cheese Avocado Toast
Lunch  -kale -grilled chicken-croutons-parmesan-caesar dressing Kale Caesar  -quinoa -tomatoes-cucumbers-feta cheese-italian dressing Quinoa Salad
Dinner  -quinoa-arugula-chickpeas-avocado crema-chicken Buddha Bowl -quinoa -butternut squash-dried cranberries-goat cheese-apple sausage Autumn Salad
Ryan is a freshman and plans on double majoring in Psychology and Women's and Gender Studies. In her free time she loves to be outside, write poetry, and be with her dogs.