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Healthy Food Hacks When You Don’t have a Dining Hall

Eating clean and on a budget can get particularly difficult when you go to a university that does not have any dining halls… But here are a few tips and tricks to help you save money and eat what you like. 


  1. Meal prep and cook as much as you can.If you live in a dorm with a kitchen, try to avoid eating out as much as possible, although it may seem easier or less time consuming. Buying ingredients to make a larger portion is always cheaper than getting premade food. Even if your dorm doesn’t have a kitchen, getting bread and your favorite sandwich items can make lunch for days if kept in the fridge.



  1. When you go to Whole Foods for that biweekly haul, look for items on sale using the Whole Foods app and if you use Amazon Prime, you get 10% off your purchase. 


  1. If you’re really craving that burrito bowl or coffee, know the places with the best prices for the same types of food. For example, rather than a burrito at Chipotle for $10, a burrito at Whole Foods is $8 for the same exact thing. 


  1. GW meals and dealsan absolute essential. This website shares all of the deals that GWorld restaurants have throughout the week and when they are available. Just to list a few; breakfast combo for $2.99 at the GW Hospital Cafeteria, $6 for two tacos and a drink at Sol Mexican in District, $8 for an sandwich and drink at Uptowner Café, and $8 for pizza, a salad, and a drink at Wiseguy Pizza. (I could go all day…)


  1. Spoon UniversityNot only does this Instagram account post beautiful pictures of food, they are also an amazing resource for ongoing deals and freebies all across D.C. (many of which are on GWorld!)


  1. If you are looking for a way to eat organic and local on GWorld, look no further than the farmers market every Thursday right next to GW Hospital. Buying different types of produce on GWorld while supporting our local businesses seems like a total win-win to me! 



  1. “The Store”– The Store is an anonymous food pantry in district that flies very under the radar. To keep it ambiguous, it is funded by Class Council, and all you have to do is send your GWorld number to set up a time to come so they can schedule you when no one else is there. They don’t check your records and have none of your information so you never have to prove need. The Store runs completely by an honor code system, where if you ask for access, you receive food, no questions asked. This can be a great resource if you are ever in a pinch and don’t have many options to turn to. 


Living as a student in a city can be very expensive, especially when your food and money is limited. But, just remember that there are resources that are in place to help you eat healthy and stay at your best! 

Isabella grew up in Boston and is currently a student at The George Washington University studying International Business and Chinese. Her dream job is working as a journalist in New York, and she hopes to travel all over the world and study abroad in Shanghai. You can find her taking walks with her three Labradoodles or doing yoga with friends.
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