School Survival Skills: Feeding Yourself 101

We all know that cafeteria food isn’t always the greatest. It’s also no secret that eating out or ordering in gets expensive! It’s important to remember that as a busy college student, you have to keep yourself fueled throughout the day to keep your energy up. With all that you have going on, you’ll want to make sure you’re going strong all day, every day! Finding healthy and inexpensive ways to keep yourself feeling full can seem like a daunting task, but it’s one more item to add to your repertoire of things you can do for you. Here’s some tips to help you get started.

1. Shop smart!

Knowing where and how to shop for food is the first step in getting yourself into pattern of healthy eating. Wal-Mart has reasonably low prices and a wide variety of grocery items, and it’s a great place to start. Aldi (locations in Bennington VT, and Pittsfield MA) also has low prices, and can help you save a ton of money. Before you embark on a grocery shopping trip, make a list of things you plan on buying, and stick to that list so you don’t spend too much. Make sure your list has items in every food group. Bread and pasta are inexpensive and easy ways to get your grains.  Buy fruit that you can eat with breakfast, and veggies you can serve raw or cook into a meal. You can buy packages of chicken breasts, and portion them individually in zip-lock bags to keep in the freezer until you need them. Milk, eggs, butter, olive oil, herbs, and spices are all good to have on hand, too. Make sure to grab snacks for when you’re hungry on-the-go, healthy options for breakfast (such as cereal, oatmeal, or yogurt), and even a few microwavable meals for when you just don’t have time to cook. (Don’t make that a habit, though!)

2.Find recipes!

Knowing what to make for yourself might seem intimidating, but it’s much easier than you might think. The internet is a great place to look for recipes. You can type “healthy and easy recipes” into Google to get some ideas, or you can use a website (such as www.allrecipes.com) if you have something already in mind. Allrecipes.com has hundreds of recipes available to you, and they’re all reviewed by other people who have tried them, so you know what you’re getting into ahead of time.

3.Cook in quantity!

Find a day every week when you have free time, and make that your day to cook. Make enough food at once so that you can portion it into Tupperware containers that you can keep in the fridge or freezer for easy access when it’s time to eat.

4.Get creative!

Sometimes, you’ll find yourself staring into the fridge, and you’ll have no idea what to make. Look at the ingredients you have on hand, and think about what you could do to make them into a meal. For example, sautéing veggies and chicken to put over pasta is a quick and easy way to make a meal that tastes great and leaves you feeling great, too.

5.Have fun!

Making food doesn’t necessarily have to be a chore. It’s easy to have fun in the kitchen. Cook meals with a group of friends and enjoy them together, or plan a potluck dinner and have each person contribute one dish. Eating – and eating right – is important. Make it a delicious priority in your busy and fabulous life.