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Eating Healthy And On A Budget While At School

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

It’s so easy to go away for college and spend money on any and everything.

Clothes, shoes, fast food, textbooks. All of this money is coming out of your pocket.

However, eating is a necessity. Spending money on healthy food at the grocery store can be quite expensive. Depending on what your rooming situation is your eating habits can differ. But getting to eat healthy shouldn’t have to be a struggle. In a perfect world, we would all have the access to the food and nutrients we need. But it is not a perfect world, it’s America.

I remember when I lived in a dorm on campus, I could go to the dining hall whenever I wanted to. I had access to fruit, vegetables, meat, rice, and as much dessert as I wanted. Does that mean I did eat my fruits and vegetables? Not as much as I should have. Did I also order fast food? Absolutely.

Now as a senior living off campus I try to pay more attention to what I eat and where it’s coming from. One thing I learned from a roommate of mine is to meal prep. Meal prepping for the week ahead will save you time, energy, money and stress. It doesn’t have to be the same meal every week either. Feel free to switch it up. Look up some recipe ideas that you might have, buy the ingredients and plastic containers and you’re all set. There are lots of apps, websites and food channels for you to glance at to help you start.

A site I used when I started is this one: How to Meal Prep: Beginner Meal Prep Ideas, Recipes and Tips (goodhousekeeping.com) You can meal prep for any time of day not just dinner. If you live in a residence hall you can still do it too. Your floor might have a kitchen and if it doesn’t find some other places on campus that do. With meal prepping you have total control over what you want to eat and how much of it. Just don’t keep the food in the fridge for too long.

Food stamps and coupons. There is no shame in the game for applying for food stamps. We are college students! We need to work and go to classes! We live in a capitalist society where everything costs money. If you find that you are struggling to pay for groceries and especially if you’re buying them quite often, apply for food stamps. This will ease the burden off of your shoulders a lot. Of course, this does have some limitations on which students are eligible or not. Look up if you’re eligible for food stamps in your state and if you are then run don’t walk to apply.

If you aren’t able to meal prep or apply for food stamps, try meal planning instead. At least that’s what I’d call it. When you plan what you’re going to eat for the week and from where. When you know what your dining hall is going to serve, you have the control to come in with a plan instead of grabbing anything. That’s part of the allure of a dining hall. There are so many options that sometimes it’s hard to make a choice.

Visit your local food pantry or soup kitchen. This should cost you almost nothing.

Buy in bulk. If you have a store near you like BJ’s Wholesale Club or Sam’s Club then you have the opportunity to buy your food in bulk with a membership card. Buying your food in bulk can help you save money because you’re not running to the grocery store every other day.

Eating healthy on a tight budget is hard. But there is a way to get it done. Don’t hesitate to reach out to those who love you and can help you. You are not alone in this struggle.

Hello! I'm a senior Journalism student with a minor in Criminology. I have a love for books, anime and cats. You can often find me curled up on the couch with a romance novel while sipping some coffee.