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How To Navigate Rising Food Prices as a College Student

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

You don’t need to be an economics major to realize how much more expensive food has gotten, whether you’re dining out or just getting groceries. Whether it’s rising gas prices or bacon being as expensive as steak, getting less for your money especially sucks as a college student. Here are some tips on how to save money on food and still continue a healthy, balanced diet throughout midterms:

Pack protein from other sources
Jocelyn Hsu / Spoon

I think one of the biggest shocking points for me when I went to Ralphs the other day was how expensive meat had gotten. Usually, there are a variety of price ranges for meat, but here I was about to pay almost $10 for bacon! Unbelievable.

This made me realize how I could source my protein from other, less budget-draining sources like tofu, eggs, or lentils and still have a delicious diet going into the Week Six grind. It’s also given me some motivation to find scrappy, easy recipes and try and incorporate more untraditional protein into my meals.


Snacking during the mid-quarter weeks has got to be the most compromised area of my health, along with tons of DoorDash. Given rising prices on food delivery though, it’s easy to rely on a bag of chips and Oreos to suffice for dinner. Being more conscious of how I spend money on food has made me more creative about what I put in my snacks. For example, nuts, edamame, and various dry fruits make for very nutritious, protein-packed snack packs that are easy to chomp on when I get hungry between classes. They’re also a great addition to my diet and help me maintain my focus during class!


Did you know about these? Because I didn’t. Being more conscious of how I spend money on food has also contributed to my new favorite pastime of looking through coupons to save on the basics. No, seriously, Ralphs almost always has coupons on things like eggs, butter, ice cream, and more! Just download the app and load up your Ralphs card to get access to these deals. It’s also a nice way to have some fun meal planning for the week, with the extra bonus of saving some money.

With Week Six upon us, we college students have a ton of stuff on our plate. Rising food prices from inflation are no help to getting rid of worries. Luckily, with some creative planning, you too can save on your next trip to get groceries, while also learning to rely less on traditional forms of nutrition. Hopefully, you can take some of these tips to heart and give yourself some healthy, hearty meals ahead of the study grind. Good luck!

Somashree is a 3rd year Economics major minoring in Environmental Systems and Society and Digital Humanities. She's a huge cinephile with a special affinity for historical dramas (eg. The Crown or Bridgerton). She also loves learning languages and hopes to learn at least 4 languages by the end of the decade.