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Cheap & Healthy Food Staples For Students

I never realized how difficult it is to eat healthy until I got to university. I’m constantly studying, so I barely have time to prepare food. Eating out isn’t a great option either, as it can rack up calories and get pretty pricey. Luckily, there are some tricks to keep both your stomach and your wallet full at the same time!

1. Coffee

My greatest vice is my willingness to spend any amount of money on iced coffee. I’m not even kidding, I’ve saved so much just by making my own coffee. And for those who prefer iced coffee: cold brew is a life saver. Just steep coffee grounds in water overnight, and then strain them in the morning.

2. Frozen fruits and veggies

I absolutely hate wasting food, but fruits and veggies can go bad so quickly. Frozen fruits and veggies are way cheaper than fresh ones and last a lot longer. Fruits can be added to smoothies and oatmeal, while veggies are great with stir-fry or with any kind of protein.

3. Canned beans

Cheap, filling and full of protein, beans like chickpeas or kidney beans can be added to basically anything. For example, beans and rice, soups, bean salad and curry. Roasted chickpeas are my favourite because they’re easy to make, healthy and make a great food to snack on.

4. Starch and carbs

Despite their bad reputation, I truly believe starch and carbs are essential parts of our diets. And they are cheap! Rice, pasta and oatmeal are easy to make and have a long shelf life. And you can make like 50 different meals out of potatoes.

5. Frozen fish or chicken

For some reason, both fish and chicken are way cheaper to buy frozen. I like to buy individually wrapped salmon for like two bucks each and a box of frozen chicken. Make sure to check the salt content on the chicken though because it can get pretty high.

6. Eggs

The holy grail of cheap protein. I scramble them, put them in fried rice or make an omelette with all my frozen veggies. Another plus; eggs last a long time in the fridge. 

There you have it. Cheap and (decently) healthy food staples that don’t take a ton of effort to prepare. Remember it’s okay to treat yourself to fast food once in a while, but your health and wallet should definitely be your top priority.

Hailey Inman

Wilfrid Laurier '23

Hailey Inman is a first year Psychology major who's minoring in french. She loves reading, writing and painting.
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