How to Eat Healthy on a Budget
What we put in our bodies as college students is usually put pretty low on the totem pole. With incredibly hectic schedules of class, study, work, extracurricular activities and clubs there isn’t much time left in the day to think about what we eat. This problem becomes exacerbated by the fact that college students are running their body and mind at full tilt all day and eating food that is not providing the fuel needed to perform at a high level. Also, all of those pre packaged or fast food meals you eat take their toll on your wallet. This guide will help you give your body what is needed to perform and save money at the same time!
Create a List
Making a list of the types of foods you like and that are healthy for you. One of the biggest problems when it comes to eating out is not having food in your place. Keep a list handy in the kitchen so when you start running out of something you can write it down. The list will also keep you organized when going to the grocery store. Only buy what is on your list. Also, buy the Sunday papers to find coupons for the items on your list. You will be surprised at how much you end up saving by just using coupons!
Buy in Bulk
You probably don’t need 50 pounds of strawberries but there are certain things you can buy in bulk that make sense. Buy foods that are versatile and that you won’t get sick of easily. For example, chicken is a universal food that is lean in fat and easy to season to your liking in many different ways. Go to your local bulk food store (Costco or Sams) to buy big bags of frozen chicken. You can use the chicken for lunches, dinners and snacks.
Plan Ahead of Time
Now that you have bought all of the healthy food on your list and your fridge is stalked, start planning out your meals. Think about your schedule each day and prepare your food ahead of time. If you know you won’t have time to run home for lunch each day, pack a bagged lunch so you won’t have to run by McDonalds to grab a bite. When it comes to dinner, the last thing most of us want to do after a long day is prepare a dinner for two hours. Find recipes that are fast, easy and taste good. There are a million of them out there.
Use What You Have
When you are running low on food but don’t want to go grocery shopping, search your pantry and refrigerator for scraps and leftovers. Use whatever you have to come up with a meal. If you followed the steps above you will have healthy food to choose from and you won’t have to go out and spend more money on take out.
These simple tips will help any college student manage the money they have and fuel their body with the strength to get through the toughest of days.
If you have tips on how to eat healthy in college, let us know in the comments below!
Image courtesy of Martin Cathrae via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).