How Students Can Eat Well On a Tight Budget
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College students don’t always put a lot of thought into their nutrition or where they will have their next meal. Young adults are all about living in the moment and appreciating what they have in front of them. However, it’s important to remember that to be a successful and healthy student, you need to nourish your body properly. In order to achieve this, you should eat regular, nutritious meals regardless of your financial situation.
In general, students have a lot of ambition but not much cash to back it up. It is important to remember that even those who have won a scholarship still have bills to pay and books to buy. Due to this fact, students often try to save a bit of money by putting off their grocery list for the time being. The good news is that you can still eat well without spending a fortune.
Whether you choose to stock up with a Ramen Variety Pack or use coupon apps while you are shopping, buying groceries that will not only feed you but nourish your brain and body is the key to academic success. The following are a few tips students can use to eat well, even if they are on a tight budget.
Stock Up On Snacks
There is no doubt that most college students have a busy schedule. Due to this absence of time, it can often be difficult to plan a sit-down meal. You might not always be able to make it to the cafeteria in time to eat a proper meal, even if you have paid for a meal plan. It is important to stock up on healthy snacks if you want to stay energized and get the nutrition you need. Some of the essential college snacks include:
- Dried fruits and nuts
- Microwave popcorn
- Fresh fruit
- Ramen noodles
- Granola bars
- Protein bars
- Cheese strings
Embrace The Ramen
It is not wrong to point out that ramen noodles aren’t the healthiest food you can consume. It is important to note, however, that the majority of the unhealthy components are contained in the “flavor packet”. The amount of flavoring that you use is up to you, and you can use as much or as little as you like. There are many ways to dress up your ramen noodles to give you more substance and flavor without all the preservatives and salty flavoring.
You can add vegetables, meat, or eggs to your ramen noodles to make a more well-rounded meal. You can also get creative and use ramen noodles to make a casserole, a creamy noodle dish, or a salad. Ramen noodles are a cheap and easy meal alternative for many students.
Join A Community Garden
Sometimes, it is not always practical for students to consume fresh vegetables. You may not be able to store all the food you need in your small fridge if you live in the dorms. Organic vegetables, especially those grown on organic farms, have a reputation for being expensive as well. Whether you are a vegan or a vegetarian, joining a community garden is an excellent way to gain nearly free access to vegetables. It is becoming more and more common for urban areas to have these unique spaces.
All you need to do is volunteer your time tending to the garden, and in return, you can pick what you want. Some gardens also have the option of paying a reasonable membership fee without getting your hands dirty. You can also investigate starting your own community garden located on your campus and maintained by other like-minded students.
Attend Campus Events
As a student, one of the biggest perks is that there is an abundance of free food available to you. That’s right, free. All you need to do is get involved in what is going on around your campus. There are endless mixers, conferences, and meetings where food is provided in the form of a buffet. These meals are absolutely free. Talk to your campus organizer about getting a list of all after-hour events and put them on your calendar as free meal days.
Use Apps & Coupons
In today’s world, it seems like there is an App for everything. Students can use dozens of coupons and grocery apps to save a bundle on their grocery bills. You can use independent apps like Groupon or download the vendor app for your local grocery store. With the help of your smartphone, you can stay up to date on upcoming sales and coupons that may be applied right at your fingertips.
Carrying your student card wherever you go can save you money on most of your meals. Nearly all national food chains, including Mcdonald’s, Burger King, and Appleby’s, will give you up to 15% off the price of your meal just for being a student. Some fast food chains have free drink refills for students and even have weekly specials for students on a budget.
Your faith is something that should be maintained throughout your college years if it is very important to you in your life. Not only will you get the guidance you need during this time of change and growth, but you could also end up with a few free meals. After services, there are almost always snacks and coffee available to worshippers. Many churches have weekend meals, special holiday events, and parties that include food.
Food Service Job
There are many students who have to work part-time to pay for their college expenses. If you are struggling with your grocery budget, a great way to get a free or heavily discounted meal is to find a food service job. Many schools have available positions available in the cafeteria that you could work. Or, you can find a part-time job at a cafe or restaurant, where they let you have a meal before or after your shift.
Being on a limited budget as a student doesn’t mean that you have to starve. Eating well and staying on budget is possible when you follow these tips.