Eating habits in college are a weird thing, and rightfully so: we’re mostly broke, bad at packing lunches, or have a ridiculously expensive meal plan. When it comes to food, college students are typically associated with either consuming only 25 cent ramen or the infamous freshman 15. But you don’t have to be!
Following are my top tips for conquering the college food struggle. Not every tip will work for everyone, but I hope you can find something useful.
1. Don’t forget to eat.
Often we get so busy studying, working, and going to class that we don’t stop to take a food break. This may not seem like a big deal now, but it’s difficult to keep passing those tests and pushing out papers when you’re running low on fuel. I may sound like a bit of a grandma, but I try to always have some kind of snack on me for those times when I can’t take a full food break but need to eat something before I pass out. If you’re not currently
a snack carrier, it’s a good habit to start. Trail mix, granola bars, and cracker packs can be healthy and easy snacks to keep around for emergencies.
It sucks, I know, but it’s necessary. If you can learn to budget while in college, life will be a little—wait no—a lot easier when you graduate. There are so many tips and techniques out there, there’s really no reason one can’t learn how. This is easier if you learn how to cook and/or bake.
Cooking your own food will save your life—or at least your wallet. Simple logic states that if you make your own food, you save money by not eating out. You can also alter recipes to your liking, such as switching the sugar, or using different fruits or vegetables. Being able to make your own food can keep it cheaper and healthier. As a bonus, you’ll become that friend who makes great food, and everyone loves that friend.
Overall, my best tips for starters are; try to eat out less on your own, plan dine-in dates with your friends (especially if you have that one friend that can cook), and drink water at restaurants because its free (and also healthy for you).
3. Be creative.
Maybe you can cook, but you’re still tired of eating the same five things. Or maybe you live in a dorm and making your own food regularly isn’t option. Finding new ways to switch things up keeps food from getting boring and monotonous. Being creative can range anywhere from cooking noodles in a coffee pot, to upgrading your ramen or grilled cheese. There are so many things you can do with basic foods! There are a few more ideas linked below, but explore the internet and your own imagination for more exciting possibilities.
Just like they say about anything else, if you don’t like it, change it. Here are a few more ideas and resources to get your juices flowing. Now get out there and live your best, well-fed life.
Cheap and easy foods: Find a plethora of ideas for every meal on AndThenWeSaved
Written by Serena Mickens