Most college students are used to being on a tight budget. With the cost of tuition rising every year, it’s not surprising that budgets have to be squeezed from one semester to the next. While it’s essential for students to get the proper nutrition, finding room in the budget for healthy meals can be challenging.
Young adults tend to snack rather than sit down for a full meal. This can be convenient, but it’s not always the best way to get the right vitamins and nutrients out of a meal. Students that have managed to find ways to eat right while staying on a budget have an advantage; more energy, longer attention spans, and boosted cognitive powers that can help them excel in their studies.
If you are a student struggling with your budget, finding ways to save money doesn’t always need to affect your food spending. You may love a good ramen kit, but you may not want to eat it every day, and you don’t have to. Let’s take a look at a few budget meal tips to help students get the nutrition they need to be successful.
Use Your Meal Plan
Most students living on campus take advantage of meal plans. This provides students with a minimum of three daily meals. Most cafeterias are open throughout the day to accommodate different schedules. Taking meal breaks can be challenging for busy students, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the offered food. Carry a small container in your backpack and stop by the cafeteria to pick up a few meal items you can eat later. Your dorm will likely have a toaster or microwave to heat up your meal.
Buy in Bulk
The best way to save money on grocery staples is to buy bulk. Certain items like condiments, dried pasta, snack foods, and soup can be kept in your dorm or apartment when needed. You can save significantly on your grocery bills when you take advantage of bulk buying savings.
Nearly every major grocery store chain has its own app or website. If you are looking for savings on your groceries, you need to take advantage of food coupons. Sign up online to several of your neighborhood grocery stores, and you will get alerts on your smartphone when there is a sale. You can also take advantage of paper coupons. Your local flyers contain hundreds of dollars worth of savings that can help you to trim some of the fat off your tight budget.
Roaming through the grocery store looking for items can be costly if you don’t have a plan. Taking the time to create a weekly meal plan can help keep you organized and save you money. Take your list to the store and only buy the items you need; this will help curb your impulse buying. Never head to the store on an empty stomach; you will likely buy more than you need.
If you are a student struggling with a limited budget, it’s never wise to skimp on essentials like groceries. Follow these tips to help you eat healthily and stay on your budget.