It’s been a challenge, but for the past two months I’ve tried to raise the bar for cheap eating, and for those of you who aren’t seasoned grocery shoppers, here are a few things I’ve learned along the way.
Potatoes. Mashed, cubed, with ketchup, they’re great. Some grocery stores basically hand them out at around a dollar for four or five. The red ones pump you with around 150 calories a piece, some protein and fibers. And that’s all you need.
“But what about essential vitamins and minerals?” I can already hear the internal dialogue. I said this would be a cheap diet not a healthy one. Hungry? Eat five potatoes for breakfast, lunch and dinner and you won’t even want to eat again! Great method for penny pinching.
Speaking of well-rounded meal plans, Ramen Noodles (380 calories/pack), the official stamp of the college student diet, do live up to their reputation. There seems to be some sort of enchantment of permanence on the manager’s special “four for $1” because I swear on my potatoes I’ve never seen the price any higher. At Costco you can buy a 48-pack for $8, which actually sets them at 16-cents apiece.
Ben I’m delirious I don’t even know what I’m writing.
Dippin Dots usually go at a steep price, so I sometimes just buy a bag of frozen peas and pretend I enjoy eating them. Wouldn’t recommend this one.
Don’t forget to go to Campus Attractions events. They’re pretty fun and you can eat enough Chex Mix to hold you over for the next day if you can get there before the crowd.
I’d say ask to take home the leftovers, but everyone else there is doing the same thing so just try to hide as much as you can in your pockets.
And finally, eat out once a year, maybe. If you really want to commit to the budget cut you’re going to need to make some sacrifices and you’ll probably miss out on some really cool relationships.
But who needs friends when you can talk to your potatoes? I’m more than content here slowly realizing how sad my eating habits are as I write this self-deprecating piece.
Find your balance, see what works for you, and try to hit at least 2,000 calories/day regardless of what kind of potatoes you’re eating.
Thanks for reading, and good luck shopping!
Gob Zempel, sophomore