Eating on the Cheap in College

Being in college means a lot.

People are poor. You are poor. Can I have some more money mom?

While some may argue Netflix is the most crucial element needed to survive college, experts will point out food is one of our biggest needs, though a human can live up to a month without it.

Which is good, because I just bought my books, and I have no money left. I guess I could eat the cardboard left over from my roommates?

What is important to remember though is that college doesn’t have to mean starvation. It is hard to not notice how little some people eat, which to me is shocking. I mean all I was told was to watch out for the freshman 15.

Mom, do you know how much food costs?

Going to the grocery store is always fun. It is easy to find food that is cheap.

As I walk into the grocery store, it is sensory overload. I am shocked by the smells of bread, by the people, by the big price tags proclaiming the best deal of the day.

I walk to the cheap food section. What I have learned from my years of shopping is that cheap food is subjective.

Sure you can buy ramen noodles for 11 cents. But is it worth the regret of what dietitians call “ramen tummy”? Not to mention that ramen is literally just a block of carbs and sodium.

Food is supposed to be good for you. Not something your body will later have to detox over.

I find that the cheapest foods are usually the simplest.

For me, I like eating pretty simply. I find that it is cheap, and of course a little healthier. It might not be that exciting, but you will be surprised how much food one can actually get for $20.

I went to Costco. Got a bag of potatoes that will last over a month, two loaves of bread, 36 eggs, and a bag of pears. All for the low price of about $18.

I eat well, I guess; keep your money, Mom.

It is hard to shop. You don’t want to waste anything, but you want to eat everything.

It is a constant battle, but eventually we learn. Eating on the cheap might not be exciting, but it is possible. And it is even possible to eat relatively healthy in college.

Freshmen, prepare yourselves. You will have to make the decision between eating like a college student or eating like an adult. Food requires your attention. It requires your budgeting, and in some cases, it requires your mom’s advice.

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