Over the past few years at college I have struggled to eat healthy while living the college budget lifestyle. The last two years I have been living in an apartment style dorm that has a kitchen. I have struggled to find ways to eat healthy and maintain my sanity between school, volleyball and life. I have put together my tip and tricks that have helped me to stay on track and under budget. I hope you guys enjoy my 12 Ways to Eat Healthy in College!
Have 6 hours of class in a row? Pack a lunch
If you’re like me and have 6 hours of class in a row, I find it best to pack snacks or a full meal. Often when I don’t pack substantial food for class I end up at the vending machine buying a snickers bar. But if you’re looking to save money and eat healthy pack some healthy snacks and snack between classes.
I (live) eat by the moto “out of sight out of mind”
I find that if I keep unhealthy food in my dorm I tend to crave it and thus eat it. Therefore I have stopped buy copious amounts of chocolate and sweets. I still buy some sweets but at a much lesser quantity, just enough to curve a sweet tooth.
Always keep emergency food in your backpack
Some days you get stuck on campus longer than you expect and that afternoon hunger strike hits. Be prepared with some healthy snack in your backpack. I usually keep a protein bar or a nonsquishable fruit in my bag for easy snacking.
Beans and rice are a perfectly acceptable, cheap and nutritious meal
If you like me and shopping on a budget out here in college land, don’t be afraid to go for the cheap and healthy. Beans and rice are a protein and healthy carb packed meal. Just because you’re eating healthy, doesn’t mean you have to eat expensive.
Buy healthy food you will actually eat
Don’t kid yourself and buy the giant bag of kale when you know you’ll take one bite and then never eat it again. If you love peppers or tomatoes or whatever veggie floats your boat, buy that. If you want to be adventurous and try new veggies go small at first and see if you actually like it before buying the costco size bag.
Get fruits from the dining hall
If your dining hall is an all you can eat style like mine and they leave out different fruits and veggies to eat. I find that when they somehow make their way into a backpack they make a great snack later on in the day.
Bring a water bottle with you everywhere you go
The best way to drink water is to have it readily available. I always make sure to bring a water bottle with me whenever I’m on campus, whether than means to class, work or grabbing a bite to eat. I know myself and if I have my water bottle with me then I am 100% more likely to drink my necessary water for the day.
Add veggies to everything possible
Veggies + salad? Veggies + pasta? Veggies + mac and cheese? Veggies + rice? Veggies + pizza? You pretty much cant go wrong with adding veggies to pretty much anything. Dont be afraid to buy the frozen veggies, they are just as good as the fresh especially in the winter.
Add some protein to your ramen for a balanced meal
Ramen is the go to cheap college meal. So why not add some protein for a cheap, healthy college meal. Add some real chicken to that chicken flavor ramen and you’ll be all set for the night.
Invest in some good storage containers for left overs. I also find that storing cut up veggies in tupperware makes them last much longer. Pictured above, Glad Food Storage Containers, Variety Pack, 18 Count by Glad, is what I just bought for myself. I had some tupperware but it wasnt really enough. I got this variety pack and I am loving it so far! They are also great for packing lunches, see tip #1.
Try a new recipe? Now you have dinner for the week!
I have always been a picky eater. This year at college I have been challenging myself to try out a new recipe each week, time and money permitting. Every time I try out a new recipe I now have enough dinner for a week, they don’t really make a lot of single-serve recipes out there. Store the leftovers in some tupperware in the fridge or freezer and you’ll be all set for quite a while.
Brew your own coffee
My making your own coffee drink it is cheaper and easier to control the add ins. A medium ice coffee with caramel and cream from Dunkin Donuts can come out to almost 500 calories and a mid-morning sugar crash. Brew your own coffee, add some creamer and milk and your looking at maybe 200ish calories and more protein to keep you going throughout your morning. I got my coffee maker, Black & Decker DCM600B 5-Cup Coffeemaker, Black, for $11 from amazon and it has already lasted me a year and a half.
I hope you guys found this post interesting! Now just remember that these are just my tips. They are not the end all be all when it comes to healthy eating and being healthy in college. Take these tips and adapt them to what works best for you! I would love to hear how you take these tips and work towards being healthy. I hope you all have a lovely day!
Questions for you!
What is your eating healthy tip?
How do you eat cheap and healthy?