(This is a guest article by Louise Baker*)
College is an exciting time and busy time. For most students, eating healthy is not a top priority. Often students will live off sodas and junk food. In addition, most college students have a tight budget. Students will eat food that is cheap such as the college staple of a sixteen-cent package of Ramen noodles.
Stay Home and Cook
Although college is fun at times, it can also be quite stressful. With poor diet and exercise, many college students gain weight or just feel unhealthy. Most colleges and universities offer healthy choices on campus including healthy snack machines. This makes eating healthy much easier. To stretch a budget it is essential that a student eat out as little as possible. Most students have a small microwave and small refrigerator in their dormitory rooms or many students live off campus in apartments.
Cheap and Healthy Meals
Although Ramen noodles are high in sodium, the noodles are the undisputed cheapest of cheap meals. These days you can create a hearty and healthy meal using this package of noodles. If you are unable to cook chicken, you can purchase canned chicken and canned vegetables. Add both to your Ramen soup to create a filling and healthy meal.
Stock up on a few jars of Alfredo sauce. You will find a popular brand for under two dollars. You should also purchase a few packages of pasta. You will find many brands available under one dollar per package. Purchase store brand frozen mixed vegetables for under one dollar as well. Heat up the Alfredo sauce and add water to the empty jar. Fill the empty jar halfway and shake. This gets the excess sauce that is stuck to the sides of the jar. Pour this into the heating sauce. Alfredo sauce is thick and you will create more sauce by adding the water. Then add your mixed vegetables to the sauce. When your pasta is cooked, pour the vegetable and Alfredo sauce over it. This is a hearty, healthy and delicious meal. You will have plenty of left overs for additional meals.
You can purchase a dozen small eggs for less than one dollar and fifty cents. You can purchase an off brand of whole wheat bread for the same price. For less money, you can buy a package of flour tortillas. Purchase a package of cheese and ham. You can make a breakfast sandwich or breakfast burritos for an entire week. Eating breakfast will help you focus on your studies and curb your appetite until lunch. This also makes for a great snack if you happen to have a late night in the student library.
Give up Sodas and Drink Water
Students spend an average of fifteen dollars a week on canned sodas. The healthy alternative is to drink water. You can purchase a water bottle that you can fill up at the campus water fountains. If you prefer filtered water, invest in one of the many water filter devices. Either way, you will save a tremendous amount of money if you drink water instead of sodas. Water is much healthier and it will keep your appetite under control.
If You Have to Buy Lunch
Most students do not have time to run back to their dorm room for lunch or to their apartment. Each night pack a lunch and snacks. This way if you get up late and are in a hurry, your lunch is ready to go. If you find yourself without your lunch, you can choose healthy alternatives on campus. You can usually eat in the campus cafeteria for under two dollars if you order a vegetable plate and drink water. The vegetable plate usually comes with a choice of three vegetables. Macaroni and cheese is not a vegetable, however, it is always available on the vegetable plate. It is high in fat; however, it is a fantastic comfort food. Therefore, as long as you have chosen two healthy vegetables go ahead and enjoy the macaroni and cheese.
You Can Eat Healthy For $20 Per Week
For approximately twenty dollars a week, you can eat healthy and eat well. You can stretch your money even further if you shop wisely. Make sure you visit your local discount grocer and shop the sale items. Stock up on healthy snacks such as trail mix, pretzels and baked chips. Every college student needs some junk food and these are healthy alternatives. You will find that if you eat breakfast, you will feel great and your appetite will remain under control. Your breakfast can be made the night before and reheated the next morning. All of the meals mentioned can be made under fifteen minutes and are cheap and healthy.
*About the author: Louise Baker is a freelance blogger who usually writes about online degrees for Zen College Life. Her most recent article ranked the best web design schools.
*Image Credit: Photograph by libraryman [via Flickr Creative Commons]
(This is a guest article by Louise Baker*)